original commissions

Soundtracks, short films & songs…

Harp and a Monkey undertake commissions for bespoke soundtrack, song-writing and film-making work:

Credentials: The musical aspects of such work speak for themselves, but Harp & a Monkey are in a unique position to provide stunning visual commissions as well, courtesy of one of the trio being an award-winning artist. Simon Jones has received a number of national and international awards and prizes for his photography and short film. His work has been exhibited in national and international galleries, and published in both artistic and commercial uses, such as book covers and design. 


Sound collage with animation study: In the spring of 2021 were invited to undertake a new project in the Peak District National Park in England. Four different communities were chosen to take part by the community arts provider Live & Local. Biggin by Hartington, Calton, Tideswell and Great Longstone were chosen to reflect the diversity of lifestyles experienced across the Park – from larger tourist towns to small rural settlements. The residents of these four communities, as well as volunteers working for the National Park, were invited to close their eyes and engage with their everyday experiences in a different way –by listening to the sounds that surround them; from the mundane to the magical. They were then invited to record them on their mobile phones and submit them for inclusion as part of a larger sound collage. The result is this short film: ‘BIRDSONG AND BELLS: THE PEAK SOUND PROJECT’.

Short film and soundtrack study: In 2020, we were asked by Warwickshire County Council and Arts Council affiliate Live & Local to twin with the former mining village of Baddesley Ensor. We worked with residents in this former mining village to create a snapshot of life in their community in the present day, and to explore how much the settlement’s pit heritage continues to resonate with them. The result was a short film –– Your Lamp Lights The Way –– that featured the words and voices of local people and an original soundtrack.   

Song and art film study: We were commissioned during the initial full pandemic lockdown period of spring 2020 to write an original song (and create a short accompanying art film to go with it) inspired by The Wisbech and Fenland Museum in Cambridgeshire. Our aim was to celebrate the vital role that ‘houses of cultural heritage’ –– museums, archives, art galleries –– play in the enhancement of our understanding of the world, and to recognise the great pride and care involved in the upkeep of such facilities.

Soundtrack study: We were delighted to provide the soundtrack for a short animated film about the influence of Japanese art and culture on the work of Vincent Van Gogh. The film toured the international awards circuit and features the work of talented Lancashire animator Mark Mason and is narrated by Brian Trueman, the BAFTA award-winning director, producer and animator best known as the creator of such children’s favourites as ‘Chorlton and the wheelies’, ‘Jamie and the Magic Torch’, ‘Danger Mouse’ and ‘Count Duckula’.

Song study: Working with young people is always a privilege, so we were very excited to be asked to write and record a song for a WW1 centenary project run by Manchester University’s Department of Nursing, The First World War Engagement Centre in Kent, the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds, and three secondary schools in North Yorkshire. The project focused on the role of nurses in the First World War, and in particular the Yorkshire nurse Nellie Spindler who was killed at Passchendaele in 1917. Work undertaken by the children directly influenced the content of the song.

If you are interested in commissioning Harp and a Monkey for a project that you are undertaking, we would be delighted to have a chat with you. We also have excellent (and highly successful) experience of the application process for submissions for grants from heritage and arts organisations. To start the ball rolling, simply click on this email link – Harp and a monkey

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