Completely unrelated to scoring but I wrote an album of Chiptune inspired music for Sky’s music library, SATV, at the tail end of 2022. It was super fun to work on this and I had a great time writing it, you can check it out here : https://www.satvmusic.com/#/album/SATVDG157/a989e83e56e8ac93
From top, L to R : The editor dude, Oliver Goetzl, Lars Pfeiffer, Chris Kugelman, Alex Stoloff
Sorry for having been a bit lame at not posting for a while, got lots of things going on here (more on that later). Just wanted to recount a little about my time at Jackson Wild Festival which took place in the very peaceful surroundings of Seewinkel National Park in the South of Austria (Burgenland). It was my first time back in Austria since I went there on a school trip when I was 18 so I was really happy to be going back as I loved it the first time round. Having just completed scoring a show for Austria’s national broadcaster ORF a few months earlier, I was really looking forwards to meeting some of the people I’d worked with such as Marc Kosak and Gernot Lercher, and I’ve got to say it was a real pleasure to meet them in real life, and catch up with some old buddies like Lars Pfeiffer and his crew. Also, meeting new lovely people such as party girls Bibiane Zeller-Presenhuber & Birgit Skulski, the inimitable Oliver Goetzl, the legend that is Klaus Scheurich and his lovely partner in crime Annette, serious music-head Petra Lederhilger, wild outdoorsman Chris Kugleman and many others, particularly from Terra Mater and ORF. Had a few meetings, took advantage of the pool and sauna, drove into Hungary for a day (we were about 15 minutes from the border), but most of all, went to some great discussions and screenings and met great people. Thanks so much, Jackson Wild, you guys rock!
From L to R : Klaus Scheurich, Alex Stoloff
I had the pleasure of having a few zoom chats with this lovely chap called Marc Kosak and he mentioned that ORF were working on this show about eggs. Yeah, eggs! He asked if I’d be up for scoring it, which, being a lover of all things egg, I was totally on board for. It was a little tough at first, working with a German script, but the footage was good and the stories pretty interesting, and overall I’m super pleased with the results. At first I wanted to go with a real experimental sound design vibe and recorded some eggs cracking in the soundbooth at our studios then ran them through a whole bunch of modular gear :
But that was a little too ‘out there’ for the Universum brand, we had to reign it back a bit so I stripped it all down and went for recording live flutes, violins, and bagpipes (big shout out to Stu Barker and Patty Q, always a good time working with those two).
Got there in the end, and the show got 23% of all terrestrial viewers on its first broadcast so I’m super happy with that. Thanks, Marc and all the team at WEGA films!
Just had the pleasure of scoring a little animation for ‘oddly satisfying’ Stockholm based digital artist Andreas Wannerstedt in collaboration with award-laden Tom Joyce (otherwise known as Sound Canvas). Here‘s a little write-up about Andreas’ work and the rise of ASMR (Autonomous sensory Meridian Response) in The Guardian. This was a real treat to work on as it was the first time I’ve worked alongside my studio bro, Tom, and it was also a bit of a challenge since I’m so used to working on long form projects nowadays. This clip is 22 seconds long and had to loop, and we wanted to create an ambience of togetherness and humanity through the use of music and sound design.. think we did a pretty good job with it, hope you like it!
I had the pleasure of being asked to judge the music category for Wildscreen 2020, which was a real honour as well as being super fun and informative in equal measure. My co-judges were none other than Nainita Desai and Segun Akinola, two incredibly talented and respected composers, and we spent a good 4 hours over Zoom debating the final 10 films out of the 56 that we’d had to watch and whittling them down to a list of 3. I’ve got to say the standard of composition overall was superb and we had real trouble deciding on the 3rd place spot, but the first 2.. there was no question that they’d go through, they stood out a mile from the rest of the scores. I’m not allowed to name anything yet as judging is still taking place, so you’ll just have to keep your ear to the ground for when the finalists are announced, but it was a fantastic experience and great to chat music with some amazing composers whom I hope to meet in the flesh one day. Thanks, Nainita, Segun and the Wildscreen Team!
I’ve had the pleasure of being asked by National Geographic to score a two hour special of their 5-part series “The Hidden Kingdoms of China”. This was originally produced by Brian Leith Productions here in Bristol Town, and I can tell you it’s one heck of an awesome show. The visuals are stunning and some of the animals you get to learn about, such as the golden snub-nosed monkey, are not the sort of animals you would normally encounter in a wildlife documentary. It’s fascinating to really get into the fauna of China, and I hope to be able to share some clips of it with you once it’s done. 干杯 !
Echoes, the awesome short film I scored for my old friend Luisa Lazzaro is up for an award at Cinedanza, one of the world’s premiere festivals for Screendance. I’m so excited for her and her team! This film is a culmination of years of dancing.. she was already dancing big time in school, so I’m really happy for all her hard work to be recognised. Go Lou!
There were so many good films at Jackson Wild.. I know because I ended up having to watch about 40 hours of documentaries as I was judging the “Long Form – People & Nature” category. One film that I had no idea was going to be shown, however, was a short I scored a while ago for Nardine Groch. It’s a beautiful little film that was made as part of Nardine’s final project for her UWE Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking course, and documents new animal behaviour of the impressive Lyre bird. I had a great time scoring this and loved the final piece; it’s interesting but not too heavy, with real human sentiment throughout. Nardine couldn’t make it to Jackson Wild unfortunately, but I went along to the screening of it and answered the Q&A to the best of my abilities. At the awards ceremony, I wasn’t at all prepared for it to win but win it did! I was so caught off guard (and far from the stage, as I was in the bar area having just returned from the little boy’s room) that I never made it to the stage in time to collect the award, unfortunately. But massive thanks to the judges who picked this film to win and BIG UP to Nardine who believed in this project right from the start.
Super stoked to have been picked to be a preliminary judge for this year’s Jackson Wild festival, the other Oscars of Natural History documentary film-making (the other being Bristol’s very own Wildscreen). I’ve had to watch 25 hours of documentaries in the People and Nature Long form category and I can honestly say that there are some truly outstanding films coming your way from such diverse production companies as Terra Mater, Plimsoll, National Geographic, Smithsonian, amongst many others. It’s been an incredible experience to watch these films, and two themes really stood out as running through them all in one way or another; conservation of our planet and it’s ecosystems, and how interconnected and intertwined ecosystems are (termites being the backbone of the Okavango Delta, forests affecting the oyster population downstream in the bays of Northeast Japan…). Stay tuned!