Dance of the Convicts
Padua - Nursery of Arts
Philomel (Song of the Fairies)
Julius Caesar - The Rebel Within
Chorale of Ages

My Score Catalogue on Score Exchange

Mark R. Bannister
Orchestral & Instrumental Composer
for Film, TV & Theatre

"Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about my ears"

An outdoor production of Shakespeare's The Tempest by the Richmond Shakespeare Society in July 2017.  The character of Ariel was split into three parts, which led to the decision to write many of their songs as three-part harmonies.  It was decided early on in production planning that the magical elements in the play should have an oriental influence, and so the instrumentation followed suit.

There were no sound effects in this show.  Instead, the hunting dogs, hawks, thunderstorms and rough sea sounds were imitated entirely by music.  These were created by listening carefully to the real sound effects and devising ways of reproducing the tones and rhythms with orchestral instruments and percussion.

The music for the show fell largely into two categories: songs with a Chinese feel, and dance where I use orchestral instruments to imitate sound effects.

Traditional Chinese music varies by dynasty and is split by northern and southern China, and the choice of instrumentation has been influenced by the sounds available on modern digital pianos used in the show's production.  I have reproduced the sounds of paigu drums (double-sided wooden drums where each side may be tuned separately and often played in groups of 5), paixiao (Chinese panpipes with mouths cut at an angle to allow pitch bending), ruan (moon-shaped fretted lute with 4 silk strings) and erhu (2-stringed fiddle with a horse-hair bow mounted between the strings and a soundbox covered in python skin) among others in the music.

Grouping notes or rhythms in pairs reflecting the harmony of yin and yang, having one main tune repeated by two instruments playing slightly out of time with each other, and the 5-note (pentatonic) scale are other traditional elements that I have used and are inspired by Chinese culture.

The Tempest (Fighting the Storm)  score  mp3
The Tempest Piano Medley  score  mp3
Full Fathom Five  score  mp3
Yellow Sands  score  mp3
While You Here Do Snoring Lie  score  mp3
Ceres' Blessing  score  mp3
Where The Bee Sucks  score  mp3
Magic Banquet  score  mp3
Freedom Chant  score  mp3
Harpies  score  mp3
The Hunt  score  mp3
Miranda  score  mp3


All music on this website is Copyright © 1998-2017 Mark R. Bannister. All Rights Reserved.