Artist Facts

Active: 1999-Present
Name: The Cinematic Orchestra
Genre: Downtempo, trip hop, electronica, nu jazz
Birth Date: 1999
Place of Birth: London, England

Artist Background

The Cinematic Orchestra is a British electronic music and nu jazz group that hails from London. Signed to independent record label Ninja Tune, the group includes founder Jason Swinscoe, Patrick Carpenter on turntables, drummer Luke Flowers, Tom Chant on saxophone, Nick Ramm on piano, guitarist Stuart McCallum, and Phil France on double bass.

The Cinematic Orchestra has a distinct sound that mashes up studio and live effects. This is accomplished with the live band and improvisation blended with electronic pieces and turntable elements. With studio recordings, the releases included live material remixed with jazz improve and electronic vibes, with an indistinguishable result.

Former members include Jamie Coleman, T. Daniel Howard, Federico Ughi, Alex James, Patrick Carpenter, and Clean Sadness.

While a fine art student at Cardiff College in 1990, Jason Swinscoe formed the group, Crabladder, and released a single on his own label. Then in 1994, he took a disc jockey job on the south London pirate radio station, Heart FM. In 1999, Swinscoe had a new vision for a group and formed the Cinematic Orchestra. The band’s debut album release that same year was met with critical success and was the impetus of their being tapped to perform at the Director’s Guild Awards ceremony during the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to film director Stanley Kubrick.

Artist Music Career

The band continued coming into their own in 2001 by composing a score and perform it live during a showing of the 1929 Dziga Vertov classic Soviet Union film, “Man with a Movie Camera.” They later toured with the song and released an album inspired by the name.

The works the Cinematic Orchestra developed for “Man with a Movie Camera” had elements incorporated into “Every Day,” their next album. That release topped out at #54 on the UK Albums Chart in May 2002.

The group’s creativity continued with their 2006 cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music (For a Film),” which was part of the “Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads” album. The Cinematic Orchestra’s stamp on the song featured a slower tempo and distinct instrument divisions, along with a sample from the original tune.

In May 2007, the group released their next album, “Ma Fleur.” The project featured vocals from
Fontella Bass, Lou Rhodes, and Patrick Watson.

The Cinematic Orchestra’s momentum continued with their 2008 recording of the soundtrack to the French film, “Disneynature film The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos.”

Steve McLaughlin joined the group in producing the score, which The Cinematic Orchestra performed live with the London Metropolitan Orchestra at The Union Chapel, Islington September 17, 2009. Two weeks later at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Festival in Wyoming, the group’s original work was honored.

In November 2010, the group performed at the 20th anniversary gala for the Ninja Tune label at Royal Albert Hall.

When the calendar turned to 2011, the Cinematic Orchestra developed “In Motion,” a collection of works for avant-garde short films to perform at the Barbican. It featured Austin Peralta, Grey Reverend, Dorian Concept and saxophonist. It was included in the group’s next album, “Motion #1,” released in 2012.

In late 2016, the group released the single, “To Believe, featuring vocalist Moses Sumney, in advance of their 2017 album, “To Believe.”

Artist Major Works and Achievements

  • Sold out the Royal Albert Hall twice
  • Sold out the Sydney Opera House
  • Played numerous international festivals across the globe
  • The track “To Build a Home” has been streamed more than 60 million times.
  • The track “Arrival of the Birds” featured in end credits of Oscar winning film, “Theory of Everything.”
  • In 2007, the single, “To Build a Home,” peaked at #96 on the French singles charts.
  • Won Best Original Score for “Disneynature film The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos” at the Jackson Hole
  • Wildlife Film Festival in Wyoming on October 1, 2009
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