Nik Promo

Composer Nik Phelps lives in Gent, Belgium with his wife, Nancy and Remi, their West Highland Terrier. He has recorded with Tom Waits and Dan Hicks, and has appeared with Tony Bennett, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Frank Zappa, Joe Williams and numerous other popular musicians.

Having spent twenty years as a wind instrument performance specialist, Nik began to work more exclusively on film composition upon joining the Club Foot Orchestra in 1989. In the CFO, widely known for creating eclectic and insightful soundtracks for silent films, Nik began writing music using techniques drawn from the many styles of modern and period musics that he had immersed himself in as an instrumental musician. His work in this period included music for Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr., and G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box. Llater compositions include commercial music for companies such as Herman Miller, Intel and the Smithsonian Institute, and film soundtracks for independent animators including Nina Paley, Brooke Keesling and Simone Massi.

As one of the lead composers in the CFO, he composed music for the CBS animated series The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, and in October 1996 was nominated for an Annie Award for Individual Achievement in Music by ASIFA-Hollywood (International Animated Film Society) for songs he wrote for the Felix series. As a result of his associations with ASIFA-SF and The San Francisco Film Society, he recognized a need and desire to develop a wider audience for the wide range of independent animation and film being currently produced, both by veteran artists and skilled newcomers.

In early 1997, he started his group, the Sprocket Ensemble, which, along with the concert series Ideas in Animation, was created to present workshop performances of his original music accompanying these films, featuring a variety of guest performing artists. In 1997, the Sprocket Ensemble was featured in concert at the 13th Annual Film Arts Festival, won an SF Weekly Wammie in the Beyond field, and provided ninety minutes of new music at the New Music Marathon - Opus 415. In following years, Nik obtained the fiscal sponsorship of the Film Arts Foundation and received grants through The Better World Fund, Meet The Composer and other funding organization, to create new works for Ideas in Animation.

Current projects include composing, arranging and recording music for independent animators, and holding workshops at universities and festivals on topics ranging from "Soundtrack Creation for Film" and "A History of Animation Through Music" to "Directors and Composers - a Working Relationship". He currently performs the Ideas in Animation concert series with his Sprocket Ensemble. He also plays with the groups Boyz in Black and The Orchestra Cabaretti, and appears regularly at sessions in Belgium. Besides his playing and writing, Nik acts as a consultant in woodwind instrument and mouthpiece technology and modification.

 

Resume

Microsoft Word - Nik Phelps CV 2017.doc

JAMES N. (NIK) PHELPS

DONKERSTEEG 31,   B – 9000 GENT, BELGIUM, Mob: +32 (0)499 763 723

http://www.niksprocket.org/

OBJECTIVES

1. As a composer - to create and produce compelling, storytelling music and sound design for film.

2. As a curator - to present programs and workshops on the history of music for animation, on the art and ideas of soundtrack composition and on the process of creativity.

3. As a musical director - to produce engaging events featuring live musical accompaniment to film and to create absorbing ambiences for functions of all kinds.

JURIES, SPEAKING, TEACHING, WORKSHOP and CURATORIAL ENGAGEMENTS:

2016    -- Etiuda&Anima, Krakow, Poland  – live performance/screening of Nik Phelps’ film music with the Sprocket Ensemble.

-- Golden Kuker Animation Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria – Jury for films- all categories.

2015    - Animator Festival, Poznan, Poland – live performance/screening of Nik Phelps’ film music with the Sprocket Ensemble.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival – Annecy Plus! 11 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- FIKE Short Film Festival, Evora, Portugal – Two day recording filmmaking workshop in conjunction with Rastko Ćirić, Short  film jury.

-- Anifilm 2015, Třeboň, Czech Republic – Two day recording and composition workshop for university students..

2014   -- FIKE Short Film Festival, Evora, Portugal – Two day recording and composition workshop.

 -- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 10 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- Creaweek, Kortrijk, Belgium – One day recording and composition workshop in the animation department at Hoogschool West Flanders.

2013 -- Anibar Animation Festival, Peja, Kosovo – Two day workshop on music for animation.

-- Anibar Animation Festival, Peja, Kosovo – Member of International Short Film Jury.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 9 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- Creaweek, Kortrijk, Belgium – Two day recording and composition workshop in the animation department at Hoogschool West Flanders.

2012 -- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 8 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- Creaweek, Kortrijk, Belgium – Two day recording and composition workshop in the animation department at Hoogschool West Flanders.

2011  -- Anicamp, Frederikstad, Norway – Four day workshop at E6 Mediaschool, Ostvold with 40 students selected from Nordic countries – creating music and sound for films created by four animation teams.

-- Animation Volda 2011, Volda, Norway – Five day workshop on Music for Film in conjunction with Volda University Music Department.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 7 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

2010  -- Frederikstad Animation Festival, Frederikstad, Norway – Six day workshop at E6 Mediaschool, Ostvold – creating music and sound for “The Four Elements” Animation project, conducting live performance.

-- Animator Festival, Poznan, Poland – Five day lecture/workshop “Recording Music and Sound for Film”, live performance/screening of Nik Phelps’ film music with the Sprocket Ensemble.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 6 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- Monstra Animation Festival, Lisbon, Portugal – Three day workshop – Creating Music for Animation.

2009  -- Frederikstad Animation Festival, Frederikstad, Norway – Lecture Demonstration –Toons & Tunes: A History of Music in Animation.

-- Jilin Internationational Animation, Comics and Games Forum,Changchun,Jilin Province, China – lecture “Directors and Composers, A Working Relationship”, as Guest Professor at Jilin Animation Institute.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 5 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps.

-- Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Gent, Belgium -- visiting instructor mentoring 3rd year animation students on sound and music for animation projects.

2008  -- Anilogue Film Festival, Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria – Five day workshop – Music production techniques for animators.

-- Arsenals Film Festival, Riga, Latvia – Lecture Demonstration –Toons & Tunes: A History of Music in Animation.

-- Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, Belgium – two day workshop “Creating Sound and music for Animation” at School for Media Arts.

-- Animarts 2008 International Animation Workshop, Monodendri, Greece – Five day workshop – Music production techniques for animators.

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 4 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps

-- Monstra Animation Festival, Lisbon, Portugal – Three day workshop -- Composition for Animators

-- Trickfilm Festival, Stuttgart – Lecture Demonstration –Toons & Tunes: A History of Music in Animation

-- Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten (KASK), Gent,Belgium -- visiting instructor mentoring 3rd year animation students on sound and music for animation projects

2007 -- The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, Bournemouth, UK –Three day workshop and tutoring session in the Animation Department Honours program

-- I Castelli festival, Rome, Italy – Lecture Demonstration –Toons & Tunes: A History of Music in Animation

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 3 -- Special music for film program curated by Nancy Denney-Phelps

-- Superior School for Arts and Design (ESAD) in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal – Three day workshop – Ideas in Music for Animatiors

-- Anima Basauri 3, Bilbao, Spain – Two workshops – 1. Toons & Tunes for primary students, and 2. A History of Music in Animation for college students

-- Anima Basauri 3, Bilbao, Spain – Member of the Feature Length Film Jury

2006 -- Monstra Animation Festival in Lisbon, Portugal – Three day workshop – Creating Music for Animation

-- Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! 2 -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps

2005 -- Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, UK – Music Driven Animation: a historical perspective of the changing styles of music and animation since the advent of sound

--Annecy International Animation Festival Annecy Plus! -- Special music for film program curated by animator Bill Plympton and Nancy Denney-Phelps

2004 – Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco, CA – Art Deco Influences in Animation: curated live performance/lecture

2003 Composers in the Schools: Berkeley High School: on-site workshop, working with student composers on creating and performing film score.

Compositions for TV and Internet:

Year

Director

Location

Description

2014

     

Grummeltal

Sabrina Wanie

Potsdam, Germany

Episodic series for Digitrick Studio; German TV broadcast

2005 - 2009

     

Monstories

Lance Taylor

Vancouver, B.C.

Episodic series on Cartoon Network

2007

     

Fizzdom.com

Robin Chin

San Francisco, CA

Music for satirical political website

2006

     

Scarecrow

Mark Evestaff

New York, NY

Music for Sesame Street animated episodes

1995-1996

     

The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat

Staff directors

 Los Angeles, CA

Music for Film Roman cartoon series; CBS TV Broadcast

Recent compositions for independent animation:

1997 – 2014                      Ongoing live project 1996 – present: Ideas in Animation - Programs of public live performances of original music with screenings of contemporary independent animation from around the world.

Recorded projects - Independent, Student and Commercial:

Year

Director

Location

Description

 

2016

       

Taboek

Dario van Vree

Amsterdam

Music and sound for independent animation

 

2015

       

Books on Books

Ray Lei

Beijing, China

Music and sound for independent animation

 

Stone Story

Marcin Gizycki

Poland, USA

Music for independent animation

Please Frog, just one sip

Diek Grobler

South Africa

Music for independent animation

 

2014

       

Design

Ray Lei

Beijing, China

Featured animation for McLaren Wall to Wall - Montreal

 

Feelin Fit - Bell

Natalia Rhyss

Florida

Music for commercial video

 

2012

       

Hope

Sabrina Wanie

Berlin, Germany

Music for independent animation

 

Totoro Campaign

Bang-On

Manila, Philippines

Ad campaign for Totoro Mart Japan

 

Huttetuenes

Katz Plunkett

Frederikstad, Norway

Music for student film Music

 

2011

       

El Bala El Bala

Mona Sonbol

Cairo, Egypt

Music for graduation film

 

2010

       

Man vs Nature

Ian Motian

Pensacola, Florida

Music for independent animation

 

Voyage au champ

de tournesol

Alexandre Siqueiras

La poudrière, France

Music for graduate animation

 

It’s All About Perspective

Karen Lithgow

San Francisco, CA

Music/Sound for independent animation

Copying is Not Theft

Nina Paley

New York, USA

Music for independent animation

Viewfinder

Peter Noviks

Riga, Latvia

Music for graduate animation

2009

     

Honayn’s Shoe

Mohamed Ghazala

Cairo, Egypt

Music for independent animation (Winner African Academy Award 2009)

Um gato sem nome

Carlos Cruz

Lisbon, Portugal

Music for independent animation

The Dance

João Silva

Bournemouth, UK

Music for graduate animation

The Bellows March

Eric Dyer

Baltimore, Maryland

Music/Sound for independent animation

2008

     

His Little Thoughts

Alex Geifman

Paris, France

Music for independent animation

Snout

Ivan Maximov

Moscow, Russia

Music for independent animation

Friendly Fire

Andy Kaiser

Berlin, Germany

Music for independent animation

Team Circus

Matt Timms

Bournemouth, UK

Music for graduate animation

Diner

Wouter Bruneel

Gent, Belgium

Music for graduate animation

Chronoboy

Faerne Sanders

Bournemouth, UK

Music for graduate animation

Open Road

Joris Bergman

Gent, Belgium

Music for graduate animation

2007

     

Trophy Child

Cosand Smith

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation

Mousecapades

David Thompson

Bournemouth, UK

Music for graduate animation

Copenhagen Cycles

Eric Dyer

Baltimore, Maryland

Music for independent animation

Showtime

Samantha Jordan

Bournemouth, UK

Music for graduate animation

Welcome

Karen Lithgow

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation

Sita Sings the Blues

Nina Paley

New York, NY

Feature film (Grand Prix - Annecy 2008)

2006

     

Marius Explores the Cell

Yannick Mahe

Tregunc, France

Music for educational science film

Spud Boy

Paul Goodrich

New York, N.Y.

Music for independent animation

2005

     

Marching Kisses

Karl Willat

San Francisco, CA

Music for Hersey’s ad campaigns

Departure

Irra Verbitsky

New York, N.Y.

Music for award winning independent film

2004

     

Evening

Dana Jakobson

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation

Reflection

Patricia Satcharaphong

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation

Mr. Dunderbeck’s Machine

Cosand Smith

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation

2003

     

Xanadu It Faster

Ron Merk

San Francisco, CA

Music for DVD release of feature animated film

Piccola Mare

Simone Massi

Pergola, Italy

Music for award winning independent animation

2002

     

Purple Music

Richard Weiss

Chicago, Illinois

In-house sales Herman Miller Company

The Cockettes

David Weissman

San Francisco, CA

Music for feature documentary film

2001

     

Boobie Girl

Brooke Keesling

Los Angeles, CA

Graduation animationStudent Academy Award

Fetch!

Nina Paley

San Francisco, CA

Music for independent animation


Compositions for feature and classic silent film:       [Music for live performances]

Title

Director

 

Release Year

Starring

Idiots and Angels

Bill Plympton

 

2012

Feature length animation alternate soundtrack

The Eagle

Clarence Brown

 

1925

Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky

Nosferatu

F.W. Murnau

 

1922

Max Schreck, Greta Schröder

Torrent

Monta Bell

 

1927

Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo

Son of the Sheik

G. Fitzmaurice

 

1926

Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky

A Trip to the Moon

Georges Melies

 

1902

Georges Melies and cast

Metropolis

Fritz Lang

 

1927

Gustav Frolich, Alfred Abel, Brigitte Helm

Pandora’s Box

Georg Pabst

 

1930

Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer

RECORDING ARTIST WITH THE FOLLOWING RENOWNED ARTISTS:

Tom Waits                       Performed on five CDs and three film soundtracks 1993 - 2004

Dan Hicks                        Two CDs, numerous live performances

Club Foot Orchestra        Composed and performed numerous classic film soundtracks with this ground-breaking silent film group

PLAYING  HISTORY:

35 years as a leader and sideman playing concerts and engagements of artistic, social, governmental and entertainment functions, featuring original musical stylings ranging from chamber music to jazz and dance music. He has played with such musical artists as Tony Bennett, They Might Be Giants, Frank Zappa, Eric Johnson, Lou Rawls, the Temptations, Mary Martin, George Burns, Debbie Reynolds and Bob Hope.