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It’s been a while since I scored for visuals. Whilst my music education and experience began in the world of music for screen, I have dedicated the past six years to writing music for the concert hall and orchestrating works for others.

Back in the first lockdown last year I decided to take advantage of having more time at home, so I entered the film scoring category of the Marvin Hamlisch Awards 2020. The brief was pretty free; basically just “work your magic”, so I watched the animation without sound about ten times over and eventually the spirit of the film and its characters emerged to me, guiding my instrumental and stylistic choices for the piece.

I didn’t win the competition, but it was great fun to return to my roots and score for visuals again, and it’s an area that I am now ready and raring to return to.

So here is “Bacchus” rescored by yours truly, and for anyone who needs convincing that I’m a sucker for punishment, I’ve also attached the written score for those who are interested in such things. A manuscript was not mandatory for the submission, but it felt too weird not providing one having spent much of the recent years up to my neck in dots!

Watch in full screen here:

Download PDF • 401KB

Listen here

This concept work in four parts for piano, strings and electronics is a critical commentary on the state of society and humanity, portrayed through a combination of music with poetry and still images. The title Drowning can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically, an action as a reaction to disillusionment, or the feeling of being overwhelmed with negativity towards society’s current trajectory.

Movement 1: The Decision
Movement 1: The Decision

The predominant theme of isolation is mirrored by the different media being presented independently. The imagery and poetry are not reliant on the music and vice versa, allowing the audience to engage with this optional supporting material on their terms.

Movement 2: The Act

Musically, the concept of isolation is born out through the use of bare octaves and silence in The Decision, and the economy of musical material in The Act and Panic, which is juxtaposed with electronically enhanced soundscapes and washes of reverb.

Movement 3: Panic

The closing chapter, Acceptance, acts a resolution to the turmoil. It begins with a solitary cello and distances itself from the electronics which permeate the previous movements. This newfound peace and clarity is realised through the use of close-mic recording techniques, as opposed to the ambient microphone capture of the preceding sections.

Movement 4: Acceptance

Listen to Drowning here.

Eastbourne’s new and exciting Composers Network are following up their acclaimed and sell out “Without Borders” concert with a second concept performance “With Memories”. The concert brings acclaimed young Harpist Alex Rider, London’s Modulus String Quartet and The New Network Singers to The Birley Centre in Eastbourne on Saturday 9 November.

With Memories” includes World premieres by Eastbourne based composers, Melody Woodham, Clive Whitburn and Tim Laverack alongside music by the renowned Paul Lewis and other living composers.

Composers Network aims to entertain and bring high quality and beautiful new music to fresh audiences. In this performance the musicians explore issues to do with dementia. As it says on their poster “Dementia doesn’t discriminate and neither should we”. Profits from the concert will go to Memory Lane, a local charity which provides social activities for people with dementia and their carers.

Composers Network’s first concert, “Without Borders”, raised over £1700 for the charity Migrant Help and was described by reviewer Robin Gregory as “Breathtaking and Wonderful”. The network promises that “With Memories” will be equally uplifting.

The concert, organised by Composers Network, is at The Birley Centre, Eastbourne, on Saturday November 9th at 7.30 pm.

Tickets: £14, Under 18s: £10, in advance from and on the door, subject to availability.

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