Dr Miguel Mera has devised and developed a new audiovisual dance piece for which he has composed the music. It will receive it first performances on the 10th and 11th July at the Laban Theatre. Working with choreographer Tony Thatcher, filmmaker Bruno Mathez and a company of 24 dancers, the piece explores notions of identity as seen through the lens of the diasporic Galician-British community. Galicia is a rural region in the North West of Spain that depends economically on fishing and agriculture. The word morriña has no direct English equivalent but can be described as the despondency caused by the nostalgic longing for one’s lost homeland. The word is intimately linked to large numbers of Galicians who were driven by poverty or lack of opportunity to migrate in successive waves from the mid-19th century onwards.
Dr Miguel Mera has given a series of lectures for the International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC) at the University of Turku, Finland. During his week-long visit he gave presentations on the manipulation of the human voice in contemporary popular music, mashup principles employed in recent film scores, and approaches to scoring silent films. He also advised several PhD students on their research as part of the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology’s annual Marrasseminaari. Dr Mera’s visit is part of an Erasmus exchange scheme that will welcome Professor John Richardson to City University London in February 2014.
MA Composing for Moving Images student Nico Casal Ares has won a prestigious Jerry Goldsmith award in the ‘promotional film’ category. The competition aimed at young film composers is in its 8th year and is part of the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cine (International Film Music Festival) held in Cordoba, Spain. Nico’s award-winning score for the MAC Museum of Contemporary Art can be seen here.
The winners and nominees pictured at the award ceremony in Cordoba, Spain (Nico is second from the left back row).
As part of the BBC Proms season the Head of the Centre for Music Studies, Dr Miguel Mera, took part in a Proms Plus discussion focusing on the use of music in films set in outer space. Recorded in front of an audience at the Royal College of Music, an edited version of the conversation with presenter Matthew Sweet and fellow composer Anna Meredith was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the interval of the film music Prom on Saturday 31st August and can be heard on the BBC iPlayer until 7th September.
Exploring the approaches composers and filmmakers have taken when representing dark matter, alien environments or distant planets, discussion topics included 1950s science fiction cinema, the uses of music technology, and films such as Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Cameron’s Alien.
Dr Miguel Mera introduced two classic 1950s science fiction film as part of the Pioneers of Electronic Music Festival. Speaking about The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and Forbidden Planet (1956) Dr Mera highlighted the innovative approaches taken by the composers and the significance of the scores in cinematic and electronic music history.
MA Composing for Moving Images student Antonio Ballestin Liarte has won joint first prize in the Italy Percussion Competition for his percussion ensemble piece Highway Soundscapes. The 15 minute piece is based on the composer’s own experience of driving more than 600 km on different motorways every week during last three years. Through the four seasons and different hours of the day, the roads offered changing landscapes that gave inspiration for the piece. Highway Soundscapes was also selected for the Tromp International Percussion Competition in Eindhoven.
The first performance of the work took place on the 30th May 2010 in Rotterdam at the Lantaren Venster Theatre.
PhD student Marios Aristopoulos composed the music for the short film Archadapting, An evolution to the past which is being screened in the Architecture Biennale in Venice from 29th August to 25th November 2012, as part of the Spanish Pavilion.
Marios was also sound designer for the Summer Shorts Theatre Festival that took place at the 59E59 Theatres near Central Park, New York. It included premieres of new works by major American playwrights such as Neil Labute and Wendy Kesselman. Click for more information or read the review in the New York Times.
Dr Miguel Mera gave a presentation entitled ‘audiovisual composition: functional, narrative and aesthetic criteria’ (La creacion musical para el audiovisual: criterios esteticos narrativos y funcionales) at the International University of Andalucia. The event was held in the beautiful town of Baeza which is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains the best-preserved examples of Renaissance architecture in Spain.
Dr Mera’s presentation, which discussed various aspects of film composition practice, provided some insights into the dynamics between objectives, processes and final results.
Pictured (from left to right): Dr Kiko Mora (Universidad de Alicante), Professor Philip Tagg (University of Huddersfield), Dr Eduardo Viñuela Suárez (Universidad de Oviedo), Dr Miguel Mera (City University), Cande Sánchez Olmos (Universidad de Alicante), Dr Teresa Fraile Prieto (Universidad de Extremadura), Dr Joaquin López González (Universidad de Granada).
MA Composing for Moving Images student William Robinson has created a game app for the iPhone entitled Teething which is now available to download. The retro game uses blocky graphics and ‘chiptunes’ sounds to reference nostalgic 1980s arcade games. The game features a tooth that is attacked by falling sweets in the manner of Space Invaders. Getting hit by the sugary foes causes the tooth to dissolve, but toothpaste ‘power ups’ will restore health.
MA Filmmaking tutor Bruno Mathez is working with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and UK popular music stars on the Urban Classic music extravaganza. Conducted by Jules Buckley, the BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform new arrangements by Jason Yarde and Ayanna Witter-Johnson along with orchestral pieces. The new arrangements feature breakthrough anthems, top hits and exciting new material from multiple Brit and MOBO Award-winner Ms Dynamite, N-Dubz producer Fazer, ‘baby of the Grime scene’ Devlin and London MC Skepta. The four artists will also collaborate and perform on stage together. Bruno will be vision-mixing the event with five cameras to create images that will be edited into a 10 minute documentary. The concert will also be broadcast live on two 9-metre-long LED screens. MA Composing for Moving Images student Ibrahim Sidede will act as a camera assistant for this event.