David Long composes, performs and produces music. He is currently working on the score for the BBC2 series The Luminaries, directed by Claire McCathy. So far in 2019 he has created the music for a Pukeko Pictures children's series, Book Hungry Bears and is nearing completion on a documentary on AI directed by Leanne Pooley. He recently finished the score for Kiddets, a Pukeko Production co-pro with China and for the feature documentary Wayne. The score for McLaren (dir. Roger Donaldson) has been released on itunes and Spotify. In 2018 David won an APRA award for Best Original Music for McLaren. An album from a band he plays with, Teeth, was released in May 2017. He also recently released Utterance, an album with Richard Nunns and Natalia Mann on Rattle Records in the following month. He is also currently teaching two courses in film score composition at Victoria University in Wellington.
In late 2016 he composed the score for Roger Donladson's McLaren and premiered a piece for orchestra, electric guitar and robotics (working with Jim Murphy of the NZSM) which was accompanied by a video piece created by David Downes. The piece was performed by Orchestra Wellington in December 2016. He also composed part of the score for Toa Fraser's Six Days with Lachlan Anderson. In 2015 he composed the score for an animated documentary, 25 April, by Leanne Pooley which was released in April 2016. David was the Creative New Zealand/Jack C. Richards Composer-in-Residence at the New Zealand School of Music 2014-15. In 2015 he composed the score for the documentary The Ground We Won by Chris Pryor and Miriam Smith.
In 2014 he composed the scores for Taking Stock, a UK comedy directed by Maeve Murphy that was released in September 2015 and Hot Air, a feature documentary by Alister Barry and Abi King-Jones on the politics of climate change. He also wrote his first score for a game; Stand Off, created by Theo Bayton and RhysClapcott. In 2013 he created the score for Beyond The Edge, a feature documentary on Ed Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest directed by Leanne Pooley. It is a score combining orchestra, viola caipiras and feedback. It features performances by Riki Gooch (percussion), Richard Nunns (taonga puoro) and Natalia Mann (harp). Beyond the Edge premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013. The soundtrack has been released by Rattle Records. It made Simon Sweetman's Best of 2013 list and was CD Of the Week in the NZ Sunday Star Times (Feb. 23, 2014).
2015 also saw the release of O Potassium, the second album by The Labcoats, a six piece experimental group that makes him laugh. The Labcoats are made up of David, Riki Gooch, Toby Laing, Anthony Donaldson, Steve Roche and David Donaldson. He is also recording an album with Teeth, a band with Luke Buda, Tom Callwood and Anthony Donaldson. A new album recorded with Richard Nunns and Natalia Mann will be released by Rattle Records in 2016.
David has worked on all of Peter Jackson’s films of the last decade. In 2009 he composed additional score for Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. For the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey he wrote (in collaboration with Plan 9 Music) ‘Misty Mountain’, a song for the dwarves that also features as a major theme in the score and was used as the basis for the credits song by Neil Finn. He wrote music and created musical sound design for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong (also with Plan 9 Music).
In early 2013 David composed the score for Gardening With Soul that premiered in the Wellington Film Festival. In 2012 three films were released that he scored; Robert Sarkies’ Two Little Boys, Alyx Duncan’s The Red House and Dan Salmon’s Pictures of Susan (a feature documentary). In 2011 he scored Simon Pattison’s film Rest for the Wicked and in 2010 wrote the score for Stephen Sinclair’s Russian Snark.
Long has composed for many television dramas and documentaries. Between 2009 and 2011 he created the music for the Weta Workshop children’s series The WotWots (78 episodes) which has screened in over 100 countries. In 2009-10 he scored two series of Paradise Café, a NZ/UK (BBC) co-production. In 2010 he scored Ice, a mini-series for the UK’s Power TV (starring Richard Roxburgh and Sam Neill). He won Achievement in Original Music at the Air New Zealand Film and Television Awards for two years running for his scores for the television series Insiders Guide to Happiness (2005), and for Insiders Guide to Love (2006).
David has had a long association with contemporary dance. He has written many pieces for New Zealand’s pre-eminent choreographer Douglas Wright. For the 2011 Auckland Arts Festival he composed the music for Wright’s dance show Rapt which toured to Holland in 2013. He has also written for Shona McCullagh and Raewyn Hill, among others. He has released 2 solo albums, Cross Creek and Slim Volume. He has also written for the New Zealand String Quartet and Stroma, a contemporary chamber orchestra.
Long was a founding member of the seminal New Zealand band the Mutton Birds with whom he made 3 albums over 7 years. In 2012 they reformed for a wineries tour and returned to London to perform in October of that year. The Mutton Birds were asked by Peter Jackson to record a version of 'Don’t Fear the Reaper' for the credits of The Frighteners. He has also produced many albums for a wide variety of artists including Dave Dobbyn’s Available Light (2005), two albums for Barry Saunders Red Morning, (2005) and Zodiac, (2009), Lucid 3’s Dawn Planes (2007) and Leila Adu’s Cherry Pie (2006) to name a few. He won Producer of the Year at the 2002 New Zealand Music Awards for Fur Patrol’s Pet.