I’m thrilled to report that Roger Cantin‘s Un Cargo pour l’Afrique is in the official competition of the Montreal World Film Festival. I composed part of the soundtrack, which includes as well the beautiful songs and voice of Oumar Ndiaye. The music I wrote features traditional african instruments like drums and kora, alongside orchestral strings. I attented the premiere last night, and it was a rousing success! The film features the superb acting of local acting legend Pierre Lebeau, and will be out in Quebec theatres in the second week of September.
While writing the soundtrack, I met and became friends with the very talented Senegalese singer/songwriter Oumar N’Diaye. His infectious joie de vivre, his professionalism and amazing voice make any musical collaboration a real joy. Here are a couple of recent photographs, taken by my wife Brenda Keesal:
During the next few months, I’ll be posting text and pics detailing the building of my new studio. It will be in the basement of my house, and will consist of a control room (11 x 18 feet), and a small recording booth. The ceiling will be between 7’6″ and 8′. Here are the first pics, for all you mud lovers out there.
Award-winning composer Leon Willett offers his analysis of film scoring devices, complete with score and audio examples (Willett’s an excellent mock-up composer). This is a really great resource for composers interested in learning more ‘tricks’ of the trade. The composer also offers one-on-one courses in harmony, counterpoint, creating mock-ups and more. Click here to explore it.
For the past few months, I’ve been composing the music for YTV’s new reality-tv competition series, In Real Life. The music is a mix of action orchestral and power-pop, and it’s been a fantastic challenge for me to keep ramping up the musical adrenaline! Produced by Montreal’s Apartment 11, the series features 12-14-year olds competing in various incredible challenges. I couldn’t have created this music without these amazing tools: Nine Volt Audio libraries, Stylus RMX, StormDrum 1 and 2, Tonehammer instruments. Keep a lookout for new YTV episodes on Wednesday nights, at 7 pm.
Here are some examples of the music I created for the show:
An exciting new player has arrived in the world of sample libraries. Tonehammer, the brainchild of composer Troels Folmann and sound designer Mike Peaslee, offers very affordable, out-of-the-ordinary deep sample collections for the Kontakt virtual instrument. What is ‘deep’ sampling? Most of the instruments offer up to 10x round-robin, assuring that you’re always going to get new sound variations when you strike the same MIDI note twice. Furthermore, many of the instruments/objects were sampled in interesting acoustic spaces. This combination of real spaces and multiple variations adds up to an organic sound. These are truly musical sample collections. The ‘instruments’, of which there are far too many to list here, include sneakers, museum railings, bamboo sticks, whale drum, coins, hangdrum, bathtub, yells, marching band percussion, a sofa, etc. The official website features superb demos. For more info, click here.
I’m proud to say that my new solo electroacoustic music DVD is now out on Montreal’s empreintes DIGITALes label. It was a real joy to be able to have such great artists as Fortner Anderson, Khrystell Burlin, Delphine Measroch and Christian Olsen collaborate with me. The dvd, in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound, features many urban field recordings that are used both as decor and serve as main subjects of my deranged sonic experiments, hence the title (City Scraper) It also contains the art video The Lighthouse, for which I wrote the soundtrack. You can buy the dvd-audio and listen to excerpts by clicking this link.
Since this post, my DVD has gotten this excellent review by Frans DeWaard in Vital Weekly #669:
The DVDs released by Empreintes Digitales don’t contain images, but highly quality music, to be selected as stereo or 5.1 surround sound. In the past I complained about the lack of difference between the various releases on this label, with some exceptions, but the release by Ned Bouhalassa is something different. Bouhalassa has a background as a composer for films and TV series and is from Montréal. He doesn’t seem to belong the academic world that usually inhabits Empreintes Digitales. He works much more like the others around with loops of sounds, more regular synthesizers but every now and then also throws in some breakbeat rhythm. At the same time he uses field recordings (street sounds, natural sounds) and the length of the pieces is not entirely pop song either. The combination of all of this makes this quite a surprising [disc], a great one for this label. Modern electronics without the pretensions, the same idiom and such like. Nice one indeed.