Mime hits festivals! (October 2020)
Gavin Williams and Mark Lediard's dark and funny short MIME may have had its Cannes Series premiere put on hold (thanks Covid) but the film is about to start reaching audiences at some pretty great festivals - Frightfest (digital) , Screamfest (drive in) and the rescheduled Cannes Series. Loved creating the spooky score for this one!
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (September 2020)
It was my absolute pleasure to once again work with GDIF on their 25th festival which brought diverse and beautiful outdoor installation and performance to audiences during the strangest and most difficult of times. I wrote an orchestral soundtrack to Bernadine Everisto's "Weavers of Woolwich", performed by local residents through Tramshed Theatre and beautifully illuminated by Impossible Arts.
Touch the Beast (September 2020)
Dora Frankel and Andy Wood's dark and glorious "Touch the Beast", featuring lots of cello textures and baroque style strings alongside experimental sound design, screened at Stockholm's ScreenDance festival on 3rd September
Double Word Score shortlisted at DepicT! (August 2020)
Double Word Score, a sweet, lockdown short created with BAFTA Crew peers for the Microshorts initiative has been shortlisted at DepicT!
UNDP Somali COVID-19 prevention campaign (Summer 2020)
I spent much of April and May working with my filmmaker brother Raj and the UN Development Programme on online materials and public service announcements for Somali television, and radio relating to stopping the spread of COVID-19
Sugar (March 2020)
Sugar is both a piece of theatre and a feature film, created by Open Clasp Theatre Company, Meerkat Films and Live Theatre. Sugar was devised with women who are homeless, on probation or in prison.
Sugar is set in an abstract world where we meet three women all ‘doing time’ in very different ways, caught in a waiting space of continuous floors and revolving doors. Three survivors. Three voices seldom heard.
Meet Annie, Julie and Tracy as we circle around their stories in an unflinching trilogy which honours the hard realities of lives lived in and around the system.
“An unflinching filmed drama about society’s failings powered by gripping performances from an all-female cast” The Stage
Washington & Vine hits Amazon Prime (June 2019)
Delighted that Washington & Vine, a beautiful short film I scored for The Brothers Young starring Kristin Daniel (NCIS: New Orleans) and Gavin Leatherwood (Netflix's The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) is now available to view on Amazon Prime Video
Canary wins at the Prague Fringe Festival! (May 2019)
Our wonderful Canaries (aka Fun in the Oven's Robyn, Katie and Alys) took the Prague Fringe Festival by storm with their engaging, moving and hilarious brand of physical theatre and are bringing home the Audience Award!
Metroland Festival news and award nomination (October 2018)
Benjamin Bee's Metroland continues to take festivals by storm including Rhode Island, Aesthetica, Norwich, San Jose and Underwire, where we're nominated for best actor (Rachel Teate) and best composer (whoop!).
Metroland is produced by Candle & Bell, funded by Creative England and stars Rachel Teate, Daniel-John Williams and Doreen Frankland.
You can keep up to date with the film's release by following it on twitter @_metroland_
Free the Bid (September 2018)
Free the Bid is a global campaign to global initiative to promote women creatives getting an equal opportunity to bid on commercial jobs in the advertising world. They've now begun promoting female composers including me. You can find out more at Freethebid.com
Great North Star (September 2018)
Image by Richard Kenworthy
Great North Star was the closing ceremony of the Great Exhibition of the North. The event commemorated the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote and told the stories of strong women fighting for equality from the suffragettes to Kathryn Switzer, the first woman to run a marathon. Ending the Great Exhibition, and leading Newcastle Gateshead into the 2018 Great North Run, the ceremony was performed by narrators Charlie Hardwick and Julie Hesmondhalgh and a 100 strong community cast joined and lead by the wonderful Ballet Lorent. Directed by Bradley Hemmings (Great Millionth Runner, Paralympics opening ceremony 2012), designed by Becca Brower with lighting design from Phil Supple and projection by Zsolt Balogh the event really was something to behold.
This outdoor performance featured female sporting legends Paula Radcliffe, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Rosa Mota, Ingrid Kristianson and Kathrine Switzer and included live performances from Lesley Garratt, Ibinabo Jack, Rise and Grace Davies and was streamed live by the BBC as well as being broadcast as part of the coverage of the Great North CityGames.
Beautiful Thing (July 2018)
Images courtesy of Greenwich + Docklands International Festival by Camilla Greenwell
It was a pleasure to score and sound design the finale of this year's Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, a very special site specific dance theatre version of Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing. This iconic, optimistic love story about teenage boys Jamie and Ste was given a homecoming, performed on and around the original south Thamesmead locations where the play (and 1996 Channel 4 film) were set and directed by Bradley Hemmings and Robby Graham.
With stunning digital projections by NOVAK, production design by Rebecca Brower and lighting by Phil Supple the show drew sell out crowds and delighted audiences including Jonathan Harvey himself.
You can hear the soundtrack (including original score) here:
Fawn (May 2018)
Image by Camilla Greenwell
I recently had the pleasure of providing some original, disney-esque score for Lizzie J Klotz's mesmerising Fawn, a piece that considers the concept of pleasing, as an instinctive response to fear, threat and failure.
Erimus (May 2018)
Images by Keith Talbot
During May I sound designed and provided some original score for Southpaw Dance company's spectacular and immersive production unveiling the newly refurbished Middlesbrough Town Hall: Erimus. Taking its inspiration from Middlesbrough’s motto, We Shall Be, Erimus celebrated the future of Middlesbrough Town Hall, exploring what it means to be from Middlesbrough, celebrating Middlesbrough’s rich cultural identity and how the Town Hall acts as a beacon within that cultural landscape.
Image by NOVAK
The UN - all about Treaty Bodies (April 2018)
Loved using pizzicato strings to score Wired Video's series of films about human rights made for the UN and animated by the brilliant Nicolai Troshinsky (with help from Tim Drage and sound design from We Are Audio)
Metroland (Jan 2018)
Image: Paul Stephenson Media
I was lucky enough to score Benjamin Bee's latest short film Metroland late on last year and the film will be coming to a screen near you soon! Metroland is produced by Candle & Bell, funded by Creative England and stars Rachel Teate, Daniel-John Williams and Doreen Frankland. It's a cracker!
You can keep up to date with the film's release by following it on twitter @_metroland_
Happy New Year - bring it on 2018!
Happy New Year everyone! I am very grateful that 2017 was a jam packed year with 3 major theatre projects, 11 films and animations scored, Key Change sound being revamped for it to be filmed and streamed around the world (!!!!!!), a fantastic historical sound design project and television placements including BBC4's Colour: the spectrum of science, A Year in Space, Secret life of books, Artsnight, MOTD live, and NBC. I've been lucky enough to work on a large scale event in my home city and also to spend time working with young people in the North East of England as they develop their skills. To round the year off, album buyers also made it possible for UNICEF's appeal to have a few more supplies with which to support Syrian children to get through winter.
Thanks to all of you that I've worked last year and beyond - now on to the next one - hope 2018 is good to you!
Freedom on the Tyne (October 2017)
Images courtesy of North News and Richard Kenworthy
In 2017, I was fortunate enough to work with reknowned international Director Tim Supple as Musical director and composer on Freedom on the Tyne, a huge event commemorating the 50 year anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr's visit to Newcastle through a series of performances and parades throughout Newcastle and Gateshead over the course of three hours culminating in a finale on the Tyne Bridge (closed for the occasion!) as night fell on the city. As well as getting to work with communities around the city, some of the regions best musicians and performers and the brilliant creative team I was able to underscore a very special performance of the words of Martin Luther King by Solomon Israel where he was joined by hundreds of people from Newcastle and Gatehead, musicians and aerialists - very special.
"It was a beautiful ending to an event which clearly involved an enormous feat of organisation and a degree of cooperation that you felt Dr King himself would have appreciated"
David Whetstone - The Chronicle
More info can be found on this website here and a soundcloud page celebrating the musical work of our fantastic cast of community and professional musicians (as well as lots of photos) can be found here
Rattle Snake - Open Clasp Theatre Company (Oct 2017)
Image: Keith Pattison
Open Clasp and Live Theatre in association with York Theatre Royal presents:
A story with no ending; a chance meeting with one man changes the lives of two women forever. Now they both live trying to predict the unpredictable. Rattle Snake is an epic tale, based on real life stories of women who have faced and survived coercive controlling domestic abuse.
A sharp, moving and unflinching new play. Coinciding with the change in UK law in 2015 making coercive control in relationships a crime, Rattle Snake was originally commissioned by Durham University and Durham Constabulary and funded by Durham PCC and the AHRC and is used in the training of frontline police officers.
Following a successful national tour and the accolade of best new play (British Theatre Guide)
Rattle Snake will tour again in 2018
"Subtle, sensitive and deeply moving
British Theatre Guide
"A powerful play shining a light on domestic abuse"
" This insidious, often less noticeable form of domestic violence is brought under the harsh dining-room light in Catrina McHugh's compelling play"
Canary - Fun in the Oven (September 2017)
Image: Chris Bishop
Meet the Canaries, a motley crew of munitions workers doing their bit for the war effort. An air raid on their shell shop sends them on a cordite-fuelled journey through euphoric emancipation, forbidden friendships and anarchic dreams. A grotesque and subversive comedy based on the real life testimonies from
Britain's unsung war heroes.
Creating music and sound design drawing on the sounds of the time (and the great war), machinery and more contemporary elements was a joy for this brilliant piece of physical theatre.
Brought to you by Fun in the Oven in partnership with Teatro Envilo
Written and performed by Robyn Hambrook, Alys North and Katie Tranter
Directed by Andrea Jiménez and Noemi Rodríguez
Canary's first performances went down a storm around the North of England in 2017 and a national tour is coming in 2018! To find out more visit www.funintheoventheatre.com
"My favourite theatre experience of the year"
Matthew Crow - Independent on Sunday
Leaving - New theatre from Curious Monkey (Feb 2017)
Leaving home for the first time is a step into the dark.
A whole new life.
If you’re leaving the care system, the reality hits even harder.
Leaving is a new play by Paddy Campbell (Wet House) brought to you by Curious Monkey. It tells the real stories of care leavers and their experiences at the pivotal moment when they leave care. It also gives a voice to those working within the system, from staff in children’s homes to MPs and policy makers.
Using the young people’s own words, an ensemble of actors and an award-winning creative team will test the boundaries of verbatim theatre to bring these real voices to the stage - their joys and their struggles.
Utilising binaural sound, Leaving will create an immediate, immersive experience that will change the way you think about young people in care.
Leaving premieres in February at Northern Stage, Newcastle. You can find out more here: https://www.northernstage.co.uk/whats-on/leaving
"To Suit" - Random Acts with Lizzie J Klotz (December 2016)
I've loved working with dance and theatre artist Lizzie J Klotz on "To Suit" a film adaptation of her quirky exploration of human mating rituals working in collaboration with dancers Alys North and Charlie Dearnley. The film was commissioned by Random Acts, brilliantly matching the skills of veteran natural history cameraman Paul Williams with Lizzie, Alys and Charlie's work. Creating the cheeky, orchestral score was a joy. You can watch it above.
Enchanted Parks (December 2016)
A Forgotten Treasure
In our second collaboration of the year, motion graphics artist Chris Lavelle and I created a large scale projection for Gateshead's beautiful and hugely popular light festival, Enchanted Parks. With the theme of Shakespeare our piece sees the Bard himself, and a magical hidden Shakespearian world of enchanted kingdoms, woodland creatures and stormy seas, brought to life on the facade of gothic mansion, Saltwell Towers. You can listen to the soundtrack below (will replace with a video once the event is over!) which includes the voices of 98 adorable local school children.
Key Change is back! (November/ December 2016)
Back by popular demand, Open Clasp Theatre Company's multi-award winning smash hit Key Change is touring the UK, including the Houses of Parliament. This play , created with women in HMP Low Newton is one of my favourite ever projects and I am delighted to see it continue touring. Even if the music had to come out of a ghetto blaster at the House of Commons...
You can find out more about the amazing work and processes of Open Clasp here: www.openclasp.org.uk
International Day of the Girl (October 2016)
As part of the UN's International Day of the Girl, Plan International commissioned 5 animations by talented animators around the world for Girls Takeover. I was lucky enough to score the animations which were produced by Wired Video and Sound design was provided by We Are Audio. The brilliantly talented animators who created the films are: Leah Shore, Morgane Fraschine, Ng'endo Mukii, Csaba Klement and Tine Kluth. You can watch the 5 films by clicking the button below:
Sunderland Illuminations (September 2016)
The Lair of the Fay King - Heart of the forest
I had the pleasure of scoring a wonderful projection by motion artist Chris Lavelle onto trees, rocks and a cascade for the Sunderland Illuminations 2016 Which will run from the 24th of September until 5th November. The event sees tens of thousands of people visit Roker Park each year. You can find out more below
Plasticine (August 2016)
I was lucky enough to score the new Plasticine TV ad campaign airing on UK TV from 8th August, 2016 made by Wired Video and animated by Tine Kluth completely from, you guessed it, Plasticine! Watch out for it on a telly near you and you can also watch it above
School is a Magical Place (May 2016)
Back to Learning in South Sudan with UNICEF
I was delighted to write the music for Wired Video's latest film for Unicef, filmed in South Sudan where Unicef are aiming to get 600,000 children who are currently not in school into the classroom in 2017. You can find out more about how to help at http://www.unicef.org/southsudan/education
No Lost Generation
Telling the stories of Syria's displaced children with UNICEF
Unicef MENA (Middle East and North Africa) commissioned the brilliant Wiredvideo.net to create a series of films about Syrian Children in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq and I was able to provide music for the films, 4 of which have bee released so far.
The films opened the Support Syrians conference in London on 4th February - the event, attended by global leaders and ministers saw over $10billion pledged, the largest amount of money ever raised in one day in response to a humanitarian crisis.
Key Change wins rave reviews in New York!
Reviews are in for Key Change in New York, and we were a New York Times' Critics Pick - well done to the Cast, Crew and Creative team!
"A moving, intimate and superbly acted drama about women’s lives"
New York Times
"a work of poetic symmetry with wisps of song, music and movement spun into a dramatic event"
Blog Critics (Culture and Society)
"With its strong writing, masterful presentation and intense performances, Key Change is an excellent work of social consciousness theater."
"In bringing characters and lives that are locked up, Key Change liberates a taboo and takes us towards a much needed change, modulating abuse into empowerment. A must-see play."
"a well-crafted, sensitively directed and impressively performed piece of theater"
And as for the score...
"A haunting sensory accompaniment to the narrative" Theatre Scene
SuperCasino Ad (December '15)
The top team working on the current "Tonight we play" SuperCasino ad have come up with something truly dramatic and epic and they were kind enough to use my track "Chosen" on the ad - you can check it out on the player above!
Magical Fantasy music released by SATV (Sept '15)
I was recently lucky enough to get to write a magical fantasy track called "Of Sorcery and Magic" for SATV, Sky's amazing in house publishing company, who recorded it in with live orchestra (in Budapest with the briliant Hungarian Studio Orchestra) and choir (Rodolfus Choir at Angel Studios London).
Loved writing it - hope you like it!
Key Change heading to New York!!
Delighted to announce that Key Change won one of the highest honours possible at the Edinburgh Fringe - The Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award for 2015. This amazing prize means that Key Change will go to New York in the new year for a month long run off broadway.
I've been privileged to provide music and sound design for this brilliant show and this award is so deserved by the incredible cast, crew and creative team behind this production.
Key Change at the Edinburgh Fringe (August 2015)
"Exquisite... singing with an everyday poetry as if the devising process
had unlocked a waterfall of creativity."
Lyn Gardner, the Guardian
Devised by women from HMPYOI Low Newton and originally toured to male prisons, Key Change is a raw and illuminating portrayal of women in prison. It's been a pleasure to provide music for this gritty and emotive piece of theatre.
We are currently at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015 as part of Northern Stage at Summerhall before touring Key Change across the North of England in Autumn.
Originally commissioned by Dilly Arts, Directed by Laura Lindow and written by Catrina McHugh, Key Change was named the North East’s Best Devised Piece by the British Theatre Guide in 2014. Find out more at www.openclasp.org.uk
E C L I P S E (June 2015)
Eclipse is a short sci-fi directed by Mark Lediard and created for the My Rode Reel film competition. The film showcases some great filmmaking talent from the North East of England and was a real pleasure to score.
There were 1,300 entries to the competition so we are really delighted that Eclipse was a finalist for both judges' prizes as well as best Sci-fi and that the film won best cinematography (DOP Scott Coulter) and was a finalist for best soundtrack, best Sci-fi, best visuals, best behind the scenes and best location.You can watch Eclipse using the link below.
Magical Music for Sky (May 2015)
A magical fantasy track I wrote earlier this year for SATV was recently recorded with live orchestra at the BMC in Budapest and the brilliant Rodolfus Choir at Angel Studios (pictured). It was an amazing experience to see and hear the choir recording and the track will be available for licensing in coming months.
Joe & Seph's Gourmet Popcorn Ad (April 2015)
I recently had the pleasure of scoring this lovely advert for award-winning snack geniuses
UNICEF's Out Of School Children Initiative - Middle East and North Africa (April 2015)
Today UNICEF launch their Out of School Children Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa. They commissioned Wired Video, to make the animation "You Know Me" (above). I was lucky enough to work with them on the project, writing the soundtrack to "You Know Me" as well as the accompanying making of documentaries. The films were made in Jordan and Morocco and the soundtrack features brilliant multi-instrumentalist Michael Ibrahim of the
You can find out more about the campaign at www.oosci-mena.org.
We're also delighted to announce that the French version of the animation, "Vous me connaissez" is also part of the official selection for the upcoming Annecy International Animation Festival in June 2015.
I recently provided some music for those lovely folks at Multiyork and their Easter ad campaign is now broadcasting. Hmmmm.... comfy sofas!
Merry Christmas and fond farewell to 2014!!
To wish you a very merry Christmas, here is my very wintery latest project.
Motion artist Chris Lavelle and I were commissioned to create a magical audio visual installation O Stars, and dreams, and gentle night for the beautiful event Enchanted Parks. The Installation was projected onto Victorian Gothic Mansion Saltwell Towers for an audience of 21,000 in early December 2014 and we are thrilled with how it turned out.
You can watch the installation using the video player above or visiting http://vimeo.com/114561262
Children and families at Tate Galleries (December 2014)
I had the brilliant job of writing music for several short films for Tate Britain and Tate Modern this year for Wired Video to promote the great range of activities available at the galleries for children and families. You can take a look using the button below.
INSIDE by David Tomlin (August 2014)
Atmospheric, apocalyptic drama Inside will be getting out to festivals in coming months including the Worcestershire Film festival where David won best short last year with Lights - if you're going to be there do check it out! The film focuses on the last conversation between agoraphobic Adrian and estranged girlfriend Sophia as the world literally ends.
New track video (July 2014)
You can hear new track "We Are", watch the vid and, what the heck, subscribe to my youtube channel if you like with the handy player here or by clicking the button below!
Juggler (June 2014)
Great reception at the premiere of Juggler by Cationa Burnett on 10th June scored by yours truly. You'll be able to see this touching (almost) silent movie about a young man who feels he has failed at everything in life but through his failing he discovers a talent he never realised he had with in him at festivals later this year.
You can hear a little of the Juggler score by clicking below!
Hondros: A Life in Frames
Hondros: a Life in Frames is a feature documentary currently in development by Greg Williams retracing the steps of his friend, photojournalist Chris Hondros, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist who was killed in the Libyan revolution.
My music is featured in the trailer (4:02 onwards) for this brilliant project. You can support the project here.
Happy Valentines! Love is in the Air...
I've been working on a short film with those lovely and talented peeps at Designers Anonymous especially for Valentines. Whether you see Valentine's Day as a corporate rip off or a cosy day with your other half I reckon you'll find this little gem entertaining!
Click the link below to watch and enjoy your day whatever you're up to!
Wishing everyone a great 2014
Wired Video's lovely little animated Vegetable Nativity has had a little bit of a sonic revamp thanks to the vocal stylings of Sophie Trott to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Animated by the wonderful Tine Kluth with music from yours truly you can watch it below
LA Baby! Sleepworking hits Screamfest October 2013
Last year I had the pleasure of scoring SLEEPWORKING - Gavin Williams' tense and unnerving sci-fi short. SLEEPWORKING has been doing the rounds of festivals around the globe picking up awards and great reviews as it goes and later this month it will hit LA as part of the official selection for the legendary horror festival that is Screamfest.
The screening is on 13th October and you can find out more using the link below:
More Award success for LIGHTS
LIGHTS, a charming short by David Tomlin and Ignite Productions was one of my favourite projects last year. It has just visited the Worcestershire Film Festival where it picked up the Best Short Film award and they also reviewed the film here
You can now watch lights using the button below:
Anyone interested in hearing a bit more about me can listen to the podcast of Settling the Score featuring an interview I did earlier this year as the Guild of Northern Media Composers' featured composer in August.
As well as me babbling about my work and influences you'll also get to hear music by
some of the UK's composer talent.
Sleepworking set to go to Screamfest LA
SLEEPWORKING is an official selection for Screamfest LA, one of the biggest genre film festivals and the one where the likes of 'Paranormal Activity' broke. The film is also enjoying international success, most recently picking up 2 awards (Prix du Meilleur and the Quiet Earth Prize) at Paris' Festival du Film Merveilleux 2013
You can watch the trailer here
The Space Between Us
I recently had the pleasure of scoring the latest play by Open Clasp Theatre Company, The Space Between Us.
The North East of England is in the grip of a storm on a biblical scale. Three months of rain fall in one day, roads are closed, rivers are bursting their banks and the region is submerged under water. Blown from four corners of the earth, four women seek sanctuary, security and refuge.
You can watch the trailer for the play here and see what some of the audience members made of the play (accompanied by some of the score) at the link below (you can pause the music on this page via the footer).
The Red Shoes
The mesmerising, sell out run of The Red Shoes by Straight on till morning theatre company is now over but you can still get your mitts on the music. Here's what the press had to say about it:
"Roma Yagnik's Shawshank-like music is eerie and effective" One Stop Arts
"Roma Yagnik’s music reinforces the tone of the play, adding a dark and mystical quality that reminds us that fairy tales do not always come with a happy ending." What's Peen Seen
To listen or buy just click the link below.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Well 6 films, 10 ads, 2 theatre productions, 2 animations and 1 album later & it's nearly 2013. Thanks to all those I've collaborated with and those I've met this year – wishing everyone an amazing year ahead.
Here's to an amazing 2013!
Sleepworking premieres at Fantasycon
Award success for Lights
Outdoor Shakespeare with a 1940s twist
In June 2012 I spent most of my time in the grounds of Ripley Castle, Yorkshire writing music for Sprite productions' outdoor, promenade production of Taming of the Shrew which embedded the scenes of the play within different areas of the beautiful castle grounds.
The post war Britain setting of the play allowed me to write some 1940s style songs for live performance as well as Swing Dance music which was then recorded by the Berkley Square Swing Band.
David Tomlin's beautiful film LIGHTS, scored by yours truly, won best short film in this year's Animation/ Arthouse Category at the Fringe Festival, Stratford upon Avon. Look out for this charming film on the festival circuit for some beautiful cinematography and a very engaging watch!
During 2012 I had the pleasure of scoring Gavin Williams' powerful, dark sci-fi thriller SLEEPWORKING.
Having premiered at Fantasycon in Brighton the film, which was funded by Northern Film and Media and made here in the UK is now doing the rounds of film festivals across the globe including the Trieste Science+Fiction International Film Festival where it was shortlisted for a Méliès d’Argent award in December 2012.