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.