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Blair Mowat’s soundtrack to ITV’s 3-part drama series Nolly. Written and directed by BAFTA-winners Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Peter Hoar (It’s A Sin, The Last of Us, The Umbrella Academy), and starring Helena Bonham Carter, series tells the story of Nolly, the inimitable Noele Gordon, TV legend and Queen of the Midlands.
Nolly is a warm tribute to British television in the late 70s and early 80s. Noelle was the star and matriarch of Crossroads – soap opera that ran from the 1960s through to the end of the Eighties. The series explores her all-powerful reign, and fall from grace, starting at the twilight of her career. The Independent comments “The fact that, 40 years later, ITV is producing a lavish, star-studded primetime drama about this minor incident from soap history speaks to its cultural permeation.”
Composer Blair Mowat explains “It’s a period piece and so it felt quite fitting to take on elements of musical theatre or the lush orchestral style of classic Hollywood. Tracks such as ‘The Prime Minister’ or ‘Visiting Larry’ deliberately evoke a bygone era… Percussion is perhaps our most important instrument throughout. Russell writes so musically and his scripts have a real sense of rhythm to them. Therefore, maintaining a sense of drive and momentum for certain moments is crucial. Peter’s stylistic directing approach meant the score could have quite a lot of variation and oddness without feeling out of place. Drum kits and shakers are often combined with banjo, tuba, saxophone, jazz flute and soft vibes. You’ll find samba piano rhythms, Venetian violin solos and full swing bands juxtaposed by a lush 40-piece string orchestra – yet somehow it all hangs together through the use of musical themes and variations. That ostinato which pulls and clashes either side of Eb Major keeps us grounded throughout the journey of the score, no matter what style or instrumentation we find ourselves in.”
In the script there is a tension between the harder and softer side of Nolly and a conflict between the modern and the old. This is also apparent in Mowat’s score; the driving rhythm in tracks such a ‘Nolly Goes To War’ where propulsive swung triplets meet suspended harmonies, musically representing of a woman renowned for making her opinions known and then there’s also the much softer side to Nolly, represented by a very different theme heard in tracks such as ‘Nolly At Home’ and ‘Goodbye Nolly’.
Blair concludes “It was clear from the start this was a passion project for Russell and so it became a passion project for all of us too. We also fell in love with Noele and it became personal in honouring her memory. ‘Looking Back On Life’ was the final cue I composed and as I looked back over Noele’s life I found myself shedding a tear more than once. There aren’t many projects that have you sobbing over your piano, but this was one of them. We weren’t just making television, it felt like we were righting a wrong, and I’ll treasure the experience of being involved forever.”
Blair Mowat has composed well over two hundred scores for film, theatre and television, with clients ranging from the English National Ballet and The Royal Shakespeare Company to the likes of the BBC and ITV. He is a BAFTA nominated, 4Talent short-listed, award-winning composer with over 15 years of experience, and is consistently in high demand. His work includes Class an acclaimed 8-part Doctor Who spin-off series on BBC One, ITV’s hit show McDonald & Dodds and The Amazing Mr Blunden. Both McDonald & Dodds and The Amazing Mr Blunden were double-nominated for best Original TV Score and best Opening Titles in the Music & Sound Awards.
Liste de titres pour édition numérique
- 1 Nolly Goes To War 2:36 Acheter
- 2 Exit Cathedral Enter Rehearsal 3:06 Acheter
- 3 The Rehearsal Room 1:59 Acheter
- 4 Nolly At Home 1:19 Acheter
- 5 An Affair To Remember 2:50 Acheter
- 6 Meg Is Going To Die 2:11 Acheter
- 7 Previously on Nolly 0:53 Acheter
- 8 The Prime Minister 1:28 Acheter
- 9 Undercover Operation 2:31 Acheter
- 10 Sam Hurst 1:03 Acheter