Accolades for composer
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.