Belfast-based children's television production company Sixteen South have won an award for Best Music/Sound Design at the inaugural Irish Animation Awards for their preschool animation Lily's Driftwood Bay.
Produced by Sixteen South, Lily's Driftwood Bayis a mixed-media animation series for 4-6 year old boys and girls. In the show, Driftwood Bay is a special island that exists in the imagination of Lily, who creates a world of adventure and friendship from different treasures she finds washed up on the beach.
The series screens on Nick. Jr in the UK, and features the voice of comedian and Father Ted actor, Ardal O'Hanlon. Music for the show was written by the Score Draw Music team under the direction of founder, Mark Gordon.
Currently networking at the SXSW music and media conference in Austin, Texas, Gordon was unable to attend the Irish Animation Awards in Dingle, County Kerry, but was full of praise for Sixteen South creative director, Colin Williams, with whom he worked closely on the Lily's Driftwood Bay score.
'We started chatting to Colin about Lily's Driftwood Bay three years ago. He had a strong vision for what the show should sound like and from that basis we wrote an initial 15 songs. We wrote the titles and all the incidental music and songs, while the song lyrics were provided by the writers of the show.
'From that point we then moved into scoring episodes. There is around four to five minutes of original music in each episode, which is much more than most preschool animations would tend to have, and there is also live singing as part of the underscore in every episode.
'I am delighted for Sixteen South, Pete Collins, the sound designer, and us guys. I think the award is a recognition of the level of work we all put into making every bar of music as good as possible. Although this is a preschool show, we never scored down to the audience and always pushed really hard to make the music as rich, varied and beautiful as possible.'
Score Draw Music have written music for various television series and films, including the acclaimed documentary Road, released in 2014, which told the story of the legendary Dunlop road racing brothers and was voiced by Hollywood actor Liam Neeson.
Sixteen South, meanwhile, have produced original series for various channels, including Sesame Tree for the BBC and Pajanimals in a partnership with the Jim Henson Company.
'To win any award for our work is an honour, but to have the music and sound design in Lily's Driftwood Bay recognised is a real accolade,' added Williams.
'I wanted Lily's Driftwood Bay to sound like it looks – completely organic. From the moment I shared my vision with Mark, he totally got it, and we have shared a brilliant and fun journey through production to arrive at 52 episodes of original music.
'The majority of childrens television is synth and sample-led music, but on Lily's Driftwood Bay everything is live, played by and sung by some of the country's best musicians. The sound design was the same. Working with my sound designer, Pete Collins, he too completely understood the vision for everything to sound like it looks, recording real sounds for practically everything in the show. I was fortunate to work with such a brilliant team and this award celebrates them all.'