ABOUT CEIRI TORJUSSEN
Ceiri Torjussen’s (pronounced Kay-Ree) music was described by the Los Angeles Times as a “sudden bolt of creative lightning”, and he was hailed in a UK newspaper as one of the brightest British musical talents in recent history. Based in Los Angeles, his credits run the gamut of independent films, documentaries, network TV, animation and numerous large-budget studio films.
Torjussen was born in Cardiff, Wales, and is a fluent Welsh speaker. Showing a passion for music from an early age, he started playing the trumpet and piano at the age of eight, and began composing soon after. Although formally trained in classical music, he played in and arranged for various soul, jazz, funk and disco bands and began scoring TV documentaries whilst still in high school. In addition to the main canon of western music from the middle ages to the present, his musical interests have included a special love for jazz, electronic music, and for certain non-western music, especially Indonesian Gamelan and Indian classical music, the result of seven months teaching and traveling the Indian subcontinent in 1995. Following his travels, he gained his Bachelors degree in Composition at the University of York, UK, with a First Class Honors and his Masters at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles where he was a US/UK Fulbright Scholar.
Among Torjussen’s recent projects are his score to The Canal, premiering at Tribeca 2014. This creepy psychological thriller features extensive sound manipulation of acoustic instruments and an original 1907 Edison wax cylinder player. In 2013 he scored two award-winning films. Test (winner of the 2013 Outfest and featured at the 2014 Berlinale) is a drama set during the 80s, and features a moodily ambient electronic score. On the other end of the stylistic spectrum is his score to Big Ass Spider! (premiered at SXSW, 2013), a bombastic, comedic, action romp featuring full orchestra with a hard-rock edge, and a nod back to the classic monster-movie scores of the 1950s.
Other films include the 2011 Slamdance, and HBO hit documentary, Superheroes, and Janeane from Des Moines – a critically acclaimed political mockumentary which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. He composed additional music for Repo Men starring Jude Law and Forrest Whitaker, and some heart-thumping action music for the blockbuster, Live Free or Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis. The indie film favorite Undoing, a noir-thriller, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and Mentor, starring Rutger Hauer, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. His music demonstrates an expansive creative range and versatility, being at home in multiple genres, including horror (Dracula III: Legacy, Soul’s Midnight, Underworld: Evolution (additional music)) and comedy (Funky Monkey and Scary Movie II (additional music)). No stranger to television, he contributed music for the WB TV show Glory Days, the CBS network shows Cold Case and Close to Home, and the series Dead Like Me, on Showtime, for which is collaborated with Stewart Copeland of The Police. Torjussen has also worked extensively in animation, composing music for high-profile animated shows such as Ni Hao Kailan (Nickelodeon), and for Moonscoop’s Dive Olly Dive for which he received a 2007 Daytime Emmy Nomination for Best Original Score.
Torjussen has also orchestrated and conducted on numerous studio feature films such as The Day After Tomorrow, I-Robot, Hellboy, Cheaper by the Dozen, Joyride, Blade 2, When a Stranger Calls, Dracula 2000 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. He is equally at home with the orchestra as he is with electronic music. His Wenallt Studios is fully equipped with 96-bit digital recording capabilities, state-of-the-art sound synthesis software, and an additional room dedicated to tracking live ensembles and vocals.
He won the Composers Medal at the Urdd National Eisteddfod three times, and received the Daily Telegraph Jazz Arrangers Award, as well as many other prizes for his composition and jazz playing. In 1999 he was honored with one of the highest musical achievements in Britain by winning the Composers’ Medal at the Welsh National Eisteddfod. In 2000 he was made a ‘White Druid of the Island of Britain’ for his services to Welsh music, and was the subject of a TV documentary. His orchestral work, Momentum, has been performed widely, notably by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and been conducted by such figures as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Grant Llewelyn. Torjussen has had numerous concert commissions from a variety of ensembles, some of which have been recorded and broadcast on Radio and TV in Europe and the USA. His work has been recorded and released commercially and performed worldwide, including the USA, UK, Germany, France and India. Recent other commissions include a work for Player Piano which was released on CD to wide critical acclaim, and a work for solo harp, premiered by one of the world’s finest harpists, Catrin Finch. He resides in Topanga Canyon, California with his wife and two cats.