Hollywood comes to Hull … for a Viking fest!

Over the next month, pupils at Frederick Holmes School (Freddie’s) will be working closely with some of the leading classical musicians in the country on a brand new piece of music written especially for them by Hollywood film composer, David Buckley. Freddie’s is an all age school for pupils with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.

Mr Buckley is best known for the soundtrack to the hit TV series The Good Wife. His film credits include Jason Bourne starring Matt Damon, The Nice Guys, and the Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Brothers Grimsby.

Mr Buckley was commissioned to compose the special piece for Freddie’s by the New Paths music festival in Beverley. The culmination of the project will be a big public performance of the piece during the festival on Saturday 7th April in which pupils will perform side-by-side with some of the top instrumentalists in the country. Between now and then a team of musicians from New Paths will be visiting the school each week to work on the piece with the students.

Honoured as a “Brit to Watch” by BAFTA, Mr Buckley has written a cinematic piece for the project called Viking Voyage. The piece is inspired by the Viking theme of this year’s festival, a topic which the whole school is exploring this term. In addition to working on the Viking Voyage music, pupils are producing artwork and studying Viking history. Speaking from Los Angeles about the piece, Mr Buckley said: “I really enjoyed writing Viking Voyage for Freddie’s and New Paths. I have been passionate about film music from an early age and I’m thrilled that the children at Freddie’s will have the opportunity to be immersed in that sound world this spring.”

Mr Buckley’s piece comprises an electronic track, plus parts which with the artists from New Paths will play live alongside the children from Freddie’s. Patrick Plunkett, the teacher at Freddie’s who is coordinating the project said “I am staggered by the quality of the piece which David has written for us. I think that it will have a big impact on everyone who hears it. There are some evocative sounds and beautiful melodies.” “We are delighted that such an inspirational piece has been written especially for us and we’re really looking forward to working on it.”

The team of professional musicians at New Paths is led by its artistic director Libby Burgess, one of the most sought after piano accompanists in the country. Miss Burgess said of the project: “We are hugely excited and proud to be working with the pupils and staff at Freddie’s. We cannot wait to get to work on David’s piece with the children.” “Viking Voyage will be one of the highlights of the festival. It’s a privilege to be collaborating with the school on this world premiere.”

Miss Burgess added that “the festival is committed to bringing music of the highest quality to the whole community”. “Viking Voyage is one of our flagship projects for 2018. It was a joy to work with David Buckley on the piece and we’re so pleased that Freddie’s is celebrating the theme in such a big way.”

The New Paths festival runs from 5th to 8th April. Over half of the events are free. The performance of Viking Voyage is part of the festival’s ‘Musical Takeover of the Town’ on Saturday 7th April, an entire carnival day of free musical performances in unusual venues throughout the town. See www.newpathsmusic.com for more information.