Woodvines upcoming performances

Sunday March 15th in duo with Stefan Van den Bossche 7:30 - 9:30 Waters edge restaurant BougainvilleaHotel

March 28th and 29th Harrison College Mosaic II at the Frank Collymore hall

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Beautiful girls and music (what more could anyone want?)

In April of 2012 I had the good fortune to be asked by Frances-anne Solomon to join the Caribbean Tales film festival as an assistant coordinator for a three day film composition workshop.
The workshop, sponsored by the National Cultural Foundation and hosted by noted Canadian film composer John Welsman was designed as a collaboration between Barbadian/Caribbean film directors and composers. While assisting NCF Coordinator Annette Nias, I was also (thankfully) able to participate! 
John Welsman began by describing the roles and relationships between directors and composers, and took us through the nuts and bolts of a spotting session. A spotting session is a meeting between a film director and composer, where they work out the musical needs of the film. During the workshop the directors and composers were divided into pairs and, with the helpful and experienced guidance of John Welsman, we proceeded to have individual spotting sessions using short video clips provided by the director participants. 


Imagine my delight when I was presented with this exciting clip by Maria Fitzpatrick and Nicholas King of MarNiko media. Filmed as a part of the Miss Barbados 2011 Beauty pageant, the clip featured contestants acting out a 'tongue in cheek' spy/action movie sequence.
My direction from Maria and Nicholas was to make the music sound like a Hollywood action film. With only two days to complete the project, the schedule was tight! However, I managed to create something that I felt was appropriate to the director's instructions and the film.

I actually started composing material for the middle 'dropped handbag' sequence first, and then worked back towards the beginning of the cue. I used techniques learned from my Berklee College online film scoring and orchestration courses to put the music together. My goal as a composer is to collaborate with regional film producers to create great sounding Caribbean films. Special thanks to all those mentioned above for a fantastic workshop!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A fishy story

Well now, what would a blog be without a fishy story? Especially a story with several possible morals...
Last week, armed with fishing rods and bait, my two sons and I spent a lovely afternoon at the Barbados Hilton beach. It's a beautiful spot, complete with a long stretch of rocks that is very inviting for young fishermen. I should explain that although I bought rods for my kids, I don't fish myself, preferring instead to enjoy the atmosphere and keep an eye on my young men as they explore nature and learn about patience.
As I was floating in the sea doing my best impersonation of a pale aging jellyfish, my reverie was interrupted by an eruption of excitement from the fishing camp. My eldest son liam had caught a fish and not just any fish, oh no! Liam had caught one of these...
(photos courtesy of Janice Cumberbatch - Campbell)

Fortunately, Liam, having spent a good portion of his life watching nature programs on the TV, recognized that he had caught a stonefish!

According to Wikipedia, the highly dangerous stonefish is one of the most venomous fishes in the world and can be fatal to humans! Doesn't every parent want to see one of these dangling from their child's fishing rod? The venom is secreted from glands at the base of their needle-like dorsal fin spines which stick up when disturbed or threatened.
Needless to say this was not a happy fish. The stonefish, derives it's name from the  ability to camouflage itself with a grey and mottled color similar to the color of a stone. Swimmers may not notice them, and may inadvertently step on them, triggering a sting.

Treatments for a Stonefish sting include the application of hot water to the affected area (over 45 degrees Celsius), anti-venom and morphine for the pain. 

Here's a happy tourist's account of an encounter with one of these spiny faux rocks.

The good news was that Liam had the great sense not to touch it and we delicately tossed it back to it's watery home.

The moral of this story could be - let your kids watch lots of TV! especially nature programs.

The following week we went back to the same beach and all Liam caught was a baseball cap (XL, full of seaweed). I couldn't decide if I was relieved or disappointed.