Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee likes to keep moving. He kicked off 2014 with the release of his score for the documentary film Maidentrip. In March, he performed at Carnegie Hall as part of a tribute to Paul Simon. Throughout April and May, he was out supporting song-writer William Fitzsimmons. This September, he toured for two weeks in Europe and returned to the United States to perform with the Charlotte Ballet. If you’ve seen him perform, you know it’s not to missed. For listeners just discovering Ben’s music, you’ll find that there’s a lot more to it than just songs.
Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee and his rugged cello, Kay, told an unconventional story. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, Ben packed his touring life on to his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles! He has been invited to perform and speak on sustainability at a number of festivals including South by Southwest Music (2011) and TEDx San Diego (2012). Closer to home, Ben has devoted a tremendous amount of energy to raising awareness about the practice of Mountain Top Removal Strip Mining in Central Appalachia. His 2010 collaborative album Dear Companion (Sub Pop) brought together fellow Kentucky artist Daniel Martin Moore with producer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) to shed light on the issue. In teaming up with international organizations such as Patagonia Clothing and Oxfam America, Ben has come to be known as a thoughtful activist and dedicated informer at shows.
Like his contemporaries Chris Thile and Abigail Washburn, Sollee’s music is difficult to pin down. Following a performance at the Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, the New York Times remarked how Sollee’s “...meticulous, fluent arrangements continually morphed from one thing to another. Appalachian mountain music gave way to the blues, and one song was appended with a fragment from a Bach cello suite, beautifully played.” It’s Ben’s quality of narrative and presence on stage that unifies his musical influences. However, always on the move, Sollee’s musical career has expanded beyond the stage.
Ben’s music can be heard in film and on TV. Shows like ABC’s Parenthood and HBO’s Weeds have placed songs. In 2013, Ben was invited by director Mark Steven Johnson to write a song for the film Killing Season starring John Travolta and Robert De Niro. 2014 is Ben’s second year performing with the North Carolina Dance Theater in Dangerous Liaisons, a play with music written by Ben Sollee.
The Vanishing Point is an experience that is pioneering the relationship between music, digital interactive development and virtual reality. Woodpenny is the development team that's putting together all the digital bits.
Woodpenny is a creative design team with a strong background in game development, music, sound and graphic design. Our studio has an interest in exploring all technologies and especially the relationship between games, interactive media and audio.
As a studio of creatives with big imaginations, partnering with Ben on the Vanishing Point has been one of the most satisfying projects we've developed...ever.
- Pat King - Owner | Designer | Producer
- Jess Winter - Programmer | Super Nice Dude
- Al Brennan - 3D Artist | Creative Lead
- Rodger Ruzanka - 3D artist | Sound Designer
- Dan Brennan - 2D Artist
PAT KING | OWNER
An ex-pat of Louisville, KY, Pat King holds a BA in Music Business from Indiana University Southeast. He began his career as a composer, performer and audio engineer for music, voiceover, film, animation and games.
In 2007, Pat began working at Paul Hake Productions as an audio engineer, designer and producer for numerous casual game titles. In 2009, the studio merged with Golden Goose Games to form HitPoint Studios, where Pat continued his various roles between production, sound and game design. In 2014, he founded Woodpenny, a digital & physical game development studio that makes wooden board games that you play with a penny (hence the name) as well as digital games and media content.
At HitPoint, Pat designed and produced the award winning games The Secrets of Arcelia Island and AXE MotoX. He was the lead designer for Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Episode 1), Build-a-lot: Elizabethan Era and produced the online social game Seaside Hideaway. Pat was lead sound designer for Adera (Ep1), Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Ep 2-5) and Disney's Little Mermaid Undersea Treasures. At Woodpenny, Pat has led the studio to develop a series of brand interactive mobile games, sound design for a number of titles including a mobile game for DreamWorks to promote the hit movie How To Train Your Dragon 2.
In July 2014, Pat co-founded the Pioneer Valley Game Developers, a group of game development enthusiasts in the area with more than 100 members.
In the Spring of 2016, Pat will teach an "Interdisciplinary Game Studio" course at Hampshire College.