15 17 Oct '24

Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres

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Function: Composer WSAcademy: WSA Voting Member
Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres is an award-winning film composer, multi-instrumentalist and performing artist. Her critically-acclaimed work blends sound worlds with her love for the piano, orchestrated into a rich palette of electronica and classical music described by BBC Radio 6 Mary Anne Hobbs as “hauntingly beautiful”.

In 2022 she won Best Original Feature Film Score in the Music and Sound Awards for BAFTA Scotland-winning duo Melt The Fly celebrated by Mark Kermode as an “evocative score” in Empire Magazine working with MRI machine sounds and Her Ensemble on strings. Her most recent feature score for BAFTA Breakthrough Paul Sng’s TISH, the opening gala film of Sheffield DocFest 23, was celebrated in Screen Daily as “particularly well used throughout, chiming with memories of experiences”. Other film score credits include her score for The Oil Machine by BAFTA Scotland-winning director Emma Davie, using archive recordings of an oil rig being deconstructed as inspiration.

In 2020 Hamilton-Ayres’ bold debut album 2 Years Stranger was reviewed by The Guardian as “devastatingly emotional”. Hamilton-Ayres’ striking second album Play Echoes, reviewed by CLASH as “spacious and dynamic” and described by Uncut magazine as “arresting compositions that fuse classical instrumentation with electronica” was largely recorded over two weeks at Leiter’s Studio in Berlin’s Funkhaus complex. It is performed by Hamilton-Ayres and Her Ensemble and is released on LEITER founded by Nils Frahm and his manager Felix Grimm.

Hamilton-Ayres has an ongoing collaborative relationship with Her Ensemble, releasing an arrangement of Coma to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, joining them on stage at Battersea Arts Centre and the Stoller Hall (UK) and working on soundtrack and solo releases together. In their latest collaboration project, commissioned by DONNE UK, Hamilton-Ayres performed the premiere of Next Chapter as part of the Steinway Series at the Royal Albert Hall alongside soprano Gabriella Di Laccio.

Hamilton-Ayres has released with several labels including Piano & Coffee Records and Icelandic new classical label INNI founded by film composer Atli Örvarsson and sees merging her film scores and artist work as fundamental to her love of combining sound worlds and story-telling through music. For Pianoday 2022 she performed at The Barbican alongside film composers and artists such as Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch, Poppy Ackroyd and Avawaves. She has performed alongside artists such as iconic DJ and producer TSHA, electronic artist Throwing Snow and Talvin Singh OBE and studied continuous piano techniques with Lubomyr Melnyk. Her love of collaboration has also led to projects with artists such as violinist and composer Anna Phoebe on film score Until We Touch and singer, electronic rock-sitarist, composer BISHI on an AV Installation Reflektions. Alexandra is known for reworking other artists tracks including a rework for Vanbur releasing on Human Reworked alongside Mogwai and Katie Gately and Hector Plimmer’s Next to Nothing - remixed alongside artists such as Matthew Herbert. Her first collaboration EP Ciara released at the end of 2021 with producing artist and songwriter Mara Simpson.

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