Mark Bradshaw has been hired to score BBC’s and Sundance Channel’s mini-series Top of the Lake. The seven-part series is helmed by Academy Award-winning director Jane Campion (The Piano) and Australian director Garth Davis and stars Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, Peter Mullan and David Wenham. The drama is set in New Zealand and follows the disappearance of a five-months pregnant 12-year-old girl who was last seen standing chest-deep in a frozen lake. Emile Sherman & Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) are producing the project for See-Saw Films and Philippa Campbell (Black Sheep) is producing for Escapade Pictures. Campion has written the teleplay with Gerard Lee (Sweetie). Bradshaw has previously collaborated with Campion on the director’s last feature Bright Star starring Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw. It was announced this past week that Top of the Lake will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival as a six-hour movie. The series will air later in 2013 on the Sundance Channel. For updates on the drama, click here.

  1. Kaarel says:

    Bradshaw’s theme song is actually authored by an Estonian composer Veljo Tormis and it is his arrangement of an Estonian traditional song: “Kust tunnen kodu / How I Recognize My Home”. There is no doubt that we are dealing with plagiarism, because there is no mention of Veljo Tormis or the Estonian traditional song in the series’ credits. Bradshaw claims to have used the Estonian traditional song and not Tormis’ composition but it would only be possible by him visiting the Estonian Folklore Archives in person and we don’t have no record of that. If he indeed used only the song and accidentally created the almost identical arrangement as that of Veljo Tormis, the credits still would need to mention the traditional song as the source.

  2. Justin Boggan says:

    He also cpuld have heard it on Youtube, searching around for it. Estoniania should be aware the world has moved to new ways of finding and hearing audio.

  3. Ruth says:

    Has the world already moved on so far I could use this melody in my music arrangements without reference to Mark Bradshaw? It would be truly nice. Also if you recognize the tune of the Scarborough Fair in my composition under my name . . . You will not mind, will you?

    • Justin Boggan says:

      Who knows. James Horner has made a living out of lifting, from time-to-time, music by other composers (name examples include Benjamin Britten and Prokofief), inclouding a known folk melody in his score to “Willow” — without crediting the sources. Who knows hat you or Bradshaw can do; if the musci is copyrighted, then sue, otherwise as known radio show legal expert likes to say, “Go pound sand.”

      Do I like it? No. I would hope that any composer could mjake a new melody out of something they heard, istead of lifting from it, and then not crediting it.

      You assume I even know what “Scarborough Fair” is.

      But really now, what were you expecting a composer like Bradshaw, who’s not top-tier, doesn’t make anywhere near what Silvestri and Horner do, to do? Fly over to Estonia and visit in person the Estonian Folklore Archives? Not gonna happen. Even if you paid his ticket over, the odds are against you, ’cause he has work to do.

      What makes this so frustrating is that Horner took it to another level — he said in an interview one time he doesn’t do it intentionally, ye tthe notes are identical and the orchestration is like he got the paper work and studied it. You can’t copy the orchestratio nand notes down like that unless you are intentionally doing it. I call bullcrap. Or as Sherman Potter said in “M*A*S*H”: “Horse hockey!”

      But, just round up the Estonian army and go get that dang Bradshaw. 😉

  4. Kaarel says:

    Here’s an updated link proving the point:
    Bradshaw could not have heard the orignal folk song on Youtube, because only Tormis’ adaptation of it exists on Youtube.

    Perhaps I was a little too harsh in my original comment though. We should be happy that Tormis’ work is a part of such a popular TV series but it would be nice to also have his name mentioned there. Theoretically, it is possible that Bradshaw was not aware of Tormis’ influence when creating the theme song, although to me personally it seems very unlikely. Nevertheless, the influence is there and should be acknowledged.

    • Taive Särg says:

      To be punctual, there is the sound recording of the song in The Estonian Folklore Archives, and also transcription of it. The melody in the sound recording is the same, but the performing style and atmosphere are completely different from Tormis and Bradshaw. It is clear, that it would have been impossible to compose two very similar arrangements basing on that original.

  5. Ruth says:

    I seem to be pretty sure , he was aware of all the circumstances. There is one thing I cannot understand, why he sells it as his own composition? He does not make references on the folksong, what makes any following arrangements on this tune to become the breach against Bradshaw. He uses the same key, same tempo from the recording, the same atmosphere created by Tormis. He has not been in the archive, where the song could be seen as written on the paper.

  6. Kaarel says:

    Possible Plagiarism Row Over Veljo Tormis Work:

  7. Ruth says:

    They( who) has taken down all the videos and why?

  8. Taive Särg says:

    Sally, the existence of another arrangement does not diminish Bradshaw’s responsibility.

  9. Taive Särg says:

    There is a sound recording and the transcription of that song in the Estonian Folklore Archives. The original has the same melody, but completely different performing style and atmosphere. It would have been impossible to compose on that base two so similar arrangements.

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