Film music scored by NZSM students


Te Koki New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) students have composed music for four short films.

As part of a collaboration between Toi Whakaari’s film programme, the NZSM composition programme and Director James Ashcroft, the films will premiere at a screening at The Embassy in early November.

Three NZSM postgraduate composition students—Ewan Clark, Briar Prastiti, Michael Riddell—and recent graduate Tristan Carter have each scored music for the films, supported by audio recording and production students from NZSM.

Ewan who is a PhD student in film music scoring, composed the music for Let Down Your Hair (pictured above)—written and directed by James Ashcroft. He says that it has been a very rewarding film to score.

“Being a psychological horror, the story largely occurs within the mind of the protagonist, Melanie.

“Her thoughts, memories and emotions are not always entirely portrayed by words and images, so my music—together with sound design by Evee Telfar—helps to provide the audience with a more complete impression of Melanie's foray into a very extreme mental state. Music also provides much needed continuity as the film cuts between three spatio-temporal locations.”

For Ewan, the process was very satisfying.

“I really enjoyed collaborating with James, as he communicated his intentions very effectively, yet was also open to a variety of approaches. The end result looks and sounds great.”

Film music scoring, as well as film sound production, which includes sound design, is a notable feature of the composition programme at NZSM, and an area in which the programme is fast growing, says Dr Dugal McKinnon, Director of Lilburn Studios at NZSM.

This year a Master’s project by NZSM student Grayson Gilmour won the Best Original Music in a Feature Film Award at the APRA Silver Scrolls Awards.

“The excellent outcomes of this year’s collaborations with Toi Whakaari are indicators both of the quality of the programme, and the strength of interest in film music and sound amongst students,” says Dugal.

The films will screen on Monday 2 November at 6.30pm at Embassy Theatre—koha entry.

Further information: 

For more information, see the Toi Whakaari Facebook page.

Written by

New Zealand School of Music

23 Oct 2015