Last night in Dublin, IMRO and ASCAP presented an award to Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer in recognition of the ongoing success of their film compositions in the USA in 2013.
The award was presented at a Music In Film & TV Seminar at IMRO HQ hosted by 2FM’s Paddy McKenna. Gavin and Maurice were joined on the panel by Darren Hendley and Todd Brabec. The panel covered all aspects from composing fees, royalty payments to commissioning budgets and contract management. Jim Sheridan was also in attendance.
“We are honoured to work with such a fine society as IMRO. Their members have culturally deep and broad catalogue and in giving this award we recognise the success of Gavin and Maurice and the importance their art has in the US” Paul Williams, President and Chairman, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
“Film and TV composition is an area that continues grow in importance globally for Irish music creators. Gavin and Maurice have created some of the most inspiring, moving and memorable soundtracks in Irish film and TV across the last decade that have gone on to touch audiences around the world. Tonight this Award celebrates their creativity and talent.” Keith Donald, Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) Chairman.
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Gavin Friday’s career spans four decades, and he still puts the same energy and passion into his work that he did with the Virgin Prunes in 1977. The 1980s were dominated by other artistic endeavours – painting, (his 1988 exhibition I Didn’t Dome up the Liffey in a Bubble), writing and MCing his own weekly cabaret The Blue Jaysus. 1987 saw the start of a 15 year long collaboration with pianist Maurice Seezer.
Gavin’s first solo album with Seezer was Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves, released in 1989. It was followed in 1992 by Adam ‘n’ Eve, and three years later by Shag Tobacco (which the singer called “a very sexual album’). The decade was also the beginning of his career in film as both a vocalist and composer. He wrote the soundtrack to Jim Sheridan’s In the Name of the Father, which including Sinéad O’Connor’s hit, ‘You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart’. In 1996 Friday and Seezer contributed the song ‘Angel’ to the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack and wrote their first score for the Australian film Angel Baby. Subsequent film scores have included The Boxer (1998), Disco Pigs (2001) and In America (2002) and the 50 Cent biopic Get Rich or Die Trying with Quincy Jones.
His 2001 show, the Kurt Weill tribute Ich Liebe Dich, juxtaposed 1920s/30s Berlin and 1940s Broadway and had a sell-out run at the Dublin Theatre Festival. It was only a matter of time before Gavin made his film debut, in 2005. Director Neil Jordan cast him as sexually ambiguous rocker Billy Hatchet in Breakfast on Pluto, which won him much acclaim. He returned to the stage in Germanophile mode in Tomorrow Belongs To Me. Since 2007, he has been playing live with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, on performances such as This Shakespeare Sonnet Project and The Sinking of the Titanic.
More theatrical and collaborative work followed in 2007, including music for The Revenant, a play by Patrick McCabe’s and Ian Wilson’s The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World. In Summer 2008, Scott Walker invited Gavin to perform in Drifting and Tilting – The Songs of Scott Walker and in 2009 Gavin turned 50 and celebrated with a gig at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Guests included Antony, Rufus Wainwright, Courtney Love, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and U2.
Last year he covered Suicide’s ‘Ghostrider’ with Dave Ball. Gavin also performed a full-length show with traditional musicians Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill at the National Library’s Summer Wreath. As part of the show, they performed a selection of WB Yeats’ poetry, which they plan to record at a later date. ‘catholic‘ is Friday’s fourth studio album and his first solo project in 16 years. The singer likens catholic to “waking from a deep sleep, of letting go and coming to terms with loss”. It’s also about mortality, promiscuity, romance, art and hope. Legendary producer Ken Thomas helmed a broad cast of musicians who helped shape the songs, but Friday’s own experience with film scores and composition looms large over the tracks, creating a complex, layered work that veers between minimalist and reflective to epic and lush.
(real name Maurice Roycroft, and previously known as The Man Seezer) is an Irish songwriter, musician, and film music composer. Born in 1960, he grew up in the Dublin suburb of Coolock, in a musical family.
Film scores written or co-written by Seezer include Angel Baby (1995), The Boxer (1997), Disco Pigs (2000), In America (2003), Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2006), The Pier (2011). He collaborated on three albums with Gavin Friday for Island Records from 1989 until 1995, Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves, Adam ‘n’ Eve and Shag Tobacco, and toured widely in Europe and North America with Friday during this period.
Since the early 90s Seezer contributed songs to soundtracks for Jim Sheridan, Baz Luhrmann and Michael Rymer: In the Name of the Father, The Boxer, In America, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, among others. He was a member of The Mohawks, Gavin Friday’s backing band in Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto.
Collaboration and production credits also include work with Bono, Maria McKee, Andrea Corr, Camilla Griehsel, Sinead O’Connor, Paul Tiernan, Interference, and Colin Vearncombe.
In 2003, Seezer arranged a new version of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” for small ensemble with Friday narrating in aid of the Dublin-based charity, the Irish Hospice Foundation. The enhanced CD came with a 64-page cloth-bound book illustrated by U2′s Bono, with help from his daughters Jordan and Eve. Composition work for theatre include original scores for Corcadorca’s October 2012 production of Romeo and Juliet in Cork Opera House and the Corcadorca / Cork Opera House October 2013 joint production of Patrick McCabes play The Big Yum Yum, both directed by Pat Kiernan.
A founding committee member of the Fastnet Short Film Festival, Seezer was Chair and Artistic Director of the festival from June 2009 until September 2013.
A member of the Ibero-American Short Film Jury at Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) 29, Mexico, in March 2014, Seezer also contributed to Talents Guadalajara at FICG 29.
He has been nominated twice for a Golden Globe (1994, 2004), twice for an Ivor Novello Award (1995, 2004), once for a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award (2004). In 2003 he won the Phoenix Film Critics Society award for Best Original Song (“Time Enough for Tears” performed by Andrea Corr for the film In America).