Tortoise in Love awarded Best Original Score
Yesterday (14th Jan) I received news that my score to Tortoise in Love has won the best original score at the 2013 Idyllwild Cinemafest in California. I’m very excited and obviously extremely happy to receive this award!
Solo Piano - with an Italian flavour
I performed a programme of piano solos to entertain hundreds of diners for two hours at Wolfson College Oxford’s Winter Party - with an Italian Masked Ball theme. I included a range of jazz styles as well as carefully chosen works by Puccini, Mendelssohn as well as Venetian gondola songs.
Three Character Pieces for Brass Quintet: performance 7th October 2012
at St Nicholas Church, Abingdon, Oxfordshire by the Alfredson Brass Quintet, as part of the 2012 Abbey Chamber Concert Series
Tortoise In Love: DVD released
20th September 2012 on sale on Amazon and iTunes, and for download
One Equal Music: first performance 9th June 2012
My four-part "a capella" choral setting of the famous John Donne text (One Equal Music) was premiered yesterday at Great St. Mary's Church Cambridge by the Choir of Jesus College Cambridge, conducted by Mark Williams as part of a memorial service for my father, Sir Alan Cottrell, a former master of the college. You can now hear this performance on my Music page.
Tortoise in Love: Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square 24th May 2012
A convoy of coaches, a tractor and eight hundred villagers from Kingston Bagpuize made their way to London to see the premiere of Tortoise In Love. Well done Guy Browning for getting the film premiered at the Odeon Leicester Square!
It looked and sounded great!
Tortoise in Love: Cinema release date!
Following an agreement with Rialto Film Distribution, it has been announced that Tortoise in Love will be released in cinemas in Australia and New Zealand on 26th June 2012! Let's hope it spreads further as well!
Solo Piano Show
Solo piano Jazz gig where I entertained a record five hundred diners for two hours at Wolfson College Oxford’s Winter (themed) Ball. The theme was “Speakeasy”. I included many styles from the 1920s and 1930s, including Ragtime (Scott Joplin), Early Jazz (Jelly Roll Morton) and Boogie Woogie (Albert Ammons).
The Benyounes String Quartet
The Benyounes String Quartet brilliantly played my “Tango For May” at Dartington International Summer School.
Tortoise in Love at Cannes Film Festival
Follow this link to see the video.
Plenty of villages can boast a strong community spirit and a thriving amateur dramatic scene. Many are content to make do with an annual show in the village hall. But at Kingston Bagpuize in Oxfordshire they've produced their own feature film called Tortoise in Love. This weekend it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Rachel Hepworth talked to Steffan Aquarone; Guy Browning, writer and director; Simon Dando, production team and actor; Pat Dando, production team and actress; Jan Carlisle, production designer; and Ginny Grant of Kingston Bagpuize House.
New Website for Tortoise in Love
Click here and have a look!
Tortoise in Love: Score composition complete!
Shooting of the film finished in Summer 2009 and post-production of the film has been taking place throughout 2010. Quite a bit of the original score from late 2009 needed to be changed to fit in with the more recent structural changes. This process is now done!
Quote from Director Guy Browning: Yesterday I sat down with the sound guys and listened to the final sound edit including all your music. It all sounds absolutely fantastic. All the music works perfectly now and the whole soundtrack has a variety and consistency of quality that will make it a standalone pleasure to listen to.
New Composition available online
I have just uploaded a video of me playing a new composition: “Good Evans” on piano - a tribute to the great jazz pianist Bill Evans. You can listen and watch here:
A Great Review of White Bird
Geoff Cottrell and Paul Dunmall's White Bird is the ultimate late night chill-out soundscape – but wait, before you dismiss this album as yet more new age audible wallpaper, listen on, listen again. White Bird has all the substance missing from most music to drift with. The most juicy sax, and the kind of piano you only dream of discovering in the early hours, wafting out of a bar long after closing, while the jaded players gets down to their own soulful stuff, far too personal for the punters. And then, just when you think you have the measure of it, White Bird throws in the unexpected, echoes from some other place, other worlds, don’t get to chilled, this album is full of shifts to keep you listening while being lulled into forgetting the troubles of your own turbulent day. Enjoy!
- David Popham
A first performance and another solo piano Jazz gig - this time a charity concert at St Edward’s School Oxford.
The first performance was of my new carol “Lully Lullay - Coventry Carol” for solo voice and piano (with opera singer Joanna Campion (mezzo soprano) and Jo Marks (piano).
A recording is available - please feel free to contact me if you'd like to hear it.
Also sprach Zarathrustra
I recently played to several hundred diners at Wolfson College Oxford’s Christmas (themed) Ball. The theme was about Intergalactic Space.
So I opened with my own arrangement of Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathrustra” (music from 2001 - A Space Odyssey) which really blew them away!
First use of Sundome Music (see Blog for 10 Feb 2010) was very successful! A quote from Joana Silva, CCFE Sundome tutor: “The new music is fantastic. It adds enormously to the overall impact of our projects and we’re very pleased. Thank you, Geoff.”
There was an interesting performance “event” two evenings ago at Wolfson College, Oxford, exploring the correspondence between hearing and vision. Artist Mark Rowan-Hull (the college’s Creative Arts Fellow) painted six canvases while virtuoso oboist Chris Redgate (Royal Academy of Music Research Fellow), and violinist and composer Roger Redgate (Head of Composition at Goldsmiths College) improvised music.
Mark is billed as a visual artist who works mostly live in performance with music. His work has evolved partly through his own joint practice as an artist and musician and through his own unique experience of seeing music and hearing colour as one.
The music belonged firmly to the “New Complexity” style and in this case was improvised expertly involving a whole range of advanced playing techniques such as microtonality, irregular rhythms etc. all of which make it very difficult to notate in the conventional manner. Indeed, Redgate in the ensuing discussion, talked about the imprisonment of the contemporary composer by the 5-line stave. In fact the music reminded me of some “free” modern jazz (e.g. Keith Tippett’s “Dartington Concert“ which I was fortunate to be able to record for release by EG in 1992 - see my Biog).
What was interesting for me was the relationship of the spontaneous music and the growth of the image painted on canvas. In fact the players, in turn, were responding to the way the image was evolving during performance. So a truly muti-disciplinary event took place. The degree of collaboration also improved as the number of canvases grew! By about the fifth one the trio were working well together.
My thoughts on all this? Certainly an impressive shared experience for the audience (there were about 50 present, quite a good number for a contemporary music concert). It seems to me that the visual artist was, in some sense, recording the twists and turns of the music - in effect removing the element of TIME from the music and squashing its time sequence down on canvas as a 2D “flattened” representation (in colour). Thus it remains long after the acoustic music has finished. One question for me is: could these musicians later re-use the canvas as a “graphic score” to generate a second music performance? And if they could, could the artist also then paint a new canvas at the same time? The chain of events in this algorithm could be endless!!
Is this a genuine graphic score? Well, unlike conventional music notation, this canvas medium certainly seems too ambiguous for a detailed and EXACT note-by-note recreation of the performance - but it does capture a certain mood. I suspect that in the right hands and in the right circumstances musicians would be able to extract the implied mood and be inspired to make a new performance. I am sorry I don’t have a picture of one of the canvasses to show here.
Recording Sessions - Tortoise in Love
Recording sessions for the music soundtrack of the Guy Browning film “Tortoise in Love” at the RNCM (Manchester).
Culham Choir concert
Performance of Carol Lute-Song Lullaby by Culham Choir Christmas concert conducted by Andrew Darke.
© Geoff Cottrell 2013. All rights reserved.