Recently I was nominated for 2 AMPIA Awards for 2 original scores I composed that were released in 2015. I admit I don’t really follow awards too much, but I was still thrilled and flattered to be nominated. Composing for film is still a relatively new venture for me (I’ve scored 5 films so far) so I’m still very fresh and excited by it. I worked my ass off on those soundtracks and am proud of the work I did on them. To be acknowledged by my peers in this way gave me the feeling my prospects might be broadening.
The first nomination was for my soundtrack for “Invisible World” (Best Original Music Score for drama under 30 minutes) which is being released later this year by The National Film Board. The second was for a more political documentary piece about the crisis in seniors care in my home province of Alberta (titled “Numbers On A Page”/AUPE New Media).
I was up against some pretty established composers (like Kris Demeanor, Gary James Joynes and Alec Harrison) so I wasn’t kidding myself about winning, the nomination was enough already. Then as I was driving down to Calgary for the Rosie Awards Gala the thought occurred to me, what if I do win? Then I’ll have to give one of those acceptance speeches. “Oh fuck.” Anyway, the old musician instinct to practice kicked in so I started replaying in mind over and over what I might say for my speech. Then I felt like a real douche bag (I know that term has been officially decommissioned but it seems to fit here).
As they announced the nominees I admit I started to feel a bit uptight. Actually, I started to feel my heart pound in my chest (just a tiny bit okay?) and then there it was: my name up on all the screens, my soundtrack music playing and (gasp!) applause.
The speech went fine (I tried not to sound like a douche bag). After all, I just had say what I really felt which was a) I’m honoured by this and, b) thanks to everyone I worked with.
Two film scores I composed were recently nominated for Rosie Awards. Woot woot! My score for Invisible World (National Film Board) was nominated for Best Original Music Score (Drama under 30 minutes). The other nomination was for Best Original Music Score (Non-fiction over 30 minutes) for my soundtrack for “Numbers On A Page” (AUPE Communications/New Media).
Of all my musical endeavours, scoring and producing film music is my most recent passion, so, this really was an encouraging bit of news for me to receive. I am grateful to producers Bonnie Thompson (NFB) and Jeffrey David Buchanan (AUPE) for hiring me and giving me the opportunity to work on these – I love this work!
Studio Sessions for “Selkirk Range”
I own and operate a music production house located in Edmonton, Alberta called Spicy Tomato Music. I record and mix bands and songwriters, as well as compose film music.
I am always working on new music and new productions. I really just love music and feel incredibly fortunate to be playing and working on new music everyday.
Currently, I am working on final mixes of the debut GoldTop album as well as producing an EP by a singer/songwriter who goes by the moniker “Selkirk Range”.
GoldTop is my duo with the inimitable Edmonton based songwriter Alice Kos. We have been working on it for a while now, but it’s really come together in the last month or so. Drummer Mike Silverman laid down some fantastic drum tracks in December and Alice has been over to the studio a bunch of times over the last few months. I would actually go so far as to say it’s almost done. We are to the point of thinking release formats, dates and locations as well.
In the meantime, I have been working on the “Selkirk Range” EP. There are some really good songs here – can’t wait to to see where it all goes.
One of the films I composed music for last year is being screened this Thursday (Jan. 21, 2016, 6pm) at Telus Centre Lecture Theatre at the U of A. The short documentary film, which was written and directed by Heidi Janz and Eva Colmers, is entitled “We Regret To Inform You…” and is being released by The National Film Board. It was a real compliment to be approached to work on this together with a great team of kind and really talented people.
“In a check-box society that functions by dividing us into neatly-defined categories, where does someone with a strong mind and a weak body fit in? Dr. Heidi Janz – award-winning playwright, accomplished academic, and self-described ‘crip’ – has a curious problem. Despite her obvious physical limitations she is denied financial assistance from government programmes because of her “productive” mind. Following Heidi through her everyday life, with all its unique responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges, We Regret to Inform You… offers an unsentimental, and unapologetic, look at what it means to be both “disabled” and “productive”.”
I will be performing a couple of songs solo at the upcoming second showing of Eden Munro and Mike Siek’s NTT Films documentary “Dead Venues” at the Metro Cinema in Edmonton on Thursday July 16, 2015. Also performing that evening will be Sherry-Lee Heschel and Bob Prodor.
“Dead Venues” premiered to a packed house for the opening night of this year’s Global Visions Festival on May 8, 2015.
“City landscapes are littered with fallen music venues of every shape and size. Some old buildings still stand tall, bricks cracking, paint peeling more with every year, while others are marked only by the condos that cover their graves. Dead Venues explores the history of several of Edmonton’s shuttered venues and the communities that grew and evolved around them.”
There is live footage of my old band Idyl Tea in the film: first, playing live at The Ambo in March 1987; then performing at The Bronx (now The Starlite Room) for our cd release show in 1990.
The movie begins at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2015 at the Metro Cinema, 8712 109 St, Edmonton, AB T6G 1E9. Live performances occur during the intermission. Tickets available from TicketFly
VUE WEEKLY: Dead Venues Revisits The Bygone Concert Halls Of Edmonton
Manraygun will be performing as part of Highlandia Festival 2015 in Edmonton on June 20, 2015.
The Highlandia Festival is a truly unique neighbourhood festival set in historic Highlands, overlooking the North Saskatchewan river. The Festival will occur on June 20 from 2pm until 11pm and is located in Edmonton at Henry Martell Park, 65 Street & Ada Boulevard. For more information check out the website: http://www.highlandiafest.com
2015 Music Lineup: BORYS, ManRayGun, Bix Mix Boys, Bombproof the Horses, Dave Locky
Catch ManRayGun live at the Blue Chair on Friday, February 13, 2015 for the band’s yearly Family Day Weekend show . Tickets available in advance from the Blue Chair.
Meanwhile Goldtop will be sharing the bill with Kat Danser at The Full Moon Folk Club on February 27, 2015.
I’ve been composing film music like a madman over the last several months – so challenging, so inspiring! Also making steady progress on new GOLDTOP recordings with Alice Kos (more on that later).
I have been offered composing contracts for 3 films in quick succession this year – a huge compliment and welcome challenge for me. The first is an interactive web based short film called “Invisible World” which will be released by the National Film Board of Canada. Years ago I composed music for the NFB film “Red Run”, so it was great to resume working with the kind and inspiring folks over at the NFB on a new film, but, this time with a ton of new skills and experience that I’ve accumulated over the last decade. Within a couple weeks of finishing work on Invisible World, I was approached to compose a few musical themes for an endearing indie film documentary entitled “Brothers in Buddha” (which also features music by fellow Edmontonians Shout Out Out Out Out). I had just finished that and was on a family vacation on the west coast in July when I was offered a third film music contract – holy shit! Yay! I’m loving this work – I want to do more! On all three films I’ve had the great pleasure of working with and learning from sound designer John Blerot.
Meanwhile on the weekends my dear friend Alice Kos and I have been squeezing in some studio time to work on some new Goldtop tunes for our upcoming debut release entitled “You Possess Me”. We have 5 songs tracked so far and a bunch of new ones ready to go. Stay tuned for details on upcoming live performances.
May 4th, 2014
Sherry-Lee & The Etheric Fuzz Band
featuring: Sherry-Lee Heschel, Tom Murray, Fat Dave Johnston, Tanyss Nixi, James Patterson, Shaun Hosegood, Everett LaRoi
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