Wednesday 25 July 2018

Saint Thomas Garnet and the Gunpowder Plot, English Martyr, Reformation, Henry Garnet, Catholic Films and Music

Because we acquired so much footage for various upcoming films last year, in our great enthusiasm, we have had a backlog of productions to put together, many of which I have been looking forward to writing the music to.  This month we have been working extra hard to catch up and I recently completed the music score for "A Simple Soul: St. Mary Mazzarello" DVD.  This completed the films recorded for in January 2017: St. Don Bosco, St. Dominic Savio, St. Jacinta Marto, St. Mary Mazzarello, and just left us with a couple remaining from our filming day in March 2017. 
Screenshot from St. Don Bosco Film, filmed for in January 2017, Now available.
We moved straight on to our outstanding production "St. Thomas Garnet and the Gunpowder Plot" which I have been looking forward to as I love the English Martyrs.

Screenshot from Bartolo Longo film, filmed in March 2017 and now available.
In March 2017 we filmed for Bartolo Longo, St. Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Claude de la Colombiere and the Sacred Heart in England, and St. Thomas Garnet.  

Having these productions outstanding for so long has put us very behind so I was keen to get onto the music score for St. Thomas Garnet as soon as it was edited together and to bring us closer to our goal.

Saint Thomas Garnet
Approaching this music score I was not dubious at all because I have written for so many characters from this era.  I loaded my palette with several sounds from the era such as Nykelharpa, Harpsichord, Alto Recorder, Koblikzek, Baroque Guitar, Frame Drum, Medieval Soundscapes.  This gave me lots to draw upon.  I decided to begin the opening titles with drums and an upbeat tempo, leading with Nykelharpa and harmonizing with piano, strings and filling with several other instruments.

Baroque Guitar in Era II
It's been a while since I used frame drum but I used to use it a lot for St. Swithun Wells, St. Nicholas Owen, St. Richard Gwyn and others that we produced several years ago and I always found that they very much enhanced the atmosphere; the drums I have are so realistic that it's like actually hearing a frame drum from Elizabethan times.
St. Nicholas Owen: The Priest Hole Maker DVD
The music score for St. Thomas Garnet and the Gunpowder Plot took me a few days to compose.  As well as being upbeat and very interesting, historical and factual I found that there were several places that were poignant such as re-visiting St. Anne Line's story, Fr. Mark Barkworth's last words at the gallows, St. Nicholas Owen giving himself up to save Fr. Henry Garnet when they were hiding in priest holes.  I learn a lot from our productions and I again learned a lot about the era of the Gunpowder Plot and was inspired by these wonderful Catholic priests who gave their lives to bring the Sacraments to the persecuted Catholic of England.  Being immersed in this era has filled me with inspiration for our English Martyrs once more!

Saint Thomas Garnet and the Gunpowder Plot is now available on DVD worldwide.

NEW DVD St. Thomas Garnet and the Gunpowder Plot.

Saturday 14 July 2018

Mary Mazzarello, Salesian Sisters, Don Bosco, A Simple Soul: St. Mary Mazzarello New DVD Release.

Having completed the music score for our new production 'A Simple Soul: St. Mary Mazzarello', we are pleased to release this new film on DVD.  I spoke in my last post about writing the music score for this and having tested the masters and gone through a long post-production process I find myself very inspired by this saint.  I knew nothing at all about her before making this film.  

St. Mary Mazzarello - founder of the Salesian Sisters

We filmed back in January 2017 for St. Don Bosco and we also obtained enough footage so as to produce separate DVDs on Saint Dominic Savio and Saint Mary Mazzarello.

Saint Don Bosco DVD - Founder of the Salesians
There were times over the past year and a half when we thought about just leaving it at St. Don Bosco, we have such a backlog and a lot of work that sometimes it overwhelms us.  In the end we decided that their stories should be told in film and that we would work hard to complete these other two productions.  I am so pleased we did as both of their stories are so beautiful and inspiring.

Screenshot from 'St. Don Bosco' production

  St. Dominic Savio is of particular interest with his vision of England and I am always surprised at how many saints point back to England as Mary's Dowry and the importance of her re-conversion to the Catholic Faith one day.  

6 Catholic Founders DVD

'A Simple Soul: Saint Mary Mazzarello' is available as a single DVD but also as part of a new box set, 6 Catholic Founders.
A Simple Soul: St. Mary Mazzarello NEW DVD
It can be purchase online through Mary's Dowry Productions, or through Amazon or Digitally through ON DEMAND.

Thursday 5 July 2018

A Simple Soul - Saint Mary Mazzarello - Founder of the Salesian Sisters - Music Score Project

In January 2017 Mary's Dowry Productions filmed for four new films: Saint John Bosco, Saint Mary Mazzarello, Saint Dominic Savio and Saint Jacinta of Fatima.  Now, a year and a half on, we are still suffering from a backlog of productions but are knuckling down to get them done!  In 2014, Mary's Dowry Productions had fourteen new releases!!  It's slowed down a lot, I'm not sure if it's just that we're getting older or are just so busy.  Anyway, this year has been so slow but we have done a lot of filming.  It's no good having about 8 productions' footage just sitting there though, so we decided to just get them done.  This week has seen us working on St. Mary Mazzarello production - the last from the January 2017 filming day and I am happy to say - it is currently mixing down!!
Saint Dominic Savio DVD, Mary's Dowry Productions

Saint Don Bosco DVD, Mary's Dowry Productions

Jacinta of Fatima DVD, Mary' s Dowry Productions

In all truth, I wrote the entire music score in just one day today.  That's rare, sometimes I can spend hours on just 3 minutes, but I took away all pressure and just enjoyed it.  I used a lot of improvisation methods so much of it was just playing in and adding to what I'd written.  It was really fun.  The main instruments, besides my usual base of strings, soundscapes, Trilian Bass, harp, guitar, was to use Celtia again by Eduardo Tarilonte.  I'd not used these fantastic female voices since I wrote the music score for St. Julian of Norwich.  They're so gorgeous and inspiring.  Whilst I was waiting for the video file, I wrote an introduction with pizz strings and doubled these up with Baroque Guitar from Era II.  This kind of made it's own interesting fusion sound - very nice.  I was looking for soundscapes to add atmosphere and I used Ancient Spirits and Ancient Tree from Forest Kingdoms - all Eduardo Tarilonte.  This added the right depth of mystery when approaching St. Mary Mazzarello's story.

Screenshot from Mary' s Dowry Productions DVD 'Saint Julian of Norwich: England's Mystic'

The rest of the score was straightforward and I found the story of this wonderful saint very inspiring and uplifting.  It was nice to re-visit St. John Bosco but from the perspective of the Salesian sisters, I not only learned about Saint Mary Mazzarello but more about Saint John Bosco too.

One thing I did use was Nykelharpa from Forest Kingdoms, or Era II, I forget which one.  I'd not used it before but it was great and had a realistic click for each key press.  I gave this the lead for a while in the middle of the score then switched to harpsichord.  The result: the sound of a long time ago, the sound of very pleasant interesting underscore - perfect!

Nykelharpa - Instrument used in 'A Simple Soul: Saint Mary Mazzarello'

We are moving straight on to completing our new film on Saint Thomas Garnet, English Martyr, it will be great to switch into Medieval mode - that's my all time favourite.

We are now up to working on the productions we filmed for in March 2017.  Still behind schedule, but making progress.  For our NEW WEBSITE and listing of everything available please visit: 

I will speak about my latest CD Album release - Calm Your Spirit With Music Volume 6: Water of Life in another post - this is the last of my Mary's Dowry Productions soundtrack series and focuses on the music score I wrote for our production in Saint Piran of Cornwall. I love it!