Kyle Shepherd is one of South Africa’s most celebrated pianists & composers of his generation. Internationally recognised for his distinctive compositional style & performances, has made a huge impression on debut as a film score composer for the critically-acclaimed film, Noem My Skollie / Call Me Thief – South Africa’s official entry to the 2017 Academy Awards – for which he earned a nomination for the 2017 South African Film & Television Award [SAFTA] for Best Achievement in an Original Music Score in a Feature Film.

Fueled by his life-long passion for the movies & video games and fascination with the film-making process – coupled with his vast experience in composing and arranging music for creative collaborations with a diverse array of creative music, arts & culture practitioners – actors, film & theatre directors, photographers & dancers, composing music for film has been quite a natural transition for the prolific young composer. “Emotionally driven melodies, atmospheric minimalism and textural soundscapes, underscoring a visual narrative, have always been something I’ve thought about as a serious avenue for music-making. While composing for film differs to composing for my own solo work, in that it offers the luxury of emotional anonymity, I feel very close to stories and visuals as a stimulus for composition. The scope of the script, vision of the director and performances of the actors and actresses, is what, to me, evokes the sound palette. When I hear music or read a script, my focus is on hearing or reading what is between the notes or words, paying close attention to the emotional disposition of the character in a scene. Then my job is to create sonic scaffolding for those emotions and to deliver it to the audience in the most understandable way regardless of the complexity of the on-screen narrative,” explains Shepherd.

“With his score of Noem My Skollie / Call Me Thief, Kyle Shepherd has forged the emotional spine on which the rest of the film’s emotional journey rests on. Sparse and delicate; haunting and melancholic – this aural journey permeates the inner life of a complex character. But it is never without hope – and in the end rewards us with a deep sense of cathartic resolution. If you don’t finish it with a lump in your throat, you don’t have a heart.” – Daryne Joshua (Director)

Jazz & Beyond