Channel 4 has announced that the soundtrack to the brand new The Snowman and The Snowdog film has been penned and recorded by award-winning British composer Ilan Eshkeri and the singer/songwriter Andy Burrows.
The sequel to the original Oscar-nominated classic, The Snowman, will feature a brand new story and musical soundtrack and will premiere this Christmas on Channel 4. Thirty years after the original film was screened on Channel 4, the new sequel will reunite viewers with the world's favourite Christmas character.
The score for The Snowman and The Snowdog was recorded at Abbey Road Studios earlier this month by the London Metropolitan Orchestra. The 60 piece ensemble was joined by a choir of Andy and Ilan's friends and musical collaborators, including Emmy The Great, Edith Bowman, All Angels, Celia Graham (Phantom of the Opera) and others. The score also features violin from Haylie Ecker (former Bond member), guitar from Tim Wheeler (Ash), piano from Tom Odell (hotly-tipped solo artist), bass from Aristazabal Hawkes (Guilllemots) and drums from Dom Howard (Muse).
The film's official single ‘Light The Night' written by Andy and Ilan and performed by Andy features in the iconic flying sequence of The Snowman and The Snowdog, just as ‘Walking in the Air' featured in the flying sequence of The Snowman in 1982.
Camilla Deakin, one of the producers of The Snowman and The Snowdog from Lupus Films, says ‘We loved Ilan's film composing work and knew that he'd collaborated with a number of major artists on songs for films so he felt the perfect choice for writing the soundtrack for The Snowman and The Snowdog. When we first met with Ilan we discussed the fact that we wanted the music to have the same hand-crafted feel as the film itself, with an honesty and intimacy about it that befits the fact that the film is all hand-drawn. We wanted songs that worked seamlessly with the score and an adult male voice this time, not a choir boy. So when Ilan played us some of Andy's songs we knew that we'd found the singer-songwriter we needed. ‘Light the Night' is such a beautiful song and complements the images perfectly.'
Ilan (Stardust, The Young Victoria, Layer Cake) was delighted to collaborate with singer songwriter Andy. They had been looking to co-write a project for a while and had previously featured on each other's work. Andy played Drums on Ilan's score for Johnny English Reborn and Ilan wrote strings for for Andy and Tom Smith's album ‘Funny Looking Angels'. Andy first came to attention with Razorlight, co-writing some of the band's biggest hits, including the #1 single, America. Burrows left Razorlight in 2009 and has gone on to launch a successful solo career, with his recent ‘Company' album earning righteous acclaim, and through pairing up with long-time friend and Editors frontman Tom Smith to form Smith & Burrows and releasing ‘Funny Looking Angels' - an album of wintery vignettes and Christmas melancholy.
Ilan Eshkeri adds ‘The Snowman is an institution in the UK and I am incredibly excited to be involved in the sequel. The music is an iconic part of the film as, without dialogue, it helps to tell the story by expressing the characters' emotions.'
Andy Burrows said, ‘It was a huge honour to be asked to write the music with Ilan for The Snowman and The Snowdog. When he first rang me and told me, I dropped the phone. It's a total dream come true for me. The new film has all the magic of the original and fills you with festive warmth, but floors you and has you in tears at the same time. Working with the same team who were responsible for the original film has been such a fantastic experience.'
The secrecy surrounding the music of The Snowman and The Snowdog led Andy and Ilan to create the twitter trend #secretproject where photos were posted as the work progressed with music producers Steve McLaughlin and Tim Baxter.
‘Light The Night' is available for download on iTunes from Monday 10th December, along with the album version of ‘Hometown' taken from Andy Burrows recent release ‘Company'. A re-recorded orchestral version of ‘Hometown' features on the soundtrack. Both orchestral tracks will feature on the official The Snowman and The Snowdog album soundtrack released digitally worldwide on Monday 17th December on Play It Again Sam Recordings.
The Snowman and The Snowdog will premiere on Channel 4 at Christmas (date and time to be confirmed).
The Snowman and The Snowdog Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/OfficialSnowman
The Snowman and The Snowdog Twitter Hashtag - #snowmansnowdog
Notes to Editor
The Snowman and The Snowdog
The Snowman and The Snowdog is the brand new charming sequel to the Christmas classic The Snowman. Raymond Briggs' iconic children's book follows the wonderful adventures of a young boy and the remarkable snowman he creates. Adapted for the screen in 1982, the Oscar-nominated film - wordless, apart from its evocative theme, Walking in the Air - has been screened by Channel 4 every year since it was first transmitted and has enchanted generations of children.
The Snowman and The Snowdog is directed by Hilary Audus and art directed by Joanna Harrison, both of whom worked as animators on the original film. Producers are Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding. The sequel will be dedicated to the late John Coates, who produced the original The Snowman film and was instrumental in getting The Snowman and The Snowdog into production.
The Snowman and The Snowdog is a Snowman Enterprises and Lupus Films production.
A supremely talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Andy Burrows first came to attention with Razorlight, joining as drummer in 2004 and going on to co-write some of that band's biggest hits, including the #1 single, America. Leaving Razorlight in 2009, Burrows joined We Are Scientists as a part-time member, before releasing the album Sun Comes Up Again, under the moniker I Am Arrows, in 2010. Sun Comes Up Again garnered righteous critical acclaim and massive radio airplay for its Green Grass single.
What followed for Burrows was an incredibly prolific purple patch. First he joined up with long-time friend and Editors frontman Tom Smith as Smith & Burrows for 2011's Funny Looking Angels, an album of wintery vignettes and Christmas melancholy. Then, he agreed to decamp to New York to become a full-time Scientist. And midst all this, Burrows was hard at work on his own material, using a more straight-ahead approach than on his debut, all of it injected with Burrows way with an earworming hook.
The resulting album, Company, emerged as Burrows' truest yet. He embraced a straight-ahead approach, building an album steeped in rock classicism and raw, melancholic melodies. The result is effortlessly intoxicating - the sound of an artist who's thrown the shackles off and emerged as an bewilderingly creative tour-de-force.
Ilan Eshkeri is a British composer best known for his film scores to Stardust, The Young Victoria and Kick-Ass, as well as his collaborations with bands. His career is notable for its diversity; recently he scored Ralph Fiennes' Shakespearean directorial debut Coriolanus, Rowan Atkinson's comedy caper Johnny English Reborn, collaborated with electronic music legend Amon Tobin on a live performance of his work, and was commissioned to write for the world renown pianist Lang Lang.
Eshkeri is currently working with Ralph Fiennes on his second film as a director, The Invisible Woman, a Dickens' biopic. Other current projects include co-writing the score for Stone Roses inspired film Spike Island with Ash frontman Tim Wheeler and scoring the animated film Justin and the Knights of Valour starring Antonio Banderas.
Early in his career Eshkeri composed the score to the cult british gangster film Layer Cake, which earned him a nomination for 'Discovery of the Year' at the World Soundtrack Awards. His score to
Stardust won the International Film Music Critics Association award for 'Best Original Score'. Eshkeri's soundtrack to The Young Victoria topped the classical music charts for several weeks and received a nomination at the Ivor Novello awards. Eshkeri has also been nominated for three world soundtrack awards.
Eshkeri's collaborations with bands and solo artists include arrangements of Annie Lennox's best known songs for her concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, arranging for David Gilmour on his last album On An Island, co-writing with The Cinematic Orchestra, and collaborating with Tom Smith, Editors, and Andy Burrows, Razorlight, on their Christmas album collaboration Smith & Burrows and with Emmy the Great on her album Virtue. He also wrote the song Only You for Sinead O'Connor and worked with Take That on the film Stardust.