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Red Contributor

Mark Smythe

Composer, Performer

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Mark Smythe is a New Zealand-born composer whose work ranges from lyrical, contained scores to epic Wagnerian overtures with a modern bent. His music is described as ‘eclectic, surprising and emotionally present’. Mark studied composition with Jack Body at the NZ School of Music and Screen Composition with Martin Armiger at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School, graduating with Distinction in 2008. In 2011, Mark received an Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant to fund his participation in the prestigious NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Program in memory of Buddy Baker, working with screen music legends Mark Snow (X-Files) and Sean Callery (Homeland).

In 2005, Mark reconnected with his classical roots and began an enduring collaboration with the vocal ensemble Baroque Voices, who have now premiered nine of his ten choral works (the other being premiered by the LA Studio Singers under Edie Lehmann Boddicker). He has also worked with eminent New Zealand harpist Helen Webby and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. His innovative choral arrangements include settings of songs by Radiohead and Massive Attack.

In 2012, Mark scored the Australian feature film ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’, a Drama/Horror directed by Christopher Lee Sun. The harrowing story stunned audiences and was released in the USA in 2014. Mark received the Best Composer Award from the Australian Screen Industry Network for his work on the film. In March 2013 Mark relocated to Los Angeles to undertake an Australia Council-funded mentorship with US screen composer Jeff Cardoni (CSI:Miami).

"...something so tuneful you remember it all instantly." NZ Listener, March 30 2013.

Composed (13)

A Solis Ortus

for chamber vocal ensemble, 4m


for SSATB unaccompanied, 5m


for piano quintet, 5m

Ave Verum Corpus

for vocal ensemble

De La Cuna que se Mece Eternamente

for unaccompanied vocal ensemble, 6m 33s


for SSSSAAA choir and piano

Moto Mojo

for solo pedal harp with delay pedal, 5m

Nox Noctis (Reign of Night)

for SSATB choir and electric guitar, 6m


for SSSSAA choir and harp

Piagne e Sospira

for SSATB choir and electric guitar

There Is No Death

for vocal octet, 4m

Umbra Animae

for SSATB vocal ensemble or choir, 4m 6s

Ustulo Terra

for SSATB choir

Recordings (2)

Helen Webby: Pluck