Derek Power returned from London on the heels of a successful performance by Stewart Copeland in a six-part TV series for SkyArts Television through UK TV production powerhouse Somethin’Else. In this salute to Writer/Producer Tony Visconti–world renown for his work as a songwriter/producer with David Bowie, T-Rex and numerous others, in ‘Tony Visconti’s Unsigned Heroes’ Stewart is featured as one of three key mentors to an eclectic list of UK based up-and- coming musical performers and other mentors including Bob Geldof, Imelda May and Nitin Sawhney. The series culminated in a sold out concert at the Union Chapel in London on July 24th, with startling performances involving all the mentors–especially Stewart in an amazing duet–and the up-and-comers. The series to be aired in the UK and Europe in mid-September.
Also drawing Stewart Copeland to his old haunts in London was a PR blitz for Gizmodrome, his new band with Adrian Belew, Mark King and Vittorio Cosma. Signed by Hamburg based Ear-Music’s Max Vaccaro the band’s eponymous first album will be released September 15th, 2017. Recorded over the past year and a half in Milan, Italy by Claudio Dentes and mixed and produced in Milan and Los Angeles by Claudio Dentes and Stewart Copeland, the band’s music is best described by Ear Music as Progressive Punk. With distinctive playing by all four musicians, and a return to the vocal spotlight for Stewart alongside Mark King and Adrian Belew, the album is a heady brew of virtuoso musicianship, surprising melodies, witty lyrics and blistering rhythms. For your enjoyment please watch and listen to a rough mix of ‘Amaka Pipa’ on YouTube https://youtu.be/ygZyuB21gMU
From Production Company The Documentary Group, and Executive Producer Tom Yellin, nominated for a 2016 Academy Award for Outstanding documentary Cartel Land comes the magnificent history of the Age of Aerospace. Filmed over the past three years and using rare historic footage from Boeing’s archives, Written and directed by Mark Obenhaus the series has aired worldwide courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Composer J Peter Robinson has added an extraordinary musical dimension to this highly impactful and unusual imagery.
Mark Obenhaus, Director
J. Peter Robinson, Composer
Rob Booth, Coordinating Producer
Wyatt Channell, Executive Producer
Joanna Cohen, Field Producer
Alison Hockenberry, Producer
Meaghan Kelley, Archival Associate Producer
Libby Kreutz, Archival Producer
Marc Kusnetz, Associate Producer
Mark Obenhaus, Executive Producer
Susan Schaefer, Senior Producer
Amanda Scott, Associate Producer
Europe’s next glimpse of Stewart Copeland’s Ben Hur is set for the stage of the historical Vienna Konzerthaus on Monday, March 6th 2017
“Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” is the 1925 epic silent black and white film with a new score by Police drummer, percussionist extraordinaire and composer Stewart Copeland.
Having premiered the first European performance of ‘Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ’ in Luxembourg last June, as a consequence the audience response and the word of mouth amongst the Performing Arts Centers in Europe was so favorable that Stewart has been invited to perform his master work at the glorious Konzerthaus in Vienna on March 6th. The Radio Symphony Orchestra of the ORF will be performing his score to his edit of the 1925 black and white silent film of the same name at the famed venue, home to some of the greatest performances in music history. A radio simulcast will also be offered by ORF to the Austrian audience.
The Konzerthaus is a concert hall located in Austria, which opened in 1913. It is situated in the third district just at the edge of the first district in Vienna. Since it was founded it has always tried to emphasize both traditional and innovative musical styles.
The first European performance of Stewart Copeland’s “Ben Hur” was June 16th, 2016 at the Luxembourg Philharmonie. The Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte Concert Hall is a concert hall located on the Place de L’Europe in the City of Luxembourg. Opened in 2005, it now plays host to 400 performances each year and is one of the main concert halls in Europe.
Former Police drummer, Stewart Copeland visited Seattle February 29, 2016, to join Seattle Rock Orchestra as they accompanied the restored 1925 silent film, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, scored by Copeland. Seattle-based filmmaker Lynn Shelton joined Stewart for a post film discussion at The Paramount Theatre. See video below.
The LA Times raves about the “Ben Hur” performance in Northridge, CA:
Imagine a Venn diagram of silent film buffs, symphony aficionados and fans of the Police. It’s a niche demographic, but that appears to have been the audience drawn to this week’s performance of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” the 1925 silent epic with a new score by Police drummer Stewart Copeland.
The Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Northridge wasn’t full during Wednesday night’s performance, but the crowd was full of life. From the in-your-face rock percussion announcing the familiar MGM lion to the final cymbal echoes ringing over the resurrection finale, Copeland commanded the audience’s attention and praise. A potent combination of the film’s still-fresh action sequences and Copeland’s sweaty, muscular performance couldn’t help but overwhelm, even if you weren’t enraptured.
Copeland, who has been scoring films since the Police disbanded — with notable early assignments for Francis Ford Coppola (“Rumble Fish”) and Oliver Stone (“Wall Street”) — first penned music for this “tale of the Christ” in 2009, for a live theatrical re-creation of some of its iconic sequences. He then took the film itself and had it polished to a shine, whittling it down to a tight 85 minutes, and adapted his earlier material into a score, which he premiered two years ago at the Virginia Arts Festival.
While Copeland has earned his badge as a composer, it’s his drumstick prowess that takes the spotlight in “Ben-Hur.” With his drum kit and jungle of rhythmic toys planted at the front of the stage (showing some mercy to the cellists’ cochleas with plexiglass sound walls), it’s effectively a concerto for rock drums and orchestra (flawlessly conducted by Richard Kaufman) — to the point where Copeland’s arena-style smashing swallowed all but the Pacific Symphony’s brass section for long stretches.
“Concerto” gives the wrong idea of form, though. This is programmatic prog rock. A concept album come to life, exploring the exploits of Judah Ben-Hur in a series of melodic ideas firmly rooted in comfortable Western, rock ‘n’ roll tonality with dashes of Eastern spice. Read more…
Video teaser for “Ben Hur”:
News and info on other recent Stewart Copeland projects:
San Antonio Express News on “Gamelan D’Drum” by Stewart Copeland: “San Antonio Symphony drums up forceful concerto”
The World of Event Television series: selling to and producing for Amazon, HBO, and Netflix
Emmy Award winning and multiple Golden Globe nominated producer, Ilene Kahn Power was Executive Producer on the acclaimed GIA for HBO, the tragic true story of the supermodel starring Angelina Jolie, Mercedes Ruehl, and Faye Dunaway. The film, GIA, received three Golden Globe Awards, six Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Motion Picture For Television. Ilene Kahn Power was also nominated by the Producers Guild of America for the Laurel Award as Outstanding Producer for long-form television for her work on the film. Kahn Power was instrumental in establishing HBO Films as the potent force it has become today. In the mid 90’s she left her executive post as a Vice President of HBO Films to form the production company KAHN POWER PICTURES.
Derek Power is an Anglo-American talent manager and film producer specialized in the representation of film artists: many of European origin. Actors, directors, composers and a casting director. As a talent manager Power has helped to expand his clients’ careers in many directions. By casting Sting in his first starring role in the MGM film Brimstone & Treacle the experience led him into a still ongoing relationship with the rock band The Police.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Come and meet Ilene & Derek for an informal get together and discussion on the world of production and self-branding + Q&A –> FREE ENTRANCE
Capping a continuous three year odyssey to bring his latest Opera to the stage, composer Stewart Copeland and his co-librettist and director Jonathan Moore will be rehearsing and then premiering their latest work on the 18th February, 2017: ‘The Invention Of Morel’ at the Chicago Opera Theatre. Based on the 1924 novel by Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Casares, a close friend and contemporary of Jorge Luis Borges, the creative collaborators– Copeland and Moore– are excited to see this timely and atmospheric piece of magical realism brought to fruition. Co-sponsored by the Long Beach Opera and its General Manager and Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek who also serves the Chicago Opera Theatre Company in the same capacity, they have worked intensively in a a fluid and productive collaboration not only with each other, but with Mitisek as well intimately involved in the opera’s evolution and final version.
Chicago Tribune Review: From Stewart Copeland, ‘Invention of Morel’ a brilliant piece of musical surrealism
One experiences the new opera the way one experiences a dark if oddly beautiful dream in which nothing is quite as it purports to be. Mysteries enclose other mysteries, like layers of an onion.
As with the central character — an escaped convict identified only as the Fugitive who winds up on a remote tropical island inhabited by a singularly strange group of tourists and their host, a mad scientific genius named Morel — one is confronted by questions early on: Who are these people? Why are they here? Why does no one appear to see or hear him? Why does everyone seem to be trapped in a weird time loop?
It’s “The Tempest” perhaps crossbred with TV’s “The Twilight Zone” and “Lost,” with a touch of “Groundhog Day” thrown in. If we only had an invention like Morel’s to assure us we would live forever. A nice thought to contemplate — just don’t ask the downside.
Stewart Copeland’s pungent score and English actor-writer Jonathan Moore’s stage direction (he co-authored the libretto with Copeland) exert a cumulative hallucinatory power that haunts your thoughts well after you’ve left the theater. With this, his fifth opera, Copeland — co-founder and drummer of the defunct British rock band the Police — has come of age as a composer of music theater works.
Leaving Chicago the morning after the premiere, Copeland will fly to Denver to rehearse and perform his concerto for drums and percussion ‘The Tyrant’s Crush’ with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Boettcher Concert Hall on February 25th, 2017.
Here Stewart speaks about an earlier performance of this piece with the New West Symphony:
And then, on to Vienna. Having premiered the first European performance of ‘Ben Hur, A Tale of the Christ’ in Luxembourg last June, as a consequence the audience response and the word of mouth amongst the Performing Arts Centers in Europe was so favorable that Stewart has been invited to perform his master work at the glorious Konzerthaus in Vienna on March 6th. The Radio Symphony Orchestra of the ORF will be performing his score to his edit of the 1925 black and white silent film of the same name at the famed venue, home to some of the greatest performances in music history. A radio simulcast will also be offered by ORF to the Austrian audience.
“If you want to understand my music, go stare at a Persian rug,” says Stewart Copeland, who found rock stardom as drummer of The Police and has since composed music for film, opera and ballet.
This doesn’t make much sense over the phone, but stepping inside his tricked-out studio, which he dubs the Sacred Grove, it all starts to come together.
The space, perched aloft a Brentwood hills compound, is a cross-between an archaeologist’s study and a musician’s dream pad. African and Oriental ritual masks from Copeland’s world travels adorn the walls, while his collection of “the cheapest instruments that money can buy” (and some not-so-cheap ones), pop out of every corner. Beat up brass and slightly tarnished woodwinds stand at attention like tin soldiers. Copeland’s ax — a 1978 Strat — is enthroned in front of a Marshall amp, crowned with a gold skull wearing headphones. Exotic chimes dangle against a backdrop of bookcases ready to be struck, while a silver microphone, slipped between a snare drum and a cymbal in Copeland’s drum kit, leans in like an eager ear.
In fact, the entire space is wired up so that with the push of a button Copeland can record any of the music made within and videotape it. He often invites his musical “brothers” over for jam sessions, edits the footage and puts the mini-concerts on his YouTube channel.
“It’s like a big train set. And then my buddies come over and they’re the trains,” says Copeland of the Sacred Grove.
But it’s also his musical sanctuary.
“That’s where after a day of writing music and staring at the scores and agonizing over chord progressions and instrumentation and putting the Italian on the page, I swivel around my chair 180 degrees and there is my row of big band amplifiers and my monstrous drums,” says Copeland with glee.
And then of course, there’s the massive Persian rugs decorating the floor with their sinuous flourishes and rusty red hues. An inheritance from Copeland’s mother, they shape his earliest memories of growing up the Middle East, in locales such as Cairo and Beirut, where his dad was a CIA agent and his mom dug up ancient artifacts as an archeologist.
“I look at it and realize from the age of zero crawling around face-first on these rugs, those patterns that are both geometric and formal, and yet wild and ungainly at the same time, that is a visual representation of exactly what my music does — a combination of chaos and organization,” says Copeland of a recent musical epiphany. “That is my music.”
For Copeland, contradictions don’t clash. They coexist, usually in separate parts of his split musical personality.
“You know the composer guy — suave, sophisticated. The drummer guy — Neanderthal, knuckles dragging on the ground,” says Copeland. “I’m sure they overlap, but they’re different parts of the brain.”
But sometimes they intermingle. Humorously calling himself “the bastard child of Hendrix and Stravinsky,” in his music a trap set can rumble with the timpani, a saw can sing along with strings and a rock star can jam with classical musicians.
These are just a few of the musical tones that will intersect when Stewart Copeland plays the West Coast premiere of his percussion concerto “Tyrant’s Crush” with the New West Symphony in Santa Monica’s Barnum Hall next Thursday, May 12.
Marcelo Lehninger, music director of the New West Symphony, welcomes the crossover that Copeland brings to the concert group’s upcoming program “The Symphony Rocks,” which pairs Copeland with the music of Strauss.
“[Copeland] is exploring all the textures and colors in the orchestra,” says Lehninger, who will conduct. “From the drum set, to timpani, to marimba, to vibraphone, as well as some interesting instruments, like the saw or the siren, you have things that you don’t usually see in a symphony orchestra.”
Yet as much as Copeland loves incorporating and accumulating individual musical instruments into his life and work, he takes a more holistic approach to the orchestra, seeing it as a singular symphonic entity with which he can experiment.
“It’s a really incredible, powerful, multi-textured instrument, the orchestra,” says Copeland, who beyond his illustrious drumming career with The Police has scored films for the likes of Francis
Ford Coppola, composed operas based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and even written music for ballets. “But I’m not here to continue a line from Mendelssohn into the future.”
With “Tyrant’s Crush,” a musical program that loosely chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional dictator, Copeland wants to shake up the conventional concert-going experience of quietly listening to whatever the orchestra plays and the orchestra reverentially playing it.
“I’m not doing Mahler. I’m doing everything that I learned in the stadiums and the low-dive rock clubs and on the streets of Brazzaville and Beirut. I’m bringing it all to the party,” says Copeland.
“There’s no reason on Earth why 60 guys cannot rock the house.”
When Copeland says a line like that, it’s not hard to believe his wish will come true. When it comes to music, Copeland’s enthusiasm is infectious.
In his studio, he doesn’t just show off his various musical instruments, from a tiny trumpet to an antique lute, he immediately starts to play them — running his fingers briskly over a saxophone’s keys, deftly tapping on an Arabic drum and banging a timpani with such exuberance that its voluminous roar seems to fill the entire room with vibrations, from floor to ceiling.
When I mention that I used to play the flute, he pulls one out from his arsenal of wonky woodwinds and hands it to me to play on the spot.
Somehow, I squeeze a few solid notes out of it.
Yet for Copeland, there’s music in everything, from the zany instruments he collects to the cadence of an urban center.
“When you see a city pulsating like a beating heart, people rushing in and rushing out and rushing in and rushing out, you realize that there are rhythms that we’re hardly even aware of, but which pervade all of existence,” he muses when discussing his film work.
But it took Copeland a while to find his own beat within rock music. As a child, Copeland was engrossed by the classical music of Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky, but it was the drums that got his blood pumping.
Playing his first show as a prepubescent kid drummer, Copeland remembers seeing an entranced girl in the audience. She took his breath away.
“Oh, the look in her face! That is why 60 years later, I’m a musician, unto this day,” says Copeland with fervor. “Those drums empowered me in a way that nothing else could. I was a late bloomer and while my friends, they’re voices were dropping and they’re growing facial hair and becoming men, I was still not. Still had a squeaky little voice. And then I discovered the drums and suddenly my squeaky voice became a manly roar.”
Over the years, Copeland’s musical tastes have reengaged with their classical roots, mainly Stravinsky —“Stravinsky is for your mind and for deeper, broader matters of culture. But youth music, teen music is about procreation. It’s about romance … It’s not about that for me anymore, so maybe that’s why I’ve gone back to Stravinsky,” ponders Copeland — but a fire still lights his passion for making music.
“I like to think that every work is a departure,” he says. And for “Tyrant’s Crush” Copeland expects even more fireworks to be set off: “I want it to be exciting and beautiful. We want to go places where no one has gone before. We want it to have a little bite. We want a little challenge in there. But really I want to burn down the building.”
Stewart Copeland and New West Symphony perform “The Symphony Rocks” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School, 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Tickets are $29 to $82. Call (866) 776-8400 or visit newwestsymphony.org.
CSA (Casting Society of America) hosts a round table discussion in Cannes.
VALUE, TALENT, AND THE INTERNATIONAL CAST: a panel of international casting directors and agents discuss the advantages and challenges of casting across borders.
Where: American Pavilion, Cannes International Film Festival
When: Saturday, 14 May
Target Audience: Directors and Producers who wish to cast internationally and collaborate with CSA
TO RSVP: Please contact Laura Adler firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not have to be a member of the American Pavilion
On this panel, moderated by Steven Gaydos of Variety, we shall discuss the growing opportunities, in a global market to cast diverse actors authentically, from their home country. Casting internationally can bring artistic as well as commercial value to a project. How can international casting directors help to identify the cast that will best serve the film as well as draw audience and financing.
Nancy Bishop, CSA, is an Emmy-ward nominated casting director based in London and Prague who has worked on nearly one hundred projects ranging from large scale studio films such as “Mission Impossible IV,” to independent films such as the soon to be released “Unlocked,” directed by Michael Apted. She has penned two books on casting, including “Auditioning for Film and TV.” (Bloomsbury.) nancybishopcasting.com
Roger Charteris, is the CEO of the premiere British agency The Artists Partnership representing actors, directors and writers alongside their sister company, The Development Partnership. His clients include Emily Blunt, Idris Elba, Joseph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe and David Thewlis amongst many others. Roger is also CEO of the independent production company, World Productions.
Steven Gaydos, (moderator) Vice-President and Executive Editor of Variety, is an accomplished screen writer, song writer and entertainment journalist. Mr. Gaydos has co-authored several books on the entertainment industry, including Movie Talk From The Front Lines (McFarland) and Cannes: 50 Years of Sun, Sex and Celluloid (Miramax). He has appeared regularly on American television and radio, international outlets such as the United Kingdom’s BBC, and in publications around the world.
Avy Kaufman, CSA is a multi- award winning casting director, who has cast more than 150 film and TV projects from her base in New York. She has worked with such legendary directors as Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee and Wes Craven. She cast “Money Monster” which premieres at this festival. Her casting credits include the Life of Pi, The Sixth Sense, Brokeback Mountain, Public Enemies, and Salt.
Luci Lenox, CSA is a casting director based in Barcelona, Spain. She has cast over fifty films in the last ten years which have won over 200 awards around the world. Recent projects include the Silver Bear winning “Victoria,” and Spanish Casting for JA Bayona’s soon to be released ” A Monster Calls” and NBC’s Emerald City. www.lucilenox.com
Laura Munsterhjelm is the CEO at the Actors in Scandinavia agency. With offices in Helsinki and Stockholm, Laura has started the careers of top talent, placing them in blockbuster films. Her client list includes the Academy Award winning, Alicia Vikander, Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible VI) Fares Fares, and Alexander Karim. www.actorsinscandinavia.com
The Casting Society of America is the premier international organization of theatrical Casting Directors in film, television, and theater. Its members are a united professional organization committed to upholding the highest levels of professionalism in casting, and to being an advocate in the industry and to the general public of the importance of Casting in the artistic equation. Visit CSA here: www.castingsociety.com
A debate over healthcare has been raging nationwide, but what’s been lost in the discussion of mandates, payers, pre-existing conditions and deficits are the American citizens who live every day without proper access to healthcare, afraid of injury and suffering through minor illnesses in the hopes that they’ll just get better on their own. REMOTE AREA MEDICAL will document the annual two-day “pop-up” medical clinic put on by the non-profit Remote Area Medical (RAM) in the NASCAR speedway in Bristol, TN. Even though this small town is only a few hundred miles from our nation’s capitol, access to proper medical care for many in region might as well be worlds away.
Instead of a film about policy, about which system is better, will cover more, or cost less, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL will be a film about people, about a one-of-a-kind experience and an unlikely community that arises in the same place every year. REMOTE AREA MEDICAL will use the RAM experience as a window upon which to view a vast, unseen swath of American society.
“‘Remote Area Medical’ holds nothing back” – WINSTON-SALEM JORNAL
“Devastating. The filmmakers capture a powerful mixture of pride and despair, following individuals who’ve gone without vision or dental care for most of their adult lives.“ – Norm Wilner, NOW MAGAZINE
Ryan Kwanten of “True Blood” stars in the Viking action tale from director Claudio Faeh.
The international cast of Northmen includes True Blood star Ryan Kwanten, Britain’s Tom Hopper (Knights of Badassdom), Ed Skrein (Game of Thrones) and James Norton (Rush), German actor Ken Duken (Inglorious Basterds), Irish actress Charlie Murphy (Philomena) and Switzerland’s Anatole Taubman (The Tudors).
The plot of the film has a gang of Viking marauders, under the command of the young warrior Asbjorn (Hopper) setting out for a raid of the Britain Isles who are caught up in a storm and wreaked on the coast of Scotland. With the help of the enigmatic warrior monk Conall (Kwanten) they set off to their way through enemy territory to reach the safety of a Viking stronghold.
Johan Hegg, frontman for Swedish heavy metal band Amon Amarth, has joined the cast of Claudio Fah’s film Northmen – A Viking Saga, playing the role of Viking warrior Valli. The casting is particularly apt as the Vikings and Norse mythology are the subject of most of Amon Amarth’s lyrics. The band released their ninth studio album — Deceiver Of The Gods — in June via Metal Blade Records. It landed at #19 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 album charts and #3 on Germany’s top 100, making it Amon Amarth’s highest charting album to date.
“The mythology behind our Viking heritage is engrained in everything we do and it is awesome to have the opportunity to be part of Northmen – A Viking Saga,” said Hegg.
Ralph Dietrich, CEO of Switzerland’s Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, which is producing the film together with Jumping Horse Film of Germany and South Africa’s Two Oceans Production, said Hegg and Amon Amarth were “synonymous with the Viking experience” the filmmakers were looking to bring to life in Northmen.
The action adventure is currently shooting on location in South Africa. The Salt Company is handling world sales, on Northmen with pre-sale deals already in place in for the U.K., France, Scandinavia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.