Tag Archives: film music

King of Ghosts released on Globe Music

Following two live orchestral film screenings of Satyajit Ray’s King of Ghosts (Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne) at Shakespeare’s Globe in June 2017, our recording of sarod virtuoso Soumik Datta’s new score is now available to purchase in stores and online.

Ray’s 1960s silent farce follows the adventures of the film’s two heroes, who are given superpowers – the power of musicianship – by the King of Ghosts to use for good. The film, accompanied by Soumik Datta’s live soundtrack, played in Shakespeare’s Globe’s Festival of Independence, a series of theatre, film, music and stand-up celebrating the 70th anniversary of India’s sovereignty.

The sarod, an ‘Indian electric guitar’ as conductor Bill Barclay describes in our podcast, lies at the heart of the music. But the beauty of Soumik’s reimagined score and performance lies in the fusion of music styles: his notated and improvised lines of Indian classical music converse beautifully with the Irish folk influences of Cormac Byrne’s bodhrán and percussion, and the contemporary techniques of CLS strings, brass and woodwind.

The album, containing 15 original tracks, was recorded in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in September and released on Globe Music in November – available to purchase as a CD or MP3 download on The Globe’s website, and at external outlets such as iTunes and Amazon. You can also listen to it on Spotify and Apple Music.

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All images (c) Pete le May for Shakespeare’s Globe, 2017.

Listen to our King of Ghosts podcast

Not sure what a sarod is? Want to find out more about the musical influences in the score? We caught up with Bill Barclay, conductor of the performances and recording, who can fill you in on all this and more.



Sir William Walton and Sir Laurence Olivier

Considering his vast success in the genre, it is often surprising to think that Sir William Walton initially approached film music with grumbles about cheap musical tricks and resigned financial pragmatism.The music for Sir Laurence Olivier’s Henry V and Richard III, which we perform on Wednesday 29 October at Cadogan Hall, are often acclaimed as two of the greatest ever British film scores, and undoubtedly Walton’s masterpieces in the genre.

In this blog post, we track Walton’s collaboration with the famous Hollywood actor and director. Having worked together on at least three much-loved Shakespeare films, Hamlet (1948), Richard III (1955) and Henry V (1944) (to name the most famous), it is remarkable to think that the beginning of their working relationship was rocky. This, however, didn’t stop them becoming great friends and colleagues later in their careers.

Walton and Olivier infographic


Shakespeare: The Kings
Wednesday 29 October, 7.30pm
Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square

Holst Singers
Simon Russell Beale narrator
Stephen Layton conductor

Walton: Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario
Walton: Richard III: A Musical Scenario

Tickets: £32, £25, £18, £12, £5 (students and 16-25s – pre-register here)

Tickets still available. BOOK NOW