I wrote some music and did the sound design and mix for a couple of films for Nick Junior recently, and having just filled up a skiff with modular synth stuff I tried to jam as much analogue synth noise into the music as possible. Here’s my synth setup for any geeks who care:
Anyone who knows me personally knows I have a bit of a synth addiction… some like their cars, well… synths are much better and they don’t depreciate.
I should cut to the chase, this film is written and directed by the most awesome Kim Majkut and Akin Akinsiku at Nickelodeon UK, and the lovely animation is by Pierre+Bertrand from Not To Scale. It’s a beauty so have a look:
I spent some time this summer working on a film for Brother Printers with Chris Cairns, Neil Mendoza, Marek Bereza to name a few, and at last it is out!
Firstly, all the sound in the film is real, nothing is faked, re-pitched or re-timed in post production. Ok there are a couple of fake bits, one being the deep pulsing hum at the very beginning, and the other being the paper feeding up in the breakdown shot. It’s not the usual focused, foleyed and tweaked sound that I get involved in, in fact it’s completely the opposite to my normal processes – everything was captured at source and only re-balanced in the final mix. The point of the film was to make a big clanging whirring mess to juxtapose the lovely Brother feller on the end – that’s what I’m saying anyway…
A quick blurb:
Neil, Marek and their soldering army took apart various machines and hooked up whatever motors and mechanisms they could to some custom circuit boards (based on arduinos). The boards were set to receive midi (control data) which I was outputting from my laptop using Logic Pro. I composed / arranged a version of Bob Dylan’s classic tune ‘The Times They Are A Changin’ by mapping out the various machines as an orchestra of sorts. In the early stages of production I used the first test machines that were wired up to approximate what the final arrangement would sound like. As I wrote the arrangement, I recorded the machines in separate passes, one by one, so that I could balance them against each other more musically.
The only day of the schedule I couldn’t work on due to other commitments, was the shoot day. I left the set at 3 in the morning the day of the shoot, drove Chris, Marek and Neil to the local Holiday Inn near the set and waved goodbye hoping that on the day all would come good. I was gutted not to have been able to be there on the shoot day but I had my good friend Tom Belton on hand to cover me – he is a Logic ninja so I knew it was all in safe hands. On set my laptop was sequencing all the machines live from Logic Pro, the midi split out to each group from a Motu Midi Express 128. Have a look at the midi sequence here:
So after the edit, I re-compiled all the recordings I had made pre-shoot in testing and from the shoot day, and did a final mix in Pro Tools at Factory Studios. A lot of lessons learned, some late nights and some headaches but it was well worth it – thanks so much to Chris and co. for getting me involved, have a look at the final film:
I wrote the music for this, have a look/listen:
…directed by camera wizard Anthony Dickenson from Pulse Films and visual effects by Time Based Arts, it’s a pretty tasty film I reckon.
I have just written a track for a great time lapse project that has been a labour of love for photographers Daniel Alexander and Patrick Dalton for many months. The musical brief was gabba/grindcore but I figured it might be better to write something simple and relaxing to slow down the footage – I went with tape delayed pianos and washed out guitars.
The following info is ripped from their site:
1DAY6CITIES is a global photography project that took place on the 11th November 2011 – 11.11.11, in London, Dubai, Shanghai, Auckland, San Francisco and São Paulo. Using word of mouth, email and social networks we put together an international team of photographers to create a unique twenty-four hour snapshot of this day across six very different cities around the globe. At exactly 00.00 Coordinated Universal Time (world time/GMT) photographers in each of these cities captured their first image in an event that saw photographs being taken every 30 seconds for the following 24 hours. The brief was for the photographers to shoot the most interesting thing happening in their city, at the time they had chosen to shoot. The cities were chosen because they are roughly an equal time difference apart meaning the films show the sun travelling around the earth through the course of the day.
Daniel and Patrick are showing sequences of photos and also the film in various exhibitions around the world, starting with one running currently in Auckland… check the site here, particularly for the image sequences page which is awesome… and have a look at the film to hear my small contribution too:
Akin Akinsiku, art director at Nickelodeon UK, has asked me to write three tracks to work across the rebrand of the Nick Toons channel for 2012.
There was quite a lot of variation of pace and style across the animations – I thought that three tracks wasn’t going to be enough so I ended up sending in seven demos and Akin kept them all. They vary in pace and mood but are all kinda dubstep/breakbeats – check out this compilation.
I wrote the music and did the sound design for Captal FM’s 2011 commercial, and then did a revision of it for their new film this year. See the new 2012 advert here, or check out the original full length version below.
Imagine is a series of documentaries directed and presented by Alan Yentob, creative director at the BBC. I wrote the music for the title sequences, all featuring animation by Bold Creative. The music before the title sequence on the link is not mine, it’s the pencil drawn animation bit so keep watching past the guitar intro.
I was lucky enough to be able to get the immensely talented Oliver Coates (cello) and Ruth Palmer (violin) involved – and I got to record them at the rather fancy Strongroom studios in Shoreditch.
This is a real golden oldie, directed by Team Stush at Partizan back in 2006… half of them got food poisoning in the making of this.
I took the classic track ‘Hooray For Hollywood’ and remixed it adding a squelchy bass and some extra drums. Then I sampled the end of the track and automated the end point of the loop in Kontakt (sampler) until it became a pitched note, finally squawking to a finish as the fruit dance enters the can. Add sfx et voila! If that didn’t make sense, watch the film and that should clear things up.
This film was part of a series of films imagined and directed by Jane Laffey at Nickelodeon. I wrote the music and did the sound design and mix – it was a real pleasure to work on such inspiring stuff.
The voice is a recording of a kid and their true story, captured by Bold Creative and then animated to bring it to life. The film was recognised with a Bafta and Promax Gold award, testament to a great bit of film making!
I wrote this track with Saul Richards for Kream London… it’s a darn sight harder to whistle in tune than you imagine (I soon discovered). The final sound effects and mix were done by Chris Southwell, have a look: