I am proud to announce that I am the composer of my first national TV show “Official Best of Fest”. The TV show started as a Pilot on Seattle’s local PBS station KCTS 9 back in October 2010. The audience loved it and the show got boosted at national level on the PBS channel and is currently aired on more than 170 stations across the country and even in British Columbia, Canada.
Official Best of Fest is a series of 30 episodes hosted and produced by director Rick Stevenson. It presents each week the best short films across the globe. The entire program is also available as DVD sets sold through out major retailers across the USA. You can find them by theme (family, chick flick, comedy etc…)
To see if Official Best of Fest is aired in your area, just go on the PBS Channel’s website (www.pbs.org) and enter there your zip code and the name of the show.
I will let you discover one of the show’s trailer featuring some of the music I did for the show, in HD:
During the summer of 2010, I had the opportunity to score the short film Arthur. The film was directed by John Jacobsen (The Artist Toolbox, Around The Fire…) and was made in order to showcase the best of film making that can be accomplished in Washington.
It was quite challenging to work on this film. The deadline was tight to start with (nothing new there 🙂 But the film has very few dialogues and therefore the music is an extremely important component of the film. At this point, it becomes the story teller. But in addition, John wanted the music to stand by itself as a musical piece without the pictures, while synchronized to each of his cuts.
I did the job in one full week. The score ended up being really great, full orchestral and a Boychoir on top of it! The film was largely acclaimed during the world premiere at the SIFF cinema on October 9th 2010. The film was played in front of a full house (400 people). For the fun facts, the film is starring Aaron Hart, who not only is the youngest actor to ever receive a Screen Actor Guild Award, but happen to star in another film that I will be scoring, which was in production before I got attached to “Arthur”. So I ended up meeting him on the set of ZERO POINT (another film that I will soon post about) and then got to score a film where he was starring… So at this point, I will soon have two film starring Aaron Hart in my resume 🙂 Funny how it goes sometimes.
So far, Arthur won the Best of Fest award and is currently an official selection at the 2011 Sedona International Film Festival
The music I did for it will soon be available for listening on my website, so make sure to check it out!
In August 31st 2010, 4 themes from my album The Age of Heroes were performed by The Everett Symphony and The Everett Chorale along some of the best themes from composer John Williams to honor American heroes.
Artistic director and conductor of The Everett Symphony, Ron Friesen, choose “Hero”, “Welcome Home”, “The Awakening” and “The Awakening Alternative” to perform. For the occasion, we actually ended up combining in one piece both “Awakenings”. It was the first time that my music was performed live by such a large ensemble and believe me, it was something!
Months of preparation where necessary to get the score ready for the concert, and I take the occasion here to thank my dear friend Brian Packard, who worked so hard helping me putting those scores together.
One of the challenge was in the fact that “Age of Heroes” was written for an ideal minimum of a 70 piece orchestra. But that day, the orchestra was composed of only 50 piece and we had to make it work. The orchestration was crucial, and as I was going back in my software to apply the new changes and redistribution of instrumentation, I was getting closer to what it will actually sound like.
We had nearly 800 people who attended the concert and the public’s reaction was very positive. It was an amazing and quite enriching experience. The biggest moment for me was when I was introduced on stage by Bob Drewel — master of ceremony — who in the name of The Everett Symphony and the community said “France has given the US two great gifts – the statue of Liberty and Charles-Henri Avelange!”. Now that was so sweet… I was so honored and moved by it, it brought me to tears.
I certainly look forward to more collaborations with The Everett Symphony in the future. Ron Friesen gave me an incredible gift by picking my music for this performance, probably one of the most amazing thing that happened to me in 2010… and at this point in my life!
About a month ago, my dear friend, film director and co-founder of TheFilmSchool Rick Stevenson proposed me the most interesting thing ever: To teach film scoring at the annual TheFilmSchool Prodigy Camp.
I spent 2 days on a spectacular property composed of several houses in a campus right on the shore of the puget sound, on Whidbey Island. There was about 20 High School kids, all of them extremely deserving and talented, and very funny 😀
I ended up with 2 students, who had a passion for music: Rony and Irene. Both of them were absolutely darling, and I believe that I couldn’t have had better students than them for a first time ever teaching session. Both were coming from very different musical influences and were very creative. I was amazed by how fast they were learning and how dedicated they were to it. I introduced them to film scoring and its basics, but also professional sequencer software and virtual instrument libraries, and orchestral music… WOW! yeah… exactly! That’s a LOT. Well, guess what? after just an hour or two of explanation I was already having them scoring the first scene of a film I just finished working on, and they did really well.
Rony even ended up teaching me a couple tricks on NUENDO lol 😉 and it is was so interesting to watch Irene composing, it was like watching myself at work.
Overall it was a great experience, something I would have never thought of doing… how do you teach something you never went to school for? Well, I guess you just have to do it with your heart, like everything else.
Being in touch with those kids was a very enriching experience and I will never forget it. I dedicate this post to my students, and my friend Rick for having me invovled in it 🙂
Rony, myslef and Irene 🙂
One of the house on the campus.
This is the house where I was set up to teach film scoring.
For the first time in the Seattle International Film Festival’s history, it was opening this year with an official music theme which I was honored to compose! I called it “Magic of SIFF” in honor to the magic of cinema, and the magic that SIFF brings every year in Seattle. It was played at the beautiful Benaroya Hall in Seattle in front of a full audience of 3000 people. The cherry on the cake was when they turned the lights off and played it from beginning to end just before the screening of “The Extra Man” by Robert Pulcini and starring Paul Dano, who both were in audience as well that night!
SIFF 2010 red Carpet with SIFF's Managing Director Deborah Person
SIFF 2010 Opening Night at Benaroya Hall.
As the lights were being turned off...
beautiful Benaroya Hall in Seattle
I guess this will be my first post. I am very happy and proud to announce that my official website is live. I haven’t had one for almost 4 years… so it was about time 🙂
I found my website to be gorgeous, and it is thanks to the design skills of my brother Guillaume Avelange, who designed the website of my dreams, and went well over my expectations.
I must thank my dear friend Ovid Stavrica who spent his precious time making it live and also my good friend Alec Dawson for those gorgeous pictures.
Thanks you guys, it means a lot to me!