Tag: Documentary

Grayson’s Art Club to air on Channel 4

Delighted to have composed the music for this six-part series for Swan Films.

Grayson is on a mission to unleash our collective creativity and unite the nation through art, as we live through this unique crisis.

Every week, Grayson will host the show from his studio – taking the country with him as he creates new art works. Grayson will talk to other famous artists, creatives and celebrity guests about how they are spending their time in isolation and host masterclasses to help teach us all how to create art. Never tried creating art before? Then this is your chance. Each episode will be themed with something inspired by being in isolation, such as still life or family portraits. Grayson will take inspiration from the everyday little things, as he helps you unleash the artistic side you never knew you had.

Rockfield to Premiere at SXSW 2020

Delighted to hear that Rockfield: The Studio on the Farm will be premiering at SXSW 2020 in March.

 

This feature documentary tells the unlikely tale of how two Welsh farming brothers turned their dairy farm into one of the most successful recording studios of all time, producing four decades of legendary rock music.

Fifty years ago, deep in the Welsh countryside, brothers Kingsley and Charles Ward were starting out in the family dairy farming business. But they yearned to do something different – they wanted to make music. So they built a studio in the attic of their farmhouse and started recording with their friends. Kingsley’s new wife, Ann, left her job in the local bank to do the books, and they continued farming all the while. Animals were kicked out of barns and musicians were moved into Nan’s spare bedroom. Inadvertently, they’d launched the world’s first independent residential recording studio: Rockfield.

Rockfield’s reputation spread like wildfire, quickly garnering international acclaim as the place that bands wanted to record. From Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and Queen, to Simple Minds, Iggy Pop and Robert Plant, and later Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Manic Street Preachers and Coldplay – an unbelievable roll call of artists have recorded there over the decades.

‘Rockfield’ is an extraordinary story of rock and roll dreams intertwined with a family business’s struggle for survival in the face of an ever-changing music landscape. Amazingly Kingsley and his wife Ann, now in their 80’s are still at the helm today with daughter Lisa ‘front of house’. What is it about this small Welsh farm that made it a major competitor, holding its own against studios such as Abbey Road and Electric Lady. In this film the bands share with us tales of how they ended up at Rockfield, what it was like, and revisit some of the magical moments of musical genius that resulted in some of the best-known songs of our time.

 

Director: Hannah Berryman
Producer: Catryn Ramasut
Editor: Rupert Houseman
Composer: Alexander Parsons

 

Rockfield Website

999: On The Frontline – Series 2

On Sunday 23rd September, 999: On the Front Line returns for a second series of ten episodes following the paramedics of the West Midlands Ambulance Service as they respond to medical emergencies happening simultaneously across the region. It was a pleasure to have composed a selection of music for the series.

Caring for a population of over 5.5 million people spread over 5 thousand square miles, they are the country’s fastest responding ambulance service. Embedded with 9 different ambulance crews spread across three emergency hubs we capture simultaneously every minute of their 12 hour shifts to provide a unique snapshot of life on the front line. Told with a mix of high energy actuality shot on fixed rig, bodycam, roving film crews, and retrospective master interviews, each episode shows the variety of cases the service attends often within the same hour.

During one of the worst winters we have seen, this series we follow the crews as they battle through the snow and react to the highest amount of calls the service has ever dealt with.

Segregated America: A School in the South (BBC 1)

Delighted that after a six week run in the US on National Geographic last year, American High School is returning to BBC 1, every Monday from August 20th under the new title of Segregated America: A School in the South. The series box set is also available to watch now on iPlayer.

Segregated America: A School in the South 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?

 

Original soundtrack available here

 

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
BBC1: August 2018

 

“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

The Murder of Stephen Lawrence – A Three-Part Series For BBC 1

I’m honoured to have been asked to compose the score for a new landmark series for BBC 1, focusing on one of the most famous cases of 20th Century Britain – the murder of Stephen Lawrence, in South London. The series is exec-produced by Oscar-winning makers of Amy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees, for On the Corner productions and is being directed by James Rogan.

The new series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Clare Sillery, head of commissioning for documentaries. The commissioning editor is Danny Horan.

The series is expected to air in April, which will mark 25 years since Stephen’s death. Read more about the upcoming films here.