You Shoot I Score

Composer Ned Bouhalassa's Blog

Fukushima Project – Alarm and Geiger

July 1, 2014

Thanks to a thread on my favourite composers’ forum, VI-Control, I’ve rediscovered my MS-20ic. It may look like the iconic Korg MS-20, but it’s actually a USB MIDI controller that I use in tandem with the Korg Legacy MS-20 softsynth. After watching the first part of a great demo video by Marc Doty (Automatic Gainsay), I decided to try to send the phone output of the MS-20ic back into itself, and, even though it doesn’t actually produce a sound, the plug-in responded in the best way, generating all kinds of agreeable noise! This is only a test, but I will definitely be using this setup to generate a variety of ‘alarm’ type sounds/textures:

As part of this new piece, I’ve also started using U-He’s amazing Bazille modular softsynthesizer. I want to include the ominous sound of a Geiger counter, used to measure radioactivity, and since I don’t intend to go anywhere near a large amount of these particles, I tried to re-create this sound. Here is an example of my new patch:





Fukushima Project

June 25, 2014

For the first time in my career, I have decided to publicly document the creation of a new electroacoustic work. Fascinated and concerned by the tragic events surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster, I have recently thought that one of the reasons for my interest may be that I have survived cancer of the thyroid gland – radioactive iodine is thought to contribute to this type of cancer. When I was initially diagnosed, the first question that I was asked by my ENT doctor was, “Did you visit Chernobyl in the past?”. I was surprised and answered, “No!”, but in retrospect, I was in Europe in the early 90s, though far from the Ukraine. And so for the past 3 years I have been keeping an eye on the goings-on in Fukushima, particularly Iori Mochizuki’s incredible Fukushima Diary (no better source of news about the disaster). Yet only recently did I decide to make an electroacoustic piece about it, to express some of my feelings, albeit in an abstract fashion. I’ve begun reading Swiss author Daniel de Roulet‘s novel, Le démantelement du coeur (the break up of the heart). De Roulet, with his experience in architecture, computer and nuclear engineering, brings serious scientific credentials to this fictional work about two characters whose life is greatly affected by the incident. I am also watching a number of documentaries, collecting articles, etc.

Musically, I will be experimenting with my analog synthesizers, to try to convey some of my impressions/feelings about this momentous event. Over the next few months, I will regularly post work-in-progress, sketches, with an aim to complete a 10-15 minute piece by the early Fall of this year. For updated information on what is going on at Fukushima, click on the following link:



Electronica/Ambient Improvisations

April 8, 2014

While on break from TV work, I’ve put together a few clips featuring my analog and digital instruments:

I’ve only had the Roland TR-8 drum machine for a few weeks, but it’s certain that I’ll be using it for many years to come! Here’s my exploration of the feedback possibilities with its built-in delay.

One of the newest analog synths is Waldorf’s Pulse 2. After spending months with it, I turn to it whenever I want to improvise a texture. The filters are excellent, and it can get green mean pretty easily.

Just a little fun with my friend Kevin’s wonderful synthesizer from 1973. The  EMS AKS Synthi – I love this beast of an instrument!

Ultimate Tutankhamun Decoded

July 4, 2013

*** July 2013 Update *****

The entire film is now available to watch online at PBS:


A terrific documentary that I scored last winter is airing in Canada and the U.S. next week: Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut (U.S. title), also known as Tutankhamun Decoded (Canada). In composing the soundtrack, I enjoyed combining traditional Egyptian instruments, like Sonokinetic‘s Kemence, Sultan Strings and Desert Voice, with orchestral and electronic sounds, to underline the drama and the mystery of this story.

The documentary was produced by Handel Productions and Blink Films UK, and the host is Egyptologist Chris Naunton.

PBS: Secrets of the Dead: Ultimate Tut airs Wednesday, July 10 @ 8pm

History Channel Canada: Tutankhamun Decoded airs this Sunday, Jul 07 at 9pm, and Friday, Jul 12 @ 8pm

Chris Naunton

April 27, 2012

I am very happy to share with you my latest demo reel in video format!

La Musique du Téléroman O’

March 19, 2012

** Please scroll down for an English version **

Cet hiver, j’ai composé la musique du merveilleux téléroman O’. Produit par Sovimage et réalisée par Éric Tessier, cette série nous fait découvrir la famille O’Hara, avec tous ses hauts et ses bas. C’est la première fois qu’on m’a confié une série dramatique et ce fût une joie totale! La qualité des textes, le jeu des comédiens, la direction photo, le montage, la direction des acteurs, etc – tout est de si grande qualité que je n’ai eu aucun problème à trouver ma muse, mon inspiration. La seule contrainte (si on peut appeller ça une contrainte) fût d’avoir une écriture très mélodique. Éric m’a donné beaucoup de liberté quand au choix des instruments, des couleurs et après seulement deux ou trois semaines, le monde musical de O’ a pris sa forme finale. J’ai surtout utilisé ces instruments : piano, guitare et basse électriques, violons, violoncelle, hang drum, dulcimer et de textures synthétisées (Omnisphere de Spectrasonics). Je suis très heureux de savoir que je fais partie de l’équipe pour la deuxième saison – j’ai déjà hâte!

Pour entendre des exemples de la musique, veuillez visiter ma page à Soundcloud.

© TVA, Serge Gauvin

This past winter, I composed the music for the wonderful Quebec television series O’ (TVA). Produced by Sovimage and directed by Eric Tessier, this series follows the highs and lows of the O’Hara family. This is the first time that I have had the opportunity to work on a dramatic series and it was a total joy! The quality of the writing, the acting, the photography, editing, directing of the actors, etc, was so great that I had little trouble finding my muse, my inspiration. The only restriction (if one can call it that) was that the music had to be very melodic. From the outset, Eric gave me much freedom in the choice of instruments, colour, and within 2 or 3 weeks the musical world of O’ had been defined. I mostly limited myself to the following instruments: piano, electric guitar and bass, strings, hang drum, and synthesizer textures (Spectrasonics’ Omnisphere ). I’m very happy to know that I will be back on the team for the second season – I can’t wait!

If you wish to hear some of the music of the series, please visit my Soundcloud page.

Curiosity – What Sank Titanic? My New Score

September 1, 2011

I’m excited to share my latest score, for the Discovery television film Curisosity – What Sank Titanic? The film looks at what really happened on the ship, based on true accounts from the survivors, and is narrated by Bill Paxton, from the hit series Big Love. I had the great pleasure of working with the British Emmy-nominated production team Dangerous Films (Zodiak Mediagroup), and in particular the terrific music supervisor Richard Todman. The music is a combination of virtual orchestra, synthesizers and percussion, and features the young Montreal vocalist Fletcher Bryce. It is only playing on US television, and available on US iTunes, but it will go worldwide in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

You can view some video excerpts by clicking here

Next showings-
Sunday, Sept 04 Discovery US
Thursday, Sept 08 Science Channel

On iTunes US

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