Christopher North Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (3)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (2)

Born in Austin, Texas, USA
Birth NameChristopher North Renquist

Mini Bio (1)

Austin born Christopher North is a Brooklyn-based composer, bassist and multi-instrumental musician. He has composed for Film (inc. Grammy Nominated,) Original Series, Theater, Dance/Installations and various ensembles (jazz, chamber music, orchestral, etc.) He's performed at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway and on Grammy Award Winning Recordings. He's also a singer/songwriter (eclectic rock, children's music including Disney, Noggin & Sesame Street.)

Growing up in Dallas - where there was talk of a "third coast" for a time - he acted in movies, plays and commercials like his mother. (One of his early credits was in Ron Howard's TV Directorial Debut.) A preacher's kid, he also sang in the choir at his father's church. He studied piano from an early age. It was only with electric guitar and songwriting in the 8th grade did he feel the pull of his calling. (Effect pedals and a 4-track recorder brought him closer.) The pivotal shift towards a music focus happened with tearing his ACL playing football. He led rock bands in Deep Ellum, playing on the radio and releasing EPs. He later worked at video store and watched as many as 20 movies a week. After music studies (focusing on composition, bass and voice) at University of North Texas, a jazz school, and Southern Methodist University, a conservatory, he made his living as a bassist, choir singer, music teacher and composer (primarily for dance & chamber music) in Dallas.

He followed his muse further still to Manhattan in 1997. He now thrives in Brooklyn, having released 18 albums (with several more back logged soundtracks out soon.) He has scored 16+ feature films as well as countless shorts, most of which are screening / distributed around the world. On 02.02.02, he released two albums, OPUS ZERO (chamber music & art songs) and DE LA SUR (rock, funk and folk songs) with related themes between them. He has continued this as a part of his scoring approach (creating vastly different variations in tone, meter/tempo, genre, etc. from his original themes.) He is working on a double album of songs, ambient tracks and chamber music called SPACE BAR, with related material interspersed.

With his diverse range, eclectic background, boundless imagination and expressive depth, VARIETY says he a "notable asset." His 1st feature "Everything's Jake", starring Ernie Hudson as a homeless musician, features Ethel String Quartet and Andy Middleton on sax with the composer on everything else, can be seen on STARZ. "Eavesdrop" with 82 minutes of music features Eroica Trio, Ethel, Harp and a Jazz Quintet. His 6th feature, "Bible Quiz", which won Best Documentary 2013 at Slamdance in Park City, UT, screened at IFC and is on SUNDANCE Global. (All are on DVD, iTunes, Netflix, OnDemand, etc.)

2014 was a magnum opus year, with scores for 4 features, several shorts, several episodes for 2 Original Series, 2 dance pieces and music/sound/song for a play. "Think Ink", Wally Chung's animated short with music/sound design/voice by Mr. North, won the Spirit of Slamdance award, making the composer 2 for 2 award winning in Park City. 2015 had many weekends with multiple festival screenings all over the world including festival favorites "Think Ink", "Karl Manhair Postal Inspector", "All in Time", "Missing People" and "A New High". (The latter two, both feature documentaries, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, screened at DOC NYC.) His latest released features are Grammy Nominated (2018, for Best Music Film) Two Trains Runnin' (music/civil rights doc) and Cut Shoot Kill (horror), both distributed in August 2017.

He has taught at the 92nd St Y since 1997 (lessons/classes on Bass, Film Scoring, Songwriting, Guitar and Music Theory) and proud to teach where his bass teacher, Orin O'brien of the NY Philharmonic, taught in the 60's. He's played bass with Quincy Jones, Dixie Chicks, Rosanne Cash, various 80's one hit wonders, various symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles as well on Broadway (The Lion King, Rent, Spring Awakening and Hair.)

On many of his scores he has played all the instruments (often without the use of samplers or synthesizers) in which case he is proudly and aptly credited as "Composed and Performed By." Recently, he's played bass on others composers' film scores, trailers, TV shows (inc. 12 Monkeys) and video games (inc. Wolfenstein.) He's also been in demand as a multi-instrumentalist, especially on newly created boutique instruments - he's likely the only person on the planet that owns and plays a Marcodi Harpejji, a Guitarviol, a Slaperoo, a Suzuki Andes 25, a bass Uke, a Roli Rise and a Veillette Gryphon. From these, he has tracked as many as 20 instruments in a single cue.

His latest passion and life long dream realized is conducting (and it follows that on these scores he doesn't play a single note, proudly credited as "Composed and Conducted By.") He made his Concert Music Conducting Debut with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra at the Montalban Theater on May 27th, 2017.

He is honored to be part of the Sundance Family, as a Composer / Fellow in the 2015 Sundance Institute & Skywalker Sound's Music and Sound Design Lab for Documentary Film at Skywalker Ranch.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: mr. north

Trivia (3)

Step-son of Kenneth Barry.
Was selected as participant in the 2008 BMI Composing for the Screen Workshop in NYC (Directed by Rick Baitz), the 2012 NYU/BMI Workshop for Commercial Music (Directed by Ron Sadoff), a fellow at the 2015 Sundance Institute Music & Sound Design Lab at Skywalker Sound (Directed by Peter Golub), as conductor for the 2016 BMI Conducting Workshop (taught by Conductor/Composer Lucas Richman), which, after two weeks of sessions including hours of podium time with LA's finest, culminated in leading a 32 piece orchestra at Bridge Recording, Los Angeles and the 2017 NYU/BMI TV Scoring Workshop (Directed by Ron Sadoff, with Mac Quayle, Sean Callery, and Nathan Barr.).

Personal Quotes (3)

At just about the same time as Bible Quiz's acceptance into Slamdance, I sent an "it's been a while, just checking back with you" email, which landed at the right time. We were in sync. I had just finished another film. We met with editor James Codoyannis on December 16th. What started off as "we need a main theme with variations in a few spots" very quickly morphed, upon sharing of ideas and logistics of obtaining rights for temp score tracks, into "I think we need the entire score." (What I did not know then was that this would be one of only three meetings with the composer and director in the same room.)
Soulful, diverse, enigmatic and at times humorous, obscured and exclamatory - these words describe what I was aiming for. I knew early on that African folk music and soul music (a la Marvin Gaye) with Motown grooves would be the sonic realm for Jake resulting in the choice of saxophone, African percussion (Kalimba, shakers, Marimba, etc.), simple drum set, acoustic guitar and electric bass - all instruments often heard on the street and in the subways of NYC. The reasons for using a lot of piano and classical music for Cameron are self-evident upon seeing the film. (I even included an out of tune piano at some critical moments.) Abe and the Colonel are quintessential "blues men." (Hence, the slide guitar and harmonica.) I felt justified in playing most of the instruments myself as I wanted a street musician's feel and a quasi-improvised, self-taught musician's mindset. In other words, the loose parts are really loose - I often limited myself to one take, "warts and all." Yet, all the while, the tight parts needed to be tight - I knew the story needed an overture to open the curtain and it's Capra-esque, feel good nature. I really enjoyed making the source music (Greek diner, downtown acid jazz, Mexican cafe Mariachi) and montage music (French accordion, classical piano as well as the raucous rock tune composed to picture for the prostitute scene.) A four note descending scale figure on piano that I initially dismissed was championed by Matthew and eventually became the main theme, hinted at throughout the film but not really heard in its entirety until the last scene. The parade theme is a morphing of Jake and Cameron's music, bent towards the piano and strings music of many buddy films. ...Listening back to the all the tracks for the soundtrack preparations, I am struck by how "New York" it is. Various music's - very diverse - sometimes sitting side by side, distinct and separate, other times mixing into something new, a melting pot of sounds with lines blurred. ...I really enjoyed the process of discovery with Matt, playing sketches for him, never knowing which one might knock him out. ...Special kudos to Andy for such soulful inspired playing.
I'm kind of a morning person and a night owl. Highly functional in the morning, only with coffee. Just not verbal, unfortunately (especically for an early morning show.)

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