About

Nainita Desai

Nainita is a current BAFTA BREAKTHROUGH BRIT and one of the UK’s leading composers who has scored hundreds of memorable TV series and films for all the major broadcasters from the BBC to HBO to ITV and C4, through her company SOUNDOLOGY.

This site however, focusses selectively on some of the other musical projects Nainita is involved in. Known for her incredible diversity and ability to embrace every score with a unique creative approach, recent projects include the BFI / Film4 / Picturehouse Feature Doc The Confessions of Thomas Quick and the innovative BBC Documentary Musical Mumbai High-The Musical (Dir: Brian Hill). 

Current commissions include feature films Darkness Visible (BFI), and WW2 drama Ni’ihauan Interactive movie for Annapurna pictures (Zero Dark Thirty, American Hustle) and Bafta winning games designer / director Sam Barlow, RITUALS, the BBC NHU follow up to the landmark BBC series Human Planet and All My Children a BBC documentary poetry film in collaboration with reknowned poet Simon Armitage.

Many of her projects have won or been nominated for numerous awards including OSCARS, BAFTA’s, EMMYs and RTS Awards, including winning the Siren Award for Best Original Composition: Feature Film Score THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK at the prestigious MUSIC+SOUND AWARDS UK 2016, Nominee for Best Original Film Score 2016 at the Women in Sync Awards (USA) and an RTS Best Music nomination for the BAFTA Nominated THE DAY KENNEDY DIED.

Previous dramas include the EMMY Nominated factual drama MAXWELL Starring David Suchet & Patricia Hodge (Dir: Colin Barr), TO KIDNAP A PRINCESS (ITV), the OSCAR nominated and multiple award winning short drama LITTLE TERRORIST and CHECKPOST for which she was recently nominated for a Music + Sound Award.

Working in a wide range of musical genres, she moves seamlessly between orchestral music to ethnic influenced music to electronic sound design, experimental and songwriting. As a result Nainita has forged an enviable reputation in TV and documentaries where her eclectic and versatile sound has contributed to a vast body of work.

As well as composing, Nainita sits on the Media Executive Committee at BASCA where she is involved in creating awareness about copyright and the value of music. She has sat on various juries including the BaftasEmmysIvor Novellos, Music+Sound Awards and RTS Awards and is a visiting lecturer at Goldsmith’s College. She also given talks at universities, conferences and film festivals all over the world [see below for more info]

Nainita was born and brought up in London to Indian parents and her eclectic musical upbringing as a child led to her studying the sitar, piano, guitar, tabla and violin.

Following degrees in mathematics and Music Technology, and studying sound at the NFTS, Nainita worked as a sound designer on numerous feature films including LITTLE BUDDHA (Dir: B. Bertolluci Starring: Keanu Reeves, Bridget Fonda), BACKBEAT (Dir: Iain Softley) , LESSONS OF DARKNESS (Dir: Werner Herzog), AUGUST (Dir: Anthony Hopkins)  DEATH MACHINE (Dir: Steve Norrington-“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Blade”) and HACKERS (Angelina Jolie).

Her passion for computers and music technology led to her working as a freelance music engineer working with many top artistes and bands ranging from The Damned to Tori Amos. which led to work with Peter Gabriel during the legendary “Real World Recording Week” sessions, working with over 70 of the worlds top artistes including Papa Wemba, Billy Cobham, Daniel Lanois, Jane Sibbery, Nigel Kennedy, Sinead O’Connor, Ravi Shankar and Peter Gabriel.

AWARDS

BAFTA BREAKTHROUGH BRITS 2016-17
THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK MUSIC+SOUND AWARD 2016 | BEST ORIGINAL COMPOSITION: FEATURE FILM SCORE
THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK WOMEN IN SYNC AWARDS Nominee ( June 2016) | BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE
THE DAY KENNEDY DIED RTS BEST MUSIC SCORE 2014 | BAFTA: BEST SINGLE DOC NOMINEE
CHECKPOST MUSIC + SOUND NOMINEE 2014 BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
THE NATURAL WORLD–A MOOSE NAMED MADELINE BEST MUSIC MERIT AWARD MISSOULA WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL
LITTLE TERRORIST OSCAR NOMINEE and multiple award winner at over 70 film festivals worldwide as well as BEST MUSIC AWARD Lucarnia Film Festival ITALY
THE OCCASION ANNECY INTL FILM FESTIVAL: BEST SOUND DESIGN & MUSIC
SHARK BATTLEFIELDS BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND : JACKSON HOLE WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL
9/11 THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD BAFTA NOMINEE: BEST SINGLE DOC
CHILDREN OF BESLAN BAFTA Best Single Doc Nominee and 2 x EMMY NOMINEE: (HBO) Direction & Cinematography
WHO GOT DIANA DOR’S MILLIONS? RTS AWARD: BEST FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME

FEATURES | TELEVISION DRAMA

NI-IHAU - WW2 drama [Feature] 27Ten Films | Dir: Gabriel Robertson | Prod: Ken Petrie
DARKNESS VISIBLE - Supernatural horror [Feature] BFI | Newscope Films | Dir: Neil Biswas
HUNTING THE KGB KILLERS - [Feature Doc] Dir: Chris Malone | Exec Prod: Brian Woods | Truevision
THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK - [Feature Doc] BFI / Film4 / Century Films | Dir: Brian Hill
CITY OF DREAMS – A MUSICAL [TV] BBC / Century Films | Dir: Brian Hill / Sam Benstead Sheffield 2016
MAXWELL [TV Drama] EMMY AWARD WINNING Dir/Prod: Colin Barr | Starring: David Suchet & Patricia Hodge
CHECKPOST [short drama] Music+Sound Best Music Nominee 2014 UK Dir: Aneel Ahmed
TO KIDNAP A PRINCESS [TV Drama] Dir: John Alexander | ITV
LITTLE BUDDHA [Feature] Dir: Bernardo Bertolucci | Prod: Jeremy Thomas (Keanu Reeves / Bridget Fonda)
BACKBEAT [Feature] Dir: Iain Softley | Producers: Scala Productions
AUGUST [Feature] Dir & Starring: Anthony Hopkins | ITV Films
INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE [Feature] Dir : Neil Jordan | Scala Productions (Tom Cruise / Brad Pitt)
HACKERS [Feature] Dir: Ian Softley | Starring; Angelina Jolie
DEATH MACHINE [Feature] Dir: Steve Norrington | Prod: Fugitive Features
FATHERLAND [Feature] Dir: Chris Menaul | HBO | Starring: Rutger Hauer
GREAT EXPECTATIONS [Feature] Dir: Alfonso Cuaron | Starring: Robert De Niro / Gwyneth Paltrow
THE BURNING OILFIELDS OF KUWAIT [Feature] Dir: Werner Herzog
MOLLY [short drama] UK Dir: Greg Karpinski

TRAILERS+COMMERCIALS

Music for over 30 film trailers by E Entertainment, Nordic Noir and Arrow films including Borgen and Wallander.

Various Commercials for brands including: LAND ROVER / SAMSUNG / FOSTERS / NINTENDO / MIGRALEVE / SONY/ CHICLETS CHEWING GUM / SAFIA MINERAL WATER / CAPO MILK / MIGRALEVE

INTERACTIVE | GAMES

Interactive Movie | Game for Annapurna Pictures (Zero Dark Thirty | American Hustle) and multiple BAFTA award winning games designer + Director Sam Barlow

DOCUMENTARY

Countless series and one off docs in many genres. Recent projects include the scores for Manhunt (C4 / Brian Woods), Hunting the KGB Killers (C4), Tribes, Predators & Me with Gordon Buchanon (BBC NHU) Hunters of the South Seas (BBC2), Sue Perkins in Kolkata (BBC1), Britain’s Biggest Adventures with Bear Grylls (ITV), Dinosaur Britain (CGI family adventure series ITV), Britain At Low Tide (C4), The Day Hitler Died (ITV), The Day They Dropped the Bomb (ITV), Living with Nomads with Kate Humble (BBC2), Treasures of the Indus (BBC4), Police Interceptors (C5), Million Dollar Princesses (Smithsonian), Her Story (BBC), Africa Rivers Wild (Animal Planet), The Mekong with Sue Perkins (BBC2)

TALKS + EVENTS

Speaking and contributing at various events including:

SHEFFIELD DOC FEST 2017 Craft Summit: The Art of Musical Score

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY of LEICESTER – WOMEN IN MEDIA CONFERENCE

MPA (Music Publishers Association) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE – Panel Speaker

UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE – Guest Lecture

BASCA MEDIA COMPOSER CONFERENCE 2016: Organiser and Speaker

DIRECTORS UK 2016 : In conversation with Hugo Blick and Martin Phipps

BATH FILM FESTIVAL 2016  Judge on the Filmscore competition

FRONTLINE CLUB : ‘Music for Documentary’ panel

SOUND CITY LIVERPOOL CONFERENCE 2016

THE STORY OF SOUND CONFERENCE, Lighthouse Brighton, 2015

BFI / LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2015: Music or Screen talk

Session speaker at WIRED WOMEN – part of UNDERWIRE FESTIVAL Nov 2015

THE SOUND OF STORY 2015 / CINECITY FILM FESTIVAL 2015

SHEFFIELD DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL 2014 : session speaker on ‘Bespoke Music Scores for Documentaries’

SOUNDOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH PITCH sponsor and leader of pitching panel at Sheffield Doc Fest to help young film makers make their first short doc.

WOMEX – Copenhagen The most important annual international professional market expo of world music of every kind.

Music & Pictures – New rules, new markets conference afiilliated  with MOSHITO, Africa’s largest annual music conference : Johannesburg, South Africa

ASIANS IN MUSIC CONFERENCE, SOUTHBANK, LONDON : ‘Asian Women in Music’ panel

FABER MUSIC – Music for TV short course : guest speaker

SOAS University of London– School of African and Asian Studies, University of London – guest speaker

Goldsmiths College – MA Film making students: Guest Speaker

Nainita is also a visiting lecturer in Media Composition on the BA (Hons) Music degree and Music for the Media (short course) at Goldsmiths College, University of London and has guest lectured at the Royal College of Music

JUDGING

2017:

Ivor Novellos

BAFTA Craft Awards

Embertone Composition Contest

Music+Sound Awards