Thursday, 7 January 2010

Snow Business Like Snow Business

“Well here we are Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley…” These words ring in my ears today not only because I put the rough demo vocal onto my orchestral track yesterday – for the “Opening Scene” of Ergo – The Chronicles Of Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley, but also because Batt Battlements DOES look out onto a vast valley and it’s covered in 12” of snow at the moment, honest!

It’s like a beautiful Christmas Card, - but of course impossible for any of my stalwart colleagues to get in to the studio today.

Looks like this is a good day to do my “normal” blog. I usually tend to use the POSTMAN BATT blogsite for random, odd thoughts and little essays on stuff. Seems it’s turning into the place where my regular blogs first appear before being distributed to Myspace and my main site. BTW, you can hear the results of yesterday’s labours at It’s (clearly) the opening song of the movie! Ergo the Slug looks out from his bedroom window, in his house in the Slug Quarter of the little town he lives in, to see the Don’t Be So Ridiculous Valley Marching Band parading down the High Street. This forms a basis for the opening credit sequence. We are now at an exciting stage in the production. We’ve been working on the artwork for two years, and have all the characters designed, and most of the locations drawn and painted ready for CG building. We also have Ergo and his (he wishes) girlfriend, Little Else, - built as proper virtual characters, and have some initial animation tests on them. Now we just need 50 million quid. But we are working on that, and it’s looking good. I’d really like to make this the first real Pixar-quality blockbuster CG feature to come out of Europe and be made IN Europe by European animators, although we are also looking at Canada as a production possibility. Watch this space (and other spaces). We do have a website for it but I’d rather wait a bit longer before unleashing it – only a few more days. The idea is – as things develop, you can check out the characters being built, the scenes, the script being developed from its current fairly advanced draft, stuff like that.. Meanwhile, in that spirit, you can already hear the opening titles with non-final vocals!

Other exciting things are happening. (There are boring things happening too, but I thought you’d prefer to hear about the exciting ones).

Katie Melua’s fourth studio album is nearly finished. She has been working with William Orbit as producer, and I have kept very much in the background, as Executive producer, and of course as her manager. Oh, and I wrote the string and horns arrangements, which we recorded last Saturday at AIR stidios in Hampstead, played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Yours Truly. Lots of fun. Hope you like the album. It represents a big step for Katie, and she’s spent a long time getting into the right head-space for it. She’s written or co-written most of the tracks. I’ve only written half of one song, and even that may not make the album out of the 18 songs they’ve recorded. I won’t give TOO much of the game away, but suffice to say, there are some killer songs on it and it will be out in May. I hope it will appeal to a whole new audience at the same time as being welcomed by her existing fans.

Before the snow snew, - a couple of days ago, we had our first day back in he office at Dramatico, and have been making plans for what will be a hugely busy year for us. We have lots of plans centred around the wonderful Gurrumul – Australia’s phenomenal indigenous singer/songwriter who is currently top of the World Music charts in many countries. We are getting ready to release his album in the States, so lots of liaison with our New York office, and a trip over there quite soon. We have also recently signed Sarah Blasco (from Australia), and are really looking forward to getting her album, “As Day Follows Night” out in Europe (inc UK) on May 5th following the single “We Won’t Run” on April 5th.

Meanwhile, we are bracing ourselves for the physical CD release of Florence Rawlings’ album “A Fool In Love”. Her single “Love Can Be Battlefield” is playlisted on Radio 2, and both it and the album are out in the UK on January 18th. My God, this is becoming like a Chairman’s Report at an Annual General Meeting. Maybe I should write a poem or smething. To lighten it up. Before I do, - I’ll just add that I’m doing a solo concert myself at London’s Cadogan Hall in May (date to be confirmed) and a weekend of “Hunting Of The Snark” Concerts in late November, probably also at Cadogan Hall. Really looking forward to that . The Snark concerts will be costumed concerts of the full musical, and I’ll be auditioning for actor/singers to play the characters.

The Mike Batt Music Cube is “properly” released in February, - containing 16 discs, two of which are Snark . One is the first audio recording we did back in 1983, containing only the first 40 minutes of embryonic Snarkness, and the second disc is the DVD of the TV concert we shot at the Royal Albert Hall in 1987, with all the star cast.

This year – in September, I plan to record the FULL LENGTH Snark, just as it was in the West End production. It’s never been recorded before. Meanwhile, the Snark double disc set and all the other doubles in the archive series will be coming out on DRAMATICO at intervals over the next six months.

So you can see it’s going to be a massive year of activity for us. Oh (Doh!) *slaps forehead with palm of hand * I forgot to mention I’m also going to be the Artistic Director of the Stutttgart Jazz Open festival in July (silly name of course because if it were CLOSED nobody would be able to get in) – and conducting a couple more concerts with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra.

I think I’ll go and have a little lie down, now. Tired but happy.




  1. Sounds great! I visited MySpace earlier today, and wondered, in fever, am I hearing a mix of the most beautiful music and crazy lyrics, or is it my imagination. Good to get to know Ergo and Little Else, and Don't Be So Ridiculous Valley is a familiar place for many of us! Dramatico plans seem to be in place, and knowing that so much unplanned comes in way, you for sure will have a busy year ahead. Looking forward to hear Katie's music too.

    Keep on shovelling!


  2. since Ms Melua's website is still not functioning as expected, i'm using your website for venting (sorry!). glad to hear that work is progressing, though. too bad you didn't have a chance to run by Mr Cameroon production team as the 'Avatar' is great, but the music score is not its strongest point.
    any chance for samples of Ms Melua's music before May, though?

  3. Thanks for the update Mike!

    and please followers of Mike, check out my blog! haha -