Ulster Orchestra Record Score to Feature Film A Nightingale Falling in Belfast


The Ulster Orchestra are to record the score to feature film A Nightingale Falling over two days in Belfast at the end of this month.

With support from Northern Ireland Screen, this is the first time that the Ulster Orchestra has recorded a full, feature-length film score and it joins only a handful of film scores to be recorded entirely in Ireland.


The score was written by Donegal-born composer Graeme Stewart for Mixed Bag Media?s film A Nightingale Falling. Stewart likens the score to “an emotional spectator of the film,” and describes it as having “a lyrical and a pastoral quality, featuring woodwind and solo stringed instruments, while at the same time becoming much more symphonic when it needs to.”


The film, based on the novel of the same title by PJ Curtis, is a new historical drama set against the backdrop of a turbulent, war-torn Ireland in the early 1920s. It a story of a household and its inhabitants caught in the crucible of the merciless politics, cruelties and hardships of the period. It is also a story of love, and the dark secrets that lead to broken hearts. Starring Tara Breathnach, Muireann Bird and Gerard McCarthy, it was filmed entirely on location in Co. Offaly. A Nightingale Falling will be released later this year.


Composer Graeme Stewart says: “I got involved in the film after watching the trailer for A Nightingale Falling and I just thought it looked like a really beautifully shot film; I was blown away by what Mixed Bag Media has created from PJ Curtis’ book. One of the things which drew me to score this film was that it wanted a score behind it; it needed that sweeping orchestral sound underneath the characters and the locations which have been directed and acted so beautifully. I’m looking forward to recording the score at the end of April in Belfast and I’m thrilled to be recording and conducting it with the Ulster Orchestra. It’s the first time a feature film soundtrack has been recorded with the Ulster Orchestra so I feel honoured that they will be performing my score. It’s great to have the financial backing of Northern Ireland Screen for this recording as well; I’d like to thank them for their support.”


Veronica Morris, Head of External Relations at the Ulster Orchestra, says: “The Ulster Orchestra are thrilled to be involved at an integral level with this exciting production. We are keen to develop our work in the area of film score production and are delighted to work with Northern Ireland Screen, and companies like Mixed Bag Media to develop the creative industries here, particularly through film recording such as this one for A Nightingale Falling.”