Teehan’s extraordinary skills as a tuba player led the director of a short film to request him as a composer for his film several years ago, a fated collaboration that would spark Teehan’s interest and later his career as a composer for film. Teehan says, “I didn’t know what I was doing but I jumped into it and we had a lot of fun, it was a really quirky score, and I was nervous trying to do the job but I enjoyed the challenge of it.” Although Teehan had already been playing and composing music professionally for over decade when the opportunity to work in film presented itself, he admits that despite the international success he had achieved as a musician there was still a void, a challenge that was missing. Through his experience composing for film Teehan not only discovered the challenge he was looking for but a career he could dedicate his life to as well.
In 2012 he scored the award-winning documentary The Sugar Bowl, which won Best Documentary and the coveted Festival Prize at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, and screened as an Official Selection at the Atlanta Film Festival. Shot on an island in the Philippines that once thrived in wealth from a booming sugar industry, the documentary focuses on the aftermath of a now, somewhat agriculturaly baren region, and the decades of famine, despair, and political turmoil that have plagued the island since it’s thriving period. A beautifully shot film that is poetic from beginning to end, Teehan’s score gives the visual imagery emotional depth and drives home the story in a way that is both powerful and touching.
More recently, Teehan scored the feature documentary The Babushkas of Chernobyl, which is set for release this year. The film is about hundreds of elderly Ukranian women who dare to live out the rest of their lives in their homeland, despite the fact that it is a high-risk radiation zone due to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that hit in 1986. The film was directed by Holly Morris, a former National Geographic Adventure columnist and contributor to The New York Times, “O,” and MORE magazine, and Anne Bogart, a television producer and director who’s known for her work on the PBS travel series Globe Trekker. Teehan’s score adds to the film’s unique allure with his inclusion of traditional Ukrainian folk instruments and his own style of dark, ambient, electronics, which illustrate the tension between the vibrant traditional lifestyle and the modern, synthetic world.
Since discovering his true calling as a composer for film, Rob Teehan has become a highly sought after talent in the Canadian film industry. Aside from The Babushkas of Chernobyl and The Sugar Bowl, he has created original scores for the films Tulip, Texas and Us, The Unsinkable Captain John, Hogtown, Joe, The Power of One, Safe Socks, Many Choices, Life as a Coin, Flor De La Mar and others. From his proven track record of success, it is guaranteed that Teehan’s musical talent is one that will continue to impress audiences around the globe.