Category: Swan Films

Grayson’s Art Club

★★★★ THE TELEGRAPH | Judith Woods
Appointment television is back – and it’s a bona fide masterpiece. In the midst of lockdown, a quirky Channel 4 series has brought the nation together and served up not just creativity but a slice of British life like no other.

 

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Grayson Perry, one of Britain’s leading creative talents, invited the UK to join his art club in a mission to unleash our collective creativity and unite the nation through art. A Swan Films production for Channel 4

 

My soundtrack for Grayson Perry’s Art Club is available exclusively on Bandcamp, with all ongoing proceeds from the release donated to Workshop 305 an arts-focused social enterprise in Wimbledon that works with people that have learning or physical disabilities. Their well-equipped, spacious studios offer a stimulating variety of art and craft activity, a friendly and supportive environment and the space for a group of individuals to share a sense of community, purpose and achievement. As a social enterprise, all of their profits are used to support the work that they do, both in-house and in the wider community.

 

 

Executive Producers: Neil Crombie and Joe Evans
Series Director: Christian Collerton
Editors: Rupert Houseman and Iain Pettifer
Composer: Alexander Parsons

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage

It was such a privilege to compose the music for these four extraordinary and deeply moving films about the most important landmarks in human lives.

In this series, Grayson Perry explores the landmark events in all of our lives – birth, coming of age, marriage and death – and tries to reinvent them for our modern secular age. He travels the world for inspiration, spending time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to see how they treat these great moments. Back home Grayson then collaborates with British families to devise ceremonies that will mark a genuine milestone in their lives.

 

 

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage
First Broadcast: 23rd August, 2018
Broadcaster: Channel 4

 

“Above all, it left one with a sense that there was something unifying and important about being human.” The Guardian | ★★★★★

“This is profoundly touching television. Keep the tissues handy.” Evening Standard

“A profound, and profoundly moving, exploration of the nature of great loss.” Radio Times

 

Directors: Neil Crombie & James House
Editor: Rupert Houseman and Jake Martin
Composer: Alexander Parsons
Production Company: Swan Films

 

Violin and Eurorack Synthesiser: Alexander Parsons
Cello: Klara Schumann
Vocals and Accordion: Tara Creme

Professor Green: Working Class White Men

In Britain today many working class white men feel demonised, forgotten and angry. Presented by Professor Green this documentary, directed by Christian Collerton, for Swan Films explores what life is really like for these men, why many of them feel abandoned, and what the consequences are for Britain if we continue to look away.

 

Working Class White Men (Channel 4) – Music Exceprts from Alexander Parsons – Composer on Vimeo.

 

My soundtrack features heavily processed piano, analogue synths and strings, recorded in London, Berlin and Paris. Recording of individual parts on to cassette tape, as well as granular techniques created a highly unstable sound with a distinctly human feel.

 

 

 

Filmed, produced and directed by Christian Collerton
Editor: Sam Santana
Exec Producers: Joe Evans and Neil Crombie
Production Company: Swan Films
Broadcaster: Channel 4

American High School

American High School follows a charismatic principal and his students over the course of one school year and through their eyes we witness life-changing moments. In the US, life chances for students who graduate high school are often starkly different to those who don’t, a disparity even more marked for African-American pupils.

With the odds often stacked against them we follow the class of 2016 over this, their make-or-break year.

We experience their highs and their lows as they prepare for life after high school. We meet Ivy League hopefuls, male cheerleaders and young mothers on a tough journey into adulthood. This is school as you’ve never seen it before and a unique insight into how it really feels to be young and black in America today.

Meanwhile, high-achieving pupil Jalena begins college applications, but with college fees costing more than a house, will she even be able to afford to go? Male cheerleader Vernon, and star football player Kordel, each prepare for the big Friday night football game. Can a win for the school help to get Dr Peters’ ambitions back on track?

Producer/Director: Marcus Plowright
Executive Producers: Joe Evans and Neil Crombie
Production Company: Swan Films
Composer: Alexander Parsons

TX Date: 18th October 2016
BBC1: February 2017
National Geographic (US): 26th September 2017

 

“Every participant is treated with careful, considered respect… This is helped by Alexander Parsons’ impressive score, mixing tinges of the music the kids listen to with his own emotive arrangements. Six episodes of hope, just when it’s needed”.

Julia Reside (on American High School), The Guardian, 11th November 2016


Muslim Drag Queens

Muslim Drag Queens, from director Marcus Plowright allows unprecedented insight into the clandestine gay Asian or ‘Gaysian’ community in the UK which provides a haven for young men who are unable to publically reconcile their sexuality with their cultural identity and traditions. Homosexuality is widely deemed to be forbidden within Islam and the exhibitionist nature of drag remains one of the ultimate taboos for many British Asians – forcing the entire scene underground. This sensitively-made film focusses on the stories of three of the 100-150 Muslim Drag Queens who face the seemingly insurmountable challenge of gaining acceptance and tolerance within their own wider communities.

Commissioning Editor David Brindley says: “This is an incredibly important, surprising and moving film. Those who have chosen to tell their stories have done so with immense bravery and speak so eloquently about the struggles they have faced. With piercing honesty, Muslim Drag Queens gets right to the heart of a community that has up until now remained hidden from the wider British public.”

The film is narrated by Sir Ian McKellen.

Producer/Director: Marcus Plowright
Executive Producers: Joe Evans and Neil Crombie
Production Company: Swan Films
Composer: Alexander Parsons

 

A really striking, powerful score

David Brindley, commissioning editor for documentary, Channel 4/BBC