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composition for dance

all the walls that i bang my head against are inside my head
for Saju Hari

To complement Saju's new trio 'Outside In', commissioned by the Royal Opera House (July 2007). 

featuring Chandra Kargupta and Giriram Gopal

Voice: Chandra Kargupta
Mridangam: Giriram Gopal
Arrangement: Mukul
Music for a short dance film, "Boundless Sky". Hindustani classical singer Chandra Kargupta and mridangam player Giriram Gopal separately followed a rough cut of the film. We did three takes for each musician – the first was also the first time that they'd seen the film. Graham Sutton did the recording at Regent Studios. I mixed the three alaps together, overdubbed them, and arranged and tweaked the percussion takes to try and make something that would work with the film. A lot of compromises had to be made, yet somehow the track maintains integrity.

for Russell Maliphant Company – EXCERPT 1,
Cello: Jenni Redstone
My first piece for Russell, working with a company of five dancers and long-time collaborator Michael Hulls on lights. And a headfirst dive into Russell's extraordinary process. I think we were finished in time for the première... The music has four movements; the third is a version of presence (originally made for Akram Khan / The Ballet Boyz). Jenni overdubbed some cello in that section, and the sound of her hammering with the bow is the starting material and signature for the first and last movements. The second part has a Central Asian theme.

foliage creep
for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company

The site-specific piece, Foliage Chorus, was made for the opening of the Hendon Artsdepot, 2004. She said: Mondrian meets Bollywood. This is the Mondrian half... but it's actually more Paul Klee, if any painter (Twittering Machine).

for Saju Hari

Built around an interview conducted by Saju (cover star of Attakkalari, poster boy for the South Bank!). Premiered at Resolutions 2004, The Place, London. Later performances used a condensed version of this track, with an introduction of Kodo drummers.

for Attakkalari

Stereo mix of the quadraphonic sound work for Attakkalari's Trafalgar Square performances (August 2007).

for Akram Khan / The Ballet Boyz

For Critics Choice***** at the South Bank – the segment choreographed by Akram Khan. Akram asked me to make some music after we were on the same forum (South Asian Aesthetics Unwrapped!). I wanted to use only voice, but he insisted on only strings. I thought he'd like the odd time signature – the Ballet Boyz did not take kindly to it (after he'd finished taking them through a few spins). Michael, I think it was: "like Michael Nyman meets Jaws". Unintentionally so (the inspiration was from something quite different). The choreography involved an interview with Akram (reenacted by the Michael and Billy), and the volume was very low to allow the speech to be heard. Later – in a club in Taipei – I played the piece for Akram at the volume I thought it worked at – and I think he agreed.

for Vena Ramphal

Another piece for dance on film, for Capture at the ICA (2004). This time, I was involved in the process from the shoot to the final edit (by Vitafilms / Roswitha Cheshire). The sonic material is limited to recordings of the dancers' bodies as they perform the piece live. Graham Sutton did miracles in the recording and noise reduction (try recording the sound of skin with aircraft continually flying over). The breaths, skin rubs, footsteps and costume rustles were then processed into a soundtrack for the film.

for Russell Maliphant Company – PART 1,
Currently (2006) in the Company's repertoire. Includes versions of renumber and music for 8mm (mi-x). Catch it where you can...

for Russell Maliphant / Le Ballet de l'Opéra de Lyon – EXCERPT

Lyon: gastronomic capital (I witnessed a smash-and-grab raid on an exclusive chocolatier). France: sonic powerhouse (she's in charge of the system at the Opéra – the finest theatre system I've heard). The third side of the triangle: choreographers and composers, dancers and choreographers, but dancers and composers? At the Opéra, the dancers are often not even entitled to a copy of the music. Some good words from Michael Pomero (then with Russell's company) while suffering after a typical Lyonnais night revealed a direction. Sound sources include a giant cowbell, a singing bowl, a steel pot (played underwater in the bathtub and recorded with a hydrophone) – the Apart'hotel was good for something!). Kamancheh. I thought I had a grip on the piece and then Russell tried out the middle section (Bali) with Eminem... and Doris Day... I had to deploy a Max/MSP breakpoint scrub-sampler to battle against such heavyweights. When in Lyon, don't miss Cassoulet Whisky Ping Pong et Backgammon – the best whisky bar on the planet, and it's not even a whisky bar. Gratin gratin gratin. Grenouille ramier. Perec.

Sound for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Ballet Black, and Christopher Wheeldon's Electric Counterpoint at the Royal Opera House (2008 and 2010).  

Sound for Shamita Ray many more me commissioned by  IFONLY / Legitimate Bodies Dance Co. Ireland (2011).