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Jan Preston


Greymouth-raised and Sydney-based, Jan Preston is the first woman to compose the music for a New Zealand feature film solo. She and bassist Neil Hannan worked on the soundtrack for Skin Deep (1978), before Preston composed the score for period drama Pictures (1981). She has worked for directors from Leon Narbey (goldmining classic Illustrious Energy) to her sister Gaylene (Home By Christmas), and played in alternative theatre group Red Mole and pop band Coup D'Etat. In Australia she has composed the music for early silent movies and dozens of documentaries, and toured extensively as a self-styled Queen of Boogie Piano.  

I find the process of adding music to the sound effects and dialogue of a film endlessly fascinating and totally obsessive. The musical layers possible from the underscore can change the emotional impact and the meaning of the film to the viewer. Jan Preston, on her website