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