Making tracks

FROM a small unassuming studio on Adelaide Street in Fremantle, a homegrown audio company is winning major TV and film awards for its soundtrack and production work.

Envelope Audio is the brainchild of Freo-based lads Ned Beckley and Josh Hogan, who have composed music and done post-production audio for numerous high profile TV shows and films like Below, starring Anthony LaPaglia, and Our Law and White Rabbit Project on Netflix.

Their latest gong is a Screen Music Award for their soundtrack to Thalu, an ABC ME series that follows a group of Indigenous children trying to save their country from a mysterious dust cloud and its inhabitants, the Takers. 

Shot in the Pilbara town of Leramugadu (Roebourne), Beckley says the soundtrack is an ode to the region’s stark but beautiful landscape.

“We were going for a specific steam-punk, off-the-wall junk-percussion sound that reflected the unique story and quirky costumes of Thalu,” Beckley says 

“We also used a lot of lo-fi elements that give the score a gritty and fun edge. 

“We felt it was important to create a particular sound for the show that was unconventional, but also felt reflected the Pilbara landscape.

“…Thalu is a story that is truly authentic to WA and the Ngarluma people of the central North-West of WA. 

“It incorporates ancient as well as modern elements, and it’s a great yarn, which makes our job of telling the music story so much easier.”

Beckley studied cinema at Melbourne University and worked at the National Film and Sound Archive, so he understands the deep connection between film and sound, while Hogan is a composer and music producer who lectures in sound and music production at UWA.

“Soundtracks that have helped shape our approach to scoring have been Gustavo Santaolalla (The Motorcycle Diaries), Trent Reznor and Angelo Badalamenti (Lost Highway), Kenji Kawai (Ghost In The Shell) but more recently composers like Hildur Guðnadóttir, Mica Levi and Ben Frost are composers we find inspiring and whose soundtracks stand out the most.”

Envelope’s music for the 2019 film Below was was picked up by Lakeshore Records in Hollywood and just won outstanding achievement in original music at the Revelation Film Festival Screen Culture Awards. 

But the pair aren’t resting on their laurels and along with Nicholas Gardiner they recently completed all the music for 100% Wolf: Legend of the Moonstone, an animated kids series based on the young adult novels by WA author Jayne Lyons. 

It debuts on ABC Me on December 27.

With rumours of TV/film studios being built in Fremantle and the local council offering incentives for filmmakers to shoot there, could the port city become WA’s Little Hollywood?

“Fremantle has huge potential for a film/TV hub, and we’re committed to living and working here for the long term, and we’ll be thrilled participants in any continued developments in the Freo creative sector,” Beckley says

“We live locally in Fremantle and love the ability to be able to ride to work. We both have young families so the flexibility and sense of community is important to us.” 

You can watch Thalu on ABC Me: http://www.abc.net.au/abcme/thalu/12388274 

By STEPHEN POLLOCK

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