15 17 Oct '24

Christopher Barnett

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Function: Composer WSAcademy: WSA Voting Member
Christopher Barnett is a versatile and dynamic composer known for his work in cinema and television. He seamlessly blends contemporary electronics with lush orchestration, resulting in impactful and emotionally charged scores. With an eclectic background in pop chart, jazz, classical music and ethnomusicology and working with studio orchestras in Bulgaria, Budapest and London, he composes orchestral and experimental scores rich in thematic and ambient textures.

Barnett's experience in scoring documentaries is noteworthy. In 2021, he completed his third collaboration with filmmaker David Wilkinson. The highest-placed documentary in The Guardian's Best Films list of 2021, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER(S), narrated by Dame Irene Atkins and Julian Glover, investigates why so many rank-and-file Nazis escaped justice at the end of WWII. This followed POSTCARDS FROM THE 48%, (a documentary featuring personalities such as Sir Bob Geldof, Dame Joan Bakewell, Professor AC Grayling CBE, author/screenwriter Ian McEwan, and several prominent British politicians), and THE FIRST FILM, narrated by Sarah Lancashire, which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and for which he was named ‘Best Film Music Composer: UK’ and ‘Best Original Score for a Documentary: The First Film (2015)’ and ‘Most Outstanding Film Music Composer’ in the Media Awards. Recent scores are for BREAKING BOUNDARIES, Dina Burlis's second-dance-themed film, (about American Russian rhythmic gymnast Nastasya Generalova), following her debut film, JOY WOMACK: THE WHITE SWAN, which charts the story of the first American ballerina to train and dance with the Bolshoi Ballet. He also scored the hard-hitting MODERN BRITISH SLAVERY for Channel 4 and the adrenalin-packed ALL THE WILD HORSES, which took Best Score at Jefferson State Flixx Festival 2018.

Barnett's list of credits includes A DOSE OF HAPPINESS, (the feature film adaptation of journalist Vesela Toteva's biography "Downfall and Salvation: Confessions of a former heroin addict," the score recorded with the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra in Sofia), bittersweet BBC Films comedy BORROWED TIME, (starring Phil Davis), voted Best of The Fest (2013) at Edinburgh International Film Festival and rom-com, THREE MINUTE MOMENTS, for which he composed an orchestral, jazz-based score with songs and lyrics for a vocal duet. He was an additional composer for the BBC Films, BAFTA nominated A COCK AND BULL STORY (with its British all-star cast of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Naomie Harris, Benedict Wong, Shirley Henderson, Kelly MacDonald, David Walliams, Gillian Anderson and Stephen Fry); and SPEER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, co-composed with Frank Ilfman and Jean-Loup Pinson, which won Best Documentary at the Israeli Academy Awards and was nominated for Best Score by International Documentary Association Awards.

He has composed music for theatre, concerts, academia (LCM Grade 8 piano syllabus), and corporate campaigns for organizations.

Barnett holds an MMus from the London College of Music and a BMus from Roehampton Institute. In 2015 at the invitation of the UAE, he toured with the Urban Fox Orchestra playing steel pans to commemorate its 44th National Day celebrations.

His professional voting memberships include BAFTA, and The Ivors Academy.

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