NIX Christmas Advert- Original Music

Hope you’re feeling in a Christmassy heartwarming mood because here’s a short animation I scored for NIX. The film was produced by Cass Productions who brought me on board to write some original music for this rather special animation. NIX wanted to make something a bit more special than ‘just’ and advert and I think the result is really beautiful.

Playing minor in a major way…

Originally published on IevaKuniskis.com

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© Judita Kuniskyte

As a seasoned composer for contemporary dance, I’ve been asked a few abstract things in my time, but Ieva’s request to me this week at The Point has to go down as one of my absolute favourites!

We have a section in They Live Next Door affectionately titled the Man Waltz, because the music is actually based on an Argentinian tango (which is obviously more manly than a waltz). After running the section in rehearsal Ieva (fully assured of the rationality of her request) asked me if I could play it so that it sounded more major but still in a minor key, which I couldn’t help but laugh at, particularly because it followed her direction to the dancers to speak less in order to say more.

On a more serious note the duet is shaping up to be a really powerful and beautiful piece, and it was lovely to get such positive feedback from our sharing with The Point staff on Friday. Nick Minns and Mark Boldin are absolutely fantastic performers.

Next week we’re off to Theatre in the Mill Bradford, to put the final touches on all the sections, transitions and finer details. All of the music is written now, so it’s just about making sure that the music and the sound design really support Ieva’s vision for the piece.

Watch this space…

Dougie
PS. I did manage make it sound more major, whilst playing in the minor key, in case you’re wondering…

Night at the Theatre with Tim Casson and Stopgap Dance

Last week I finished my second contemporary dance soundtrack of the year. This time it was for the lovely and talented Tim Casson who has made a family friendly piece on Stopgap‘s SG2 Company, called Night at the Theatre.

It’s a show about three unlikely characters (Hannah Sampson, Nadenh Poan and Connor Quill) accidentally stumbling into a theatre and becoming the stars of their own show. It has some hilarious moments in it, and some really beautiful dancing.

The set and lighting design is spectacular- creating the beautiful illusion of an old abandoned  theatre. I’ve tried to match this with a sound design which includes creaking floorboard, and a draughty atmosphere. When the music for each section fades away the characters are always left in this sound design.

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Me (left) watching the dancers rehearse

Some of the highlights are Dan’s dreamy solo (pictured at the top) which I created a track with windchimes and glockenspiels for, and Hannah’s Disco which has more funk than you can shake a stick at.

SG2 are an integrated dance company run by Stopgap, which means that their dancers are a mix of disabled and non-disabled dancers. I’ve worked with Nadenh and Hannah before when we worked with George Adams on Integrance a European cultural commission for disabled dancers. Both Hannah and Nadenh are really skilled dancers, so it was great to work with them again, and inspiring to see how much they continue to improve.

Hannah was recently featured in a BBC article praising her abilities as a dance teacher with Down’s Syndrome.

Here are some shots I took during production week.

 

Weightless gets the heavy treatment

Military Helicopters, distorted Electronica, and Cello can only mean one thing…

Yep, Yael Flexer’s back on tour, and with it goes my international collaboration with Isreali Cellist and Composer Karni Postel.

The soundtrack is a massive array of sound, building all the way from quiet melancholic drones to a huge rumbling of twenty helicopters overhead. It also features some driving electronica beats, and immersive Cello playing from Karni.

Weightless had its Premiere at Salisbury Art Centre last month, and is now touring across the UK.

 

JJ+DE web launch

Jerrel Jackson & Dougie Evans new website goes live at www.jjde.co.uk After a successful photoshoot with Natalie Rowland, we have the official Instinct promotional shot. The Jerrel Jackson & Dougie Evans company is the forming of a long term collaboration into a company that reflects their commitment to creating work together.

Jerrel Jackson & Dougie Evans

Things are really shaping up for the full scale launch of Jerrel Jackson & Dougie Evans. Firstly we are in this year’s Resolution! 2011 at The Place in London; an annual showcase of emerging dance companies that has seen the debut of many great companies.

We will perform the Debut of ‘Instinct’ in the Robin Howard Theatre at The Place on the 20th of January 2011.

Secondly, No Strings Attached a scheme by Farnham Maltings are supporting the production and touring of this piece and we are extremely grateful to them for their support.

Keep your eyes peeled for an imminent website launch, publicity, and rehearsal updates.

Ludus Dance feature on Article 19

Article 19 has featured a video of Consequences by Ludus Dance, including footage of my soundtrack to Yael Flexer’s piece What If?

http://www.article19.co.uk/hdvideo2/ludus_dance_consequences.php

The triple-bill format is a new departure for Ludus Dance, and Consequences features the work of three of the UK’s biggest names in choreography.

Nigel Charnock, celebrated for repeatedly breaking new ground, brings you a thunderously chaotic chunk of dance theatre that explores the effects of order and chaos on our lives, whilst poking fun at the self-destructing tendencies of our fame hungry society.

Yael Flexer, renowned for connecting with audiences on a human level, reveals a very different interpretation on the theme. Her choreography sees the four dancers caught up in the ripple effect of their own decisions as they create a show before your very eyes.

Meanwhile, Ben Wright, director of bgroup dance company and internationally recognised choreographer, explores fragmented histories, and calls us to seize the moment… NOW!

Aimed at young people and first-time dance audiences, Consequences has wide appeal and is set to entertain through a pulse-racing mix of jaw-dropping dance, theatre and music.

Video Feature:

Trailer for Consequences:

 

What If? By Yael Flexer

After 3 weeks of rehearsals Yael Flexer has finished What If? her piece for Ludus Dance’s latest touring production, Consequneces- a new triple-bill touring production from Ludus Dance, choreographed by Nigel Charnock, Yael Flexer & Ben Wright. The production will premier at Nuffield Theatre Lancaster on Friday 10th September 2010.

Most of the music has been finished now, and is just having the final touches added to it. Its a crunched up mixture of electronic sounds, beats and synths, with some distorted Cello and Violin.

Successful Strings

Many thanks to Nico Millar and Tim Scarlett for their superb string playing. The two have been in the studio recording ideas, phrases notes and sounds for my new compossition for Ludus Dance. The piece explores the theme of consequences, and will be set to choreography by award winning Choreographer Yael Flexer.