It was a lovely surprise to see I’d been named by British Independent Film Awards as one of their Top 5 female composers, alongside Nainita Desai, Anne Nitiken, Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch and Penelope Trappes.
Ready for Pride month, there is a new trailer for March for Dignity, the film I finished scoring earlier in the year. It will be shown as Tbilisi’s contribution to Global Pride , a worldwide online event in place of pride marches, on 27 June.
I have several tracks on the newly released Cinematic Choir albums, produced by Cavendish Music. This was my first time writing production music, and it was such a great project to work on – I was really given free creative reign!
The music was recorded by the Latvian Radio Choir in Riga (I was on my composing residency at the Britten Foundation so listened in remotely) and by Shards in London.
The release consists of three albums — Odyssey, Rituals and First Contact. For the latter I composed Gold on the Horizon and Floating Hordes, where I layered various phrases and motifs, sometimes digitally manipulated, to create eerie, otherworldly textures and atmosphere.
My new piece, Black Leaf, commissioned by Kamilla Arku and Dhyani Heath, was due to be premiered by the duo in Cambridge in May, with further concerts in London and Paris. Instead they performed a wonderful online concert, Kamilla from Berlin joining Dhyani from Productions Chez Nous in Paris. In a varied programme Kamilla and Dhyani performed a sampler of the piece, beautifully playing movements II and IV. Black Leaf will be presented in its entirety when it’s possible to have live concerts again —
Black Leaf is inspired by the photograph above, taken by my Australian friend Antonia Baldo, who found these leaves on her doorstep one morning — a sign of the approaching Bush fires.
Just before lockdown I finished the music for a fantastic new feature documentary, March for Dignity, directed by John Eames. The film follows a group of activists trying to organise a Pride march in Tbilisi, Georgia, where they face constant and sometimes dangerous opposition.
For the score I recorded live trumpet, strings and drums.
I’m thrilled to say that the Hebrides Ensemble will premiere a new work for string trio, Green Deva at St Magnus International Festival in June this year.
I started some sketches for this piece last year, a version of which became a movement in my Approach piano suite. Now I am developing and extending the piece for string trio. Green Deva is inspired by the painting of the same name by my late father, Benjamin Creme and depicts the green devas, or angels in Esoteric philosophy.
The Hebrides Ensemble will perform the trio in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, as part of a varied programme of 20th and 21st century music, including works by Judith Weir and Penderecki.
For the third time Mark Kermode will play some of my music on his film music show on Scala Radio. Today, Saturday 22 February, 1-3pm, available for a week online.
Mark plays film classics, current cinema score releases and also champions less-known composers (like me!) A few weeks ago he played two cues from Poppies and today it’s two mostly electronic tracks, ‘Lost in London’ from My Friend the Polish Girl and ‘Penny’ from Crocodile.
On 6 February there is a screening of I Do Not Want to Smoke, a fascinating short film by Steven Sheil. Towards the end of last year I composed a solo piano score for the film, which is based on a Soviet script, published in 1936 but never produced.
The unprecedented ‘war on smoking’ unleashed in early Soviet Russia combined anti-tobacco propaganda with innovative cessation therapies. One of the most distinctive methods developed by the Soviet state to combat smoking and cultivate healthy habits and behaviours was film hypnotherapy.
I Do Not Want to Smoke brings to life one of the world’s first experiments in using the cinema as a means of psychotherapeutic treatment. The film showcases the techniques used to educate the public about the dangers of nicotine and to impart mass suggestions about smoking cessation.
Funded by the Wellcome Trust, I Do Not Want to Smoke sheds light on the intersection between cinematic technology, medicine, and programmes of mind/body transformation.
Steven produced & directed IDNWTS with Dr Anna Toropova, a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, who will introduce it in Bristol as part of a project called Life Of Breath.
6 February 2020, 5.30 PM – 6 February 2020, 6.30 PM, Room G5, 3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB