Printing in Harmony for Hull Philharmonic Orchestra

NorthWolds prints scores for Hull Philharmonic Orchestra performance of retro ‘Commodore 64’ games console music

As a printing company, we love getting jobs in that are out of the ordinary and give us the opportunity to go above and beyond to deliver the best possible service and end result for the client. So we were excited to be approached by composer Robin Tait who was looking for a professional printing company to produce a complicated series of parts and scores for a special performance by Hull Philharmonic Orchestra of retro ‘Commodore 64’ games console music, some of which were originally written by internationally recognised games music composer Rob Hubbard back in the 1980s and 1990s. 


The concert, which is on 15 June 2019 at Hull City Hall, will see the 78-piece orchestra perform original music from the retro games which have built up a cult following. Presented by Hull College Group,, and the Hull Philharmonic conducted by Robin Tait, the ‘8-bit symphony’ concert (named after the ‘8-bit’ format in which the Commodore 64 games and music were made), will be a world premiere, one-night-only experience of original live orchestra music and immersive 8-bit visuals and game footage, which will take the audience back to the ‘hey day’ of console gaming. It is so unique and exciting for fans of the games and music that we understand it will soon be featured on BBC’s The One Show! 


Original composer Rob Hubbard, who lives near Hull, is the musical director of the concert, and Hull College is funding some aspects including the printing of the scores, making this a real coup for the city which was named the UK City of Culture in 2017. As NorthWolds is based not far away in Pocklington, this makes it a project even closer to our hearts. 


Composer and 8-bit Symphony project manager, Robin Tait, said: “The concert will feature 17 pieces of music composed by about eight individual composers which I have processed, making scores and parts ready for printing and distribution to the 78 members of the orchestra. The ‘job sheets’ I created for the printing showed what a logistical challenge it was! I was tasked with finding a company that could provide the quality and expertise needed and after consulting a retired professional printer, I was directed to NorthWolds. I was assured that they were by far the best people to produce scores and parts which will undoubtedly be used again and again in many other concert halls and when I visited to talk it through with commercial manager Robert Logan, he was delighted to take the project on, providing good quality paper suitable for musicians and for durability, with digital printing, binding and stitching.” 


Robert Logan, Commercial Director at NorthWolds, said: “This was a complicated job to say the least – one symphony made up of 12 parts for 78 instruments is 1,230 scores – but it wasn’t the size of the job that made it a big challenge. The fact that these scores were to be used by professional orchestral musicians at a live concert and needed to stand the test of time meant that everything had to be of the highest possible standard from the materials and techniques used to the exacting finish. This is right up our street as a family-run company with a real passion for our craft which treats every job as precious, but knowing that the scores will be used for such an exciting, unique local event makes it even more special. We knew that it wouldn’t be right first time and would need the time and attention that a project like this deserves and we are really pleased with the end result.” 


See teasers and trailers for the concert and buy your ticket here: 


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