Continuing our profile series with the wonderful Women in Film & TV UK, and celebrating our proud sponsorship of their monthly networking event, we sat down with Film composer and Classical Electronic artist Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres.
What’s been your best career moment so far?
Exciting meetings about an upcoming feature film that I can’t wait to start working on!
What was the last Film you saw in the cinema?
What did you think of the music?
I loved the interplay of music and sound design with the doorbell.
If you could work with anyone who would it be?
Sorrentino. I love his work!
If you could have written the music for any film ever, what would it be?
Answering this would be like saying someone else’s music wasn’t good enough, but I would love to write music for something like Bait.
When did you realise you wanted to write for film?
I guess I became curious in my teens, when my dad played me a demo tape from a composer he worked on development with on a feature. I learned to play the theme on the piano and started to explore emotional ideas around it. I think it was then I knew deep down I wanted to write music for film, but it took me a longer time to get the confidence to get into it.
What is your favourite genre of movie to score?
Not specifically a genre, but anything I emotionally or psychologically connect with. I think as a composer you have to want to tell the story.
Do you make music for yourself as well as film projects?
Yes! I really feel that all of my music, even film work has to represent me as an artist. I love playing on stage and will be releasing an album of my own work later in the year.
In which area would you like to improve as a composer?
In every aspect – there is always room to improve.
What music do you relax to? And what do you put on to party?
This is a difficult question. Totally depends on what I am into in the moment. I love old 60s tunes and listening to film scores on the radio. It’s hard to switch off from work whatever you are listening to. I love a good electronic track for parties!
One thing you would tell your 16 yr old self …
Be more confident and believe in yourself! Something I tell myself every day now but probably only started doing a few years ago.
Tell me something I may not know from reading your biograghy…
I love collaborating – be it with film makers, other musicians, dancers, artists. Seeing through a vision with other people is really rewarding.
Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres is a Bristol-based film composer and classical electronic artist represented by Manners McDade. Her most recent film work includes BAFTA-nominated Douglas King’s new dark comedy Do No Harm alongside indie drama feature STATIC with director Alexander Klaus. She scored Aleksandra Czenczek‘s Oscar-qualifying film Last Day of Summer, Turned to the Sun by writer/director Keith Wilhelm Kopp and LA-based director Kaelyn Maehara’s anti-industrial fishing documentary By the Water featuring the Indian environmentalist Siddarth Chakravarty. 2019 has seen a commission for the Barbican Centre, London scoring an abstract dance film with director Klaas Diersmann and choreographer Pepe Ubera.
Alexandra’s earliest commissions for the stage after studying Music at the University of Bristol include writing the music for Josefine, an opera adaptation from Franz Kafka with librettist, film writer/director Tim Hamilton and music for the animation The Great Projectionist. She also wrote music for physical theatre company Up the Ante’s adaptation of Henry Miller’s Smile at the Foot of the Ladder and in 2016, Swedish circus producer Lina B. Frank scouted Alexandra for Oddly Moving Circus Theatre’s national touring production of He Ain’t Heavy.
As a solo artist performing piano and live electronics, her passions lie in the duality between the classical and electronica worlds, moving picture and her love for the piano. Having studied continuous music for piano with Erased Tapes artist Lubomyr Melnyk, she has performed alongside artists such as Talvin Singh, Gabríel Ólafs, Mara Simpson, Throwing Snow and TSHA at venues and festivals such as Union Chapel, Butley Priory, Cheltenham International Music Festival and BEaST Electronic Music Festival. Alexandra performed tibetan bowl in Towards Silence for the John Tavener Memorial Concert at Gloucester Cathedral. She was commissioned to write a dance track Prana for Fiya House at Sadlers Wells Breakin’ Convention 19, released featuring composer and vocalist Suvi-Eeva (featured on HANNA series). 2019 also saw her debut release as an artist 19-88, with rework collaborations by Fuchsklang Musik’s Phaebel, Mara Simpson, Frances Shelley and Freddie Prest. 2020 will see the release of her album 2 Years Stranger.