About the Music
Andrew McDowall composed the score for MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS, having previously worked with director Roseanne Liang on both her 2005 documentary Banana in a Nutshell and her 2008 short film Take 3. But for this film, McDowall also worked alongside multi-platinum New Zealand recording artist Bic Runga which was an added thrill for director Liang.
“I’ve been listening to Bic’s music since I was in school and it seemed like the perfect choice for this film,” says Liang. “But initially I thought, because it was so perfect, there was no way a lowly first time film maker like myself could ever work with someone like Bic. In the end it was one of those hugely serendipitous things!”
Runga had always wanted to work in film but it was the subject matter of this project that really struck a chord with the singer/song-writer. “I think a lot of the script really resonated with me because my mother’s Chinese Malaysian and it’s something particular in New Zealand growing up part Chinese,” she says. “The story sounded a lot like my family’s story so I really got it.”
Three of Runga’s singles feature on the soundtrack of the film including her new release Hello Hello which is the picture’s theme song. “I think it was a natural fit for me to be writing songs for this story so it wasn’t really like I wasn’t out of my comfort zone trying to write as if I was someone else,” she says. “A lot of the themes [in the film] are love themes and how love is difficult and complicated and that’s kind of what I write about anyway. It’s good fodder for me.”
Runga also sang a song in Chinese on the soundtrack which her mother helped her find. The song, titled Ma Ma Hao, is a well known Chinese melody. “It’s a song about how great mothers are and I think that is one of the big themes in the movie,” she says.
Runga found the process of co-composing for MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS to be a positive learning experience. “I was lucky enough to be shadowing a really great composer in Andrew McDowall. He did a lot of the orchestral cues and some of the quirky keyboard pieces. I see the stress that he works under…it’s a very different kind of stress from making your own album. Andrew works really fast and he’s very skilled – I learned so much from him.”
Andrew McDowall | Co-Composer
Andrew McDowall is an Honours graduate and scholarship recipient from Berkley College of Music, USA. He has composed and/or engineered many award-winning film projects including: Grass, Banana in a Nutshell, Strike Zone, DFK6498 and Take 3.
McDowall’s compositions for television include in beTWEEN, SCU: Serious Crash Unit, Emergency, Special Investigators, Mucking In, Rapid Response and Brainpower. He is also an internationally performing instrumentalist for the Batucuda Sound Machine.
Bic Runga | Co-Composer
Bic* Runga is one of the the highest selling artists in New Zealand music history, with her first two albums Drive and Beautiful Collision each selling 11 times platinum in her home country. She has had top 10 hits in Australia, Japan and Ireland and critical success in the United Kingdom.
In January 2006, she was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to music. Runga writes and produces her own records earning her numerous New Zealand Music Awards including Best Producer, Best Songwriter and Highest Selling albums.
Over summer 2008/9 she collaborated with members of Radiohead and Wilco, Johnny Marr and KT Tunstall on Neil Finn’s 7 Worlds Collide project for Oxfam.
Runga has a fourth studio album due for release in early 2011 featuring Hello, Hello, the title track of MY WEDDING AND OTHER SECRETS.
(*Bic = 碧 in Chinese and is pronounced ‘beck’)