Ac­co­lades for com­poser

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KARINA ABADIA

Self-taught mu­si­cian Ja­son Smith has been com­pos­ing mu­sic for more than 20 years. The vo­ca­tion chose him and not the other way around, he says.

‘‘Mu­sic is some­thing I’ve al­ways felt driven to do. There’s never been any ques­tion of whether I was go­ing to pur­sue it or not.’’

As a boy he wanted to be­come an ac­coun­tant but that went out the win­dow when he saw a the­atre pro­duc­tion of Cats when he was 11.

‘‘I was just blown away with be­ing im­mersed in this mas­sive the­atri­cal ex­pe­ri­ence. I had to be dragged along to it. I so wasn’t in­ter­ested but I to­tally got the bug.’’

Over the years the key­board player has com­posed mu­sic and worked on sound de­sign for nu­mer­ous tele­vi­sion pro­grammes, doc­u­men­taries, the­atre pro­duc­tions and short films.

Two songs he wrote for the chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion pro­gramme Pop­pet Stars have been se­lected as fi­nal­ists in the What Now Chil­dren’s Mu­sic Video of the Year. The win­ner will be an­nounced on July 20.

The Western Springs res­i­dent wrote 10 songs for the pro­gramme. His favourite is about fire safety.

‘‘The show was tied to the early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion syl­labus so the songs had to be on point. I en­joyed the chal­lenge of be­ing able to nail the re­quire­ments and add some orig­i­nal­ity with­out be­ing preachy.’’

He also cre­ated the mu­si­cal score for the short film Over the Moon, which has been se­lected as one of six fi­nal­ists for the 2014 New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val’s best short film com­pe­ti­tion. The Me­dia De­sign School pro­duc­tion is also due to screen at Comic-Con in San Diego in late July. His ca­reer in mu­sic be­gan when he got in­volved in Auck­land Youth The­atre while still at high school and work with Auck­land The­atre Com­pany fol­lowed.

A ca­reer high­light was work­ing as the mu­sic ed­i­tor on the Emmy Award win­ning Dis­ney-ABC pro­duc­tion Leg­end of the Seeker from 2008 to 2009 and then the Starz net­work’s Spar­ta­cus.

‘‘The best mu­si­cal sound­tracks are usu­ally the ones you don’t re­alise are af­fect­ing you un­til you walk out of the the­atre and feel like you’ve been on a big emo­tional jour­ney.

‘‘Of course that comes down to the act­ing per­for­mances and the script and every­thing but mu­sic is such a big part of that.’’

At the mo­ment the 39-year-old is de­vel­op­ing a tele­vi­sion com­edy se­ries called Pride and Joy, which he co-cre­ated with Ge­orge Ritchie.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz to watch the video for the song Noise Con­trol which Ja­son Smith co-wrote with Anna Cod­ding­ton.

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