A Evening With George Fenton
George Fenton, BAFTA Award winning composer, provided “An Evening” with insight and live performances of his work courtesy of The Braid Theatre, Ballymena.
This was not some stuffy lecture given from a lectern on high, but a very relaxed and informal insight into a true Maestro’s career in films and television. Starting off with one of his earliest and perhaps most celebrated soundtracks, Gandhi, which was his first collaboration with Sir Richard Attenborough
This was a wonderful and insightful chat (as it never felt like a lecture or even a dissertation) into how George drew inspiration from the viewings he had of the film and how he met and worked with the great Ravi Shankar. This was followed by some footage of the film, with a little musical motif courtesy of George on the piano.
From this wonderful film, he chatted about his other works with Sir Richard Attenborough such as Cry Freedom, an entirely different type of musical score with African rhythms playing seamlessly along side an orchestra.
From there we were then taken to the quaint English countryside for an uplifting scenery of Shadowlands; The Sir Richard Attenborough directed film about C.S. Lewis, in which George reminisced about his fondness for recording in Oxford College
George then talked about his other film works such as Memphis Belle, Clockwise, Ever After and Groundhog Day, backed up by original film footage and more titbits on how he came up with the original scores and musical ideas.
Seamlessly, he moved onto to his television career and in particular his work with Attenborough on The Blue Planet Trilogy. This was a brilliant, insightful section in which he described how he has brought the soundtrack to a live audience courtesy of his production of music backed by the images from the television show.
In short, this was a film and television soundtrack aficionado’s idea of a perfect evening; a well-balanced selection of original film and television music scores backed by interesting anecdotes and film footage and adding inspiration to those who may wish to follow in his career; in short this Nerd never wanted it to end.
A special thank you to The Braid Theatre, Ballymena for providing press access to George Fenton and allowing us to interview him.
Here’s Big Phil chatting to the man himself: