‘Gothic’ is finished

June 23, 2011

the curse of the gothic symphonyWell, I’ve wrapped The Curse of the Gothic Symphony.

Hired as the music editor rather than the composer, in many respects my role was not unlike composing at all. In fact, as with any film I work on as a composer, there is an evolution from rough cut to lockoff during which I have to edit my own compositions to fit anyway. The challenge here however was that rather than editing my own music I was to score the film using carefully selected and edited excerpts from Havergal Brian’s Symphony No. 1 ‘The Gothic’, which is known as being the largest, longest and most technically difficult symphony ever composed (or at least according to the Guiness Book of Records).

The work itself is about 2 hours long and ranges from cacophonous atonal craziness to whisper quiet beauty and everywhere in between. It was a challenge to find the most ‘filmic’ parts of the symphony to serve as our score, and then to edit the work such that it would serve the picture emotionally and with respect to scene timing. Great fun though! The final mix was done at Soundwaves in 5.1 and it sounds fabulous. Hopefully MIFF puts us in a 5.1 capable theatre so we can hear the magnificence of the score and the mix!

It premieres at the Melbourne International Film Festival this July. See you at the premiere!

The Curse of the Gothic Symphony

May 26, 2011

the curse of the gothic symphonyForgot to mention that I’ve been hired as music editor on the feature-doc ‘The Curse of the Gothic Symphony’ for the Melbourne International Film Festival and the ABC. It’s said to be cursed so here’s hoping I’m still around in 2 weeks…

Youtube teaser here

Just finished the score to ‘The Worm Hunters’

April 3, 2011

earthworm - the worm huntersI was on this one for ages but it was sure worth it. For a documentary about earthworm scientists you wouldn’t have anticipated a music brief of “global James Bond spy drama” would you. But indeed that’s what the film ended up with…

The score for The Worm Hunters wandered an unusual route. Scheduling had meant that I was unable to dedicate the usual amount of time to the score after the film had locked, so I composed a loose library of music based on conversations I had with the director Randall Wood, that he and the editor would use.  It was a way of getting the music in place early. Based on Randall’s direction and after having seen a few 2 minute clips of footage I sent up a heap of spy-drama cues to the edit suite in Brisbane, with a good lashing of 70s and european influences thrown in. Fortunately many of these became the basis for the score (I say fortunately because a few minutes of rough assembly is not always an accurate reflection of where the film will ultimately end up!). Delays during the edit (floods in Brissy for one) meant that ultimately time became available and I could give the film a really tight score for which I was relieved and grateful. I went to town, in particular with one complex montage near the end where three of our characters’ climactic worm hunts were intercut, including and outrageous ‘worm mining’ scene with a backhoe (yes, digging for worms with a huge backhoe is something you do need to see).

Did Emma find her fabled Nicaraguan ‘blue worm’? Does Danuta re-discover her career making Veronii worm in the fields of South Africa? Did George unearth the mythical 8 metre worm his father first sighted in the jungles of Brazil?

emma sherlock - the worm huntersI don’t have the finished film yet so can’t show you any pictures. However here is a picture of one of our characters, Emma Sherlock from the British Natural Histroy Museum.

I’ve been finished for a few weeks now, but today listening to the score while putting the film’s webpage together I’m still proud of this one. It’s hilarious and at times waay over-the-top and yet perfect for the film. Randall (the director) had an incredible vision for this one. Have a listen…

Fable Music Image Library Series – Media Promos 2

February 4, 2011

[jwplayer config=”brett” playlistid=”724″]

Production Music Library (2005)
Fable Music

This Production Music CD, the 2nd in the successful ‘Media Promos’ series, was released mid 2005 by Fable Music, a Melbourne-based music publisher and production music specialist. I contributed 8 tracks to this volume, and these tracks have been selected and broadcast worldwide.

Fable Music website

Worm Hunters rough cut

December 1, 2010

sam james - the worm huntersJust got the rough cut to my new doco ‘The Worm Hunters’. Yes, that’s right, worm music! (and it’s probably not what you think it will be)

Pelicans has wrapped

November 30, 2010

pelicans outback nomadsWith director Susan McMillan and editor Mark Fox in Britain, the producer Tina Dalton in Sydney, the sound designer Michael Gissing in Tassie and me in Melbourne we finally got there! It’s a great score too this one. A mixture of grand orchestral and intimate moments reflective of our dramatic landscape and the small peaceful moments in our pelican’s journey. Have a listen

Looks like we might be getting a few extra sales too, perhaps into France and the US.

Four AFI Award nominations for A Thousand Encores, including for Best Sound!

October 29, 2010

2010 AFI Awards logoOn Wednesday this week the AFI Awards nominations for 2010 were announced and our documentary A Thousand Encores: The Ballets Russes in Australia was nominated in four categories, the most for any documentary this year!

The nominations are…

Best Documentary under one hour – Sharyn Prentice, Marianne Latham, Lavinia Riachi.
Best Direction in a Documentary – Mandy Chang
Best Editing in a Documentary – Karin Steininger
Best Sound in a Documentary – Brett Aplin, Andrew McGrath, Erin McKimm, Terry Chadwick

Congratulations to all involved, it’s a wonderful documentary. For those of you that missed it I’ll keep an eye on the TV schedules and in the meantime it’s available on DVD!