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Meet composer
William Philipson

Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

I compose and edit music for film, television, and theatre productions.

My two passions are music and filmmaking. I am really lucky to be able to do both. I strive to create music that will best elevate the storytelling, whether that is something orchestral, ambient, electronic or something entirely different.

After graduating with a masters degree focusing on film scoring at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington, I began working as a composer’s assistant. Since 2018 I have worked on various short films, theatre shows, and feature films, and I began freelancing. When not composing music I coordinate the Wellington music school Apollo School of Music.

Please choose 2-3 of your works/albums and tell us about them.

DEAD | 2020 Feature Film | Composer (with Tom McLeod & Jimmy Urnie)

Dead is a horror-comedy feature film directed by Hayden J Weal and starring Thomas Sainsbury.

The film follows a stoner who can see ghosts (Thomas Sainsbury). He teams up with the ghost of a dead police officer (Hayden J Weal), to solve his own murder.

The score ended up as a crazy orchestral adventure, complete with pounding synthesisers and epic operatic choirs! It was a lot of fun to write.

The film was released on September 17th to a wide theatre release.

You can listen to a track of mine from the soundtrack here.

Mawhialeo Ote Alowha | 2020 Short Documentary | Composer

This short documentary follows Meli and her husband Avito as they reflect on the most pivotal decision of their lives. With much trepidation, they left the tiny atoll of Tokelau for New Zealand seeking a better life for their blind son. 43 years on, they still find themselves pulled between family and a longing for home.

The film features fatele composed by Meli and Avito, as well as traditional songs originating from Tokelau, performed by members of the Tokelauan community. My score weaves around these performances, respectfully taking a backseat to serve the film.

The film was directed by Valeriya Golovina and produced by Niamh Swannack, and was selected to play in the 2020 Hawai‘i International Film Festival.

You can listen to the soundtrack here.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have just finished writing the music for a feature documentary called High Tide Don't Hide, which follows the young activists behind the School Strike for Climate in New Zealand. It's a beautiful documentary with a lot of heart and a lot to say, and I couldn't be prouder of it.

The film has been selected for the 2021 Doc Edge Film festival, so you will need to wait until the festival to see it. However, we had a special showing in New Zealand parliament, hosted by Chloë Swarbrick, the day after the climate emergency was declared.

Where can people connect with you?