james brown /// composer
james brown /// composer
james brown /// composer
james brown /// composer
james brown /// composer

Blog

In Real Life

I have composed the score to the new Australian work, In Real Life which premieres at Darlinghurst Theatre.

Julian Larnach’s In Real Life offers an unnerving portrait of our digital lives, a cautionary tale about our rapidly changing world where technology has pushed us beyond our moral compass and is rapidly breaking down societal norms.

In the not too distant future, Theresa is the CEO of a global digital company and inventor of the Drum, the world’s most popular personal device. One evening she argues with her daughter who walks out of their secluded holiday retreat and vanishes without a trace.

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REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN

I have composed the score to the Alice Birth Work of REVOLT at The Malthouse, directed by Janice Muller.

Revolt. She said. Revolt again. is a theatrical assault on the language that has reinforced violence against women* for centuries, and an explosion of what womanhood means in the 21st century.

In a series of equally funny and disturbing events—the everyday is turned upside down, dirty talk is stripped naked, a marriage proposal is interrogated, and nudity is embraced in the dairy aisle—playwright Alice Birch rallies language to revolt upon itself, commanding it to bear arms against the conventions of work, sex, motherhood, aging, and love

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‘… electric cast generate a riotous brilliance that will leave you buzzing’
-       Cameron Woodhead, The Age ★★★★

‘A testament to the strength of feminist performance in Australia’
-       Jane Howard, The Guardian

‘playful, provocative and shrewd’
-       Chris Boyd, The Australian

‘downright brilliant’
-       Kara Bertoncini, The Au Review

‘superb performances’
-       Tim Bryne, Time Out

‘daring and honest’
-       Victoria Beal, Broadway World

 ‘exciting and captivating’
-       Liddy Clark, Stage Noise

Frank Enstein

I have composed the score to the dance and theatre work “Frank Enstein” – produced by The Farm and Co3 Australia

Frank’s a lonely guy who wants to make his imaginary friends real. Harnessing electricity from a storm he animates his world with nothing but his imagination and a cardboard box. Battling a physical impairment, Frank creates monsters to fulfill his desire to be normal and to be accepted by others. Can he control what he creates? And where is the real monster anyway?

Frank Enstein is a retelling of the classic tale for children and adults – magical dance-theatre illuminating a path to self-acceptance. This is theatre as if made by Michel Gondry, handcrafted and full of the love of old fashioned techniques.

Bleach* Festival, Gold Coast Season presented by Bleach* Festival, The Farm, Co3 Australia and The Arts Centre Gold Coast
March 31- April 1, 2017
Tickets on Sale December 1 through www.theartscentregc.com.au
More info: https://theartscentregc.com.au/theatre/frank-enstein/

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A Faint Existence

I have composed the score to Kristina Chan’s work A Faint Existence, which premiered as part of Liveworks Festival 2016 at Carriageworks.

The stunning full-length solo debut from acclaimed Australian dancer-choreographer Kristina Chan, A Faint Existence is a powerful physical meditation on impermanence, fragility and mortality in the age of climate change. Chan’s performance explores our complex connection to the environment, our desire to make a change and the feelings of helplessness that derail our best intentions.

Kristina Chan is one of Australia’s foremost dance artists—a dancer of great precision, intuition and exceptional physical virtuosity. Acclaimed composer James Brown has created a live electronic score that connects to the intricacies of Chan’s choreography in a shifting environment created by Clare Britton.

http://performancespace.com.au/events/a-faint-existence

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Kristina Chan blows away audience in solo performance tackling climate change ★★★★★

“James Brown’s electronic soundscape takes us from threatening deep decibels to silence with great subtlety. The way all the elements of this piece have come together so coherently reflects the teamwork of the artform collaborators, including dramaturg Victoria Hunt.”

CONFORM

I composed the original score for Kristina Chan’s work CONFORM in New Breed 2015, by Sydney Dance Company

“Conform is one of the most powerful dance works of the year, lingering in the mind long after the performance has ended. Watching Conform, choreographed by Kristina Chan for the Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed season at Sydney’s Carriageworks, is a visceral experience. The electronic score by James Brown drills down deep into the body and brain.”  – dancelines 2015

http://dancelines.com.au/breed/

“Kristina Chan’s Conform, for eight men, is the standout. It sets a sombre mood in its exploration of pressures that are put on men, beginning with a subtly nuanced scene of slow physical crumbling that draws the viewer in.” Jill Skes – SMH

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/dance/new-breed-review-sydney-dance-company-gives-fresh-talent-room-to-move-20151209-glj0zv.html

“Set to composer James Brown’s dramatic, electronic war zone soundscape, Conform is bursting with formidable images, all devoid of empathy or love: the intimidating jolt of a shoulder in passing, the group descending on an individual, the gang that morphs into a military troupe marching mindlessly and subserviently in formation. The dancers enact the clichéd and empty routines of masculine gesturing.” –  Rebecca Whitton, Australian Stage 2015

http://www.australianstage.com.au/201512097533/reviews/sydney/new-breed-%7C-sydney-dance-company.html

The standout piece of the evening was Kristina Chan’s “Conform.” The work explores what it is to be a man in modern Western society. From a female choreographer, it is an interesting exploration. From the outset the work is intriguing, confronting and ultimately powerful. With Sydney Dance Company’s eight male dancers performing the piece, we watch as the work explores pack mentality, conformity, self-expression and the individual. It is perhaps the most innovative contemporary dance piece I have seen in Australia this year.  The highlight is a replacement scene, where each male dancer replaces another, each dancer rolling seamlessly off the stage, their replacement illuminated in a spotlight. It is intensely captivating but also offers moments of reflection. Contemporary choreography in Australia is in good hands, Chan is a rising star.” – Claudia Lawson, FJORD

 http://www.fjordreview.com/new-breed/

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Chasing Hope

I have composed the score and sound design for this short film about seeking asylum

“Chasing Hope”

Directed and Produced by James Brown and Bill Irving
Written and Edited by Bill Irving – vimeo.com/billirving
Cinematography by James Brown – jameslbrown.com.au
Production Designer – Ruby Challenger – rubychallenger.wordpress.com/
Composer and Sound Design – James P Brown – jamespeterbrown.com
1st AC – Anne-Sophie Marion
Colourist – Tristan La Fontaine – atthegrade.com.au
Drone – Jasper Glavanics – ground-control.tv
VO Sound Recordist – Steve Foy
Camera Equipment – River Road Films
Title Design – Brett Glover

Lake Disappointment

I composed the score and sound design for the show Lake Disappointment, which premiered at Carriageworks in April 2016

A new Australian work by Luke Mullins and Lachlan Philpott with collaborator James Brown and Director Janice Muller, Lake Disappointment plunges beneath the surface of an image obsessed world and strums an unnerving riff on contemporary identity.

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Review

Beautifully performed and powerfully staged, this is the most intriguing work of theatre in Sydney at the moment. You have until Saturday to see it.

http://carriageworks.com.au/events/lake-disappointment/

Broken

I composed the score and sound design for the play “Broken” at Darlinghurst Theatre.

Broken is a two times winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. It won Best Drama and is the first play ever to win the Literature Prize, one the most prestigious literary awards in Australia.

Broken is a powerful story of hope and human resilience in the face of adversity.

 


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Broken begins with a near fatal car crash in the Desert with Ash trapped in her car. Ash is rescued by a stranger and in that extreme moment of life and death they form a bond. The stranger however has a partner and they have recently lost their unborn child.

Supported by a moody underscore composed by James Brown, and Ben Brockman’s slow-fading lights, the effect is entrancing.
Director Shannon Murphy’s clever, stripped-back production makes this lyricism even more potent. It eschews a formal ‘set’, and each actor delivers their lines directly into hand-held microphones.
James Brown’s sound design is equally low fi and similarly powerful: a tray of scattered pebbles becomes the sound of Ham’s feet trudging through gravel to find Ash’s upturned car; popping bubble wrap recreates the crackling fire lit while they wait for the ambulance.
4/5 stars – Timeout 

A Brilliant Genocide

I have composed the score to the feature documentary “A Brilliant Genocide” which premiered in Los Angeles in April 2016

A DOCUMENTARY FILM REVEALING UNTOLD STORIES FROM THE 20 YEAR LONG WAR IN NORTHERN UGANDA BETWEEN JOSEPH KONY’S LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY (LRA) AND THE UGANDAN GOVERNMENT UNDER CURRENT PRESIDENT YOWERI MUSEVENI

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https://abrilliantgenocide.com/

Fallout 4

I designed the sound and music for these 7  videos for Bethesda’s Fallout 4.
The animation was produced by Rubber House Studio. I designed the sound to emulate a 50’s style public service announcement.
The videos were used in the game to teach players about different abilities and skills within the world of Fallout 4.

TANGI WAI

I composed the Live score to Tangi Wai – The Cry of Water

Victoria Hunt has drawn together an impressive creative team to investigate the transformative qualities of light, water, incantations and embodiment. Hunt has choreographed a company of eleven women in a striking work that explores the concept of Te Arai, a place of remembrances – bodies abandoned by spirit, urged by unknown forces

“Hunt’s dance is at once organic, suggestive of primordial times, and electrifying.”
– Julia Cotton, Sydney Morning Herald

Tangi Wai…the cry of water merges installation, theatre and dance – guided by Maori protocols and cosmology.

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 “The Sound Design of James Brown, has his imagination engaging like a sorcerer, sound and technical inventions from a multitudinous resource, thrusting the work forward propulsively and harnessing it, extraordinarily, within the atmospherics of mythical time, and still, yet, vibrating the constant evolutionary forces of the present. The aural impact was immersive and massive. I felt, was affected, to be a witness to a beginning of it ‘all’ in Time Present and Time Past, at once. The sense of TIME connect, association, with the fictional explanations of our homo sapiens ancestors as to the origins of nature, and the importance of the mist, water, still, now, nurturing the earth, underlined my seeping (once unconscious) panic as to its value and fragility in the eco-balance of our present days.”

Kevin Jackson – Theatre Diary

 

 

One Day for Peace

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I have composed the score for the Documentary “One day for Peace”

One Day for Peace was screened over two weeks in high pedestrian traffic locations across Western Sydney from 14–27 September 2015. The film was projected onto buildings, screens and in train stations in Auburn, Bankstown, Blacktown, Canley Heights, Liverpool, Mt Druitt and Parramatta.

In one of the most multicultural cities in the world, One Day For Peace takes us on a journey across the suburbs of Western Sydney to ask: what do you believe? This multi-faith, observational documentary combines everyday ritual with reflections on humanity, impermanence and social justice. An epic undertaking, One Day For Peace wrestles with some big (and not so big) questions inside homes, prayer houses and from the back seat of a taxi.

 

Animal People

I have composed the score along with Tom Hogan to the work “Animal People” – Directed by James Dalton

It Premiered at Bondi Pavilion in May 2015

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Good parents become bad people in Brooke Robinson’s new poetic thriller, Animal/People, a sweaty jog through a brutal suburbia, brought to life by director James Dalton (Kill the PM, Mr Kolpert).

Early one morning, a man abandons the victim of a brutal dog attack, while a woman uncovers a hidden secret in the x-rays of her patient.

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William Yang – Blood Links

Music score composed for the third documentary movie by William Yang

World premiere at GOMA, Brisbane in December as part of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival

Photographer William Yang traces the labyrinthine web of his family history in this adaptation of his iconic live performance piece. William was born and raised in North Queensland, his grandparents having migrated from the south of China in the 1880s to dig for gold. Yet it was not until mid-life that he claimed his Chinese heritage.

William’s transatlantic exploration of his genealogy unites him with scores of relatives from all walks of life, some rich, but most ordinary folk with menial jobs, and most cannot speak a word of Chinese.

A visual feast, Blood Links examines how the Chinese diaspora establish roots in foreign soil, and how over the generations, through intermarriage, blood is mixed; yet the intricate bonds of family remain.

http://www.felixmedia.com.au/william-yang-blood-links/

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Adult Swim

I have composed the music and sound design for these Adult Swim TV shorts, with animator team Rubber House

Top of the Lake

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I contributed score music for Jane Campion’s six part miniseries “Top of the Lake” which premiered at Sundance this year, which won one Emmy Award and 8 nominations in 2013

Here is a selection of scenes including my music from the show

Wine men of Gotham

I designed the sound and music for an Ad for a cute little TV Ad for Gotham Wines, replicating the 50s style of animation – which was animated by Rubber House

The Big Winner

I produced the sound and music for RubberHouse’s mini Animation “The Big Winner”

The Big Winner from Rubber House on Vimeo.

The Lee Ellroy Show

I composed the score to the live theatre/dance performance by SOIT in 2013 “The Lee Ellroy Show”

A VISCERAL AND WILD TRIP IN JAMES ELLROY’S DARK AND FASCINATING UNIVERSE

‘The Lee Ellroy Show’ is the new duet by choreographer Hans Van den Broeck. A compelling source of inspiration is the autobiographical novel ‘My Dark Places’ by James Ellroy. The American crime fiction writer was haunted by the loss of his mother and the unsolved circumstances in which she was murdered. He goes on a journey of wild and abundant excess and struggles to preserve his sanity.

The story is set in the 50’s. Divorced and lonely, James Ellroy’s mother moves to El Monte, part of the endless sprawl of greater Los Angeles. The new suburbia, isolated and eerie. A sordid boiling hot place risen from the dessert, a nowhere, where she was prone to meet other lost souls and eventually did. On a ‘cheap’ saturday night she met her killer, the ‘swarthy man’, a murderer who was never found. She had a night out on her own, a few drinks, a talk, a dance and was discovered in the early morning hours in the bushes of a small dirt-road. An existence halted in the grass, a life that never blossomed.

This sudden, traumatic disappearance condemns James Ellroy to a life-long search for the mother he never really knew, a loving mother.

He embarks on a disturbing journey; from a big mouthed young bully, to a shoplifting teenager, a voyeur and finally nearly losing his mind as a homeless young adolescent. About to tip over the cliff, he devotes himself to writing. It will be his salvation and a sublimation of the trauma, a life-long battle with the omen living inside him.

‘The Lee Ellroy Show’ is a visceral and wild trip in this dark and fascinating universe.

Hans Van den Broeck takes the powerful text by Ellroy as a starting point and uncovers the obsession rooted in the work. He takes us on a choreographic trip which combines haunting moments of pure dance with intense theatrical scenes.

He brings the cruel disappearance of Ellroy’s mother to the stage, creating a poetical universe in which chaos is ultimately transformed into a eulogy of love.

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Scope

I composed the music for Alice Topp’s work performed by the Australian Ballet, as part of the bodytorque program, at Sydney Theatre

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The video footage as produced by The Apiary

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Alice Topp, a company member who is becoming very comfortable with switching hats to choreographer, presented Scope. This work was the highlight of the program, danced by talented Chengwu Guo, Natasha Kusen and Karen Nanasca. The trio was cast perfectly, dancing like they shared a deep understanding of one another. The work incorporated projected pictures of each of the dancers onto three individual cycloramas. With inspiration drawn from a photographic exhibition and the idea of the human body as a vessel for our actual being, the work had a peaceful spirituality about it. Scope was captivating and just beautiful to watch.