2012 Screen Music Awards: Best Original Song Composed for the Screen

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Title: Animula Vagula from Exitus Roma
Composer: Leah Curtis

Born and raised in Australia, composer Leah Curtis is a graduate in music from the University of New South Wales and screen composition from the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney.  She has experience working in the United States, taking up a Fulbright Postgraduate Award at USC’s Thornton School of Music and working as a composer and orchestrator on independent and major studio productions including orchestrating for Alex Wurman (Anchorman, Something Borrowed),Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek (Sophie Scholl, Run Lola Run).

Curtis is driven to uncover the authentic musical voice of a project, and take the first notes of an idea through to conducting on the scoring stage to final mixing and production. A passion for the creative process has found a home in her work composing and producing original scores and in the broadcast series she hosts, Directing the Music. 

Her work has earned a Fulbright Fellowship, the Queen Elizabeth II Trust Award, Young Shakespearean Artist of the Year Award, the Reg Waite Award a Composition Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and a Hollywood Music Award Best Original Score Nomination among others.

Curtis is currently based out of the West Coast of the United States from her studio where she work with clients from around the globe, and travels wherever projects take her, including time in Australia.

She has appeared in UK’s Clash Magazine, written for Moving Pictures Magazine, been heard on on ABC Classic FM and interviewed live on ABC Radio Overnight among others.

Title: Hey Hootabelle from Giggle & Hoot
Composer: Lior
Publishers: ABC Music Publishing / Mushroom Music Pty Ltd

Lior burst on to the Australian music scene in 2005 with his stunning debut album - ‘Autumn Flow’. Recorded and released entirely independently, and spearheaded by ‘This Old Love’ and subsequent singles ‘Daniel’ and ‘Autumn Flow’, the album became one of the most successful independent debuts in Australian history with sales surpassing Platinum. A swag of accolades followed, amongst them three Aria nominations (including Best Male Artist), as well as Triple J’s prestigious ‘J Award’ nomination for Album of the Year.

Lior’s sophomore album ‘Corner of an Endless Road’, released in 2008 followed on where ‘Autumn Flow’ left and was a huge success, debuting at #2 on the Australian Albums chart and topping the Independent charts for several weeks. The release was followed by a string of sold out national tours, including the hugely successful ‘Shadows and Light’ tour - a stunning collaboration with live performance shadow artistry built specifically to Lior’s music. The tour showcased at the Sydney Opera House to wide critical acclaim.

September 2010 will mark the beginning of a new chapter for Lior with the release of his third studio album - ‘Tumbling into the Dawn’. The album was written and recorded in numerous locations between his home town of Sydney and his current home address of Melbourne, and cemented his long time collaboration with producer Francois Tetaz.

If ‘Corner of an Endless Road’ represented Lior’s rich eastern musical heritage, ‘Tumbling into the Dawn’ traverses broader territory and showcases Lior’s fertile musical palate. The album is a return to the art of writing a great song based around a simple hook, a beautiful melody and of course, Lior’s trade mark voice. Combined with the bittersweet lyrical explorations of themes such as the underlying duality of existence as well as the vulnerabilities and strength of the human spirit, the album represents a wide and intense journey and makes this an album all music lovers should be drawn too.

Most artists set out with an ambition to build a career based on musical credibility and integrity whilst maintaining an independence and individuality in their craft. Lior is certainly part of that rare breed that has achieved this whilst garnering a great degree of success and critical acclaim.

Title: Love Finds a Way from Shopping
Composers: Will Kuether / Russell Thornton  

Will Kuether is an Australian writer/director. He is a graduate of UCLA's professional screenwriting program and the director of the Australian short film Shopping. During his time in Los Angeles he had the opportunity to work for some of the major Hollywood studios including 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. His feature screenplay Bang Bang Ming Wang is currently in development with Australian Producer, Sam Jennings (Second Sight Productions) and US Producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor (Practical Pictures) and he is embarking on his next feature screenplay with Paramount Pictures' Disruption Entertainment. 

Russell Thornton has been composing music professionally for the screen over the past 7 years from his studio base in the Hunter Valley. In that time his music has accompanied national television commercials, international television series, animation series, documentaries, short and feature films.

Russell studied music composition at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium and in 2002 commenced an Honours degree in Film Music Composition, receiving mentorship and lessons from renowned Australian composer Nigel Westlake.

His first high profile gig came in 2004 with Russell composing the music for “We Gave Blood”, a national television commercial for the Red Cross of Australia, (Cannes Bronze Lion in 2005). Russell has since worked on the television series “Supernova” (series I and II) the cartoon series “Master Raindrop” and “The Legend of Enyo” all receiving AGSC Screen Music Award Nominations. His most recent television projects include the theme music to the cartoon series “The Woodlies”, screening in Australia (Channel 7 network) and across Europe, along with the music for “The Impossible Lens” a documentary for National Geographic.

In July 2012 Russell won Best Original Song (Short Film) at the Long Island International Film Expo in New York for the song “Love Finds a Way” from the short film Shopping.

Title: The Goodnight Song from The Disney Channel
Composers: Kylie Burtland / Chloe Cassidy

Composer, Kyls Burtland, won 'Best Score' upon graduation from AFTRS in 2002 and was nominated Emerging Talent of the Year, '03 by Margaret Pomeranz & the Film Critics Circle. 

Kyls is best known for writing the ABC TV Theme rebrand music which won her a New York Gold Promax in 2007.  In 2010, Kyls collaborated with Sydney's premiere media-experience company Spinifex, to create an orchestral score & musical installation for the Shanghai Pavilion at World Expo Shanghai. Kyls also wrote the closing song for the Doha games, viewed by 80 million people, and sung by Disney Aladdin star Lea Salonga.

Kyls is the only person to have won Australian Songwriter of the Year twice, (National Song Competition ASA.), and has supported such artists as The Beastie Boys, Bob Dylan, Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors, Primus, The Tea Party and performed at three Big Day Outs, as a solo artist & with her seminal art-rock band, Trout Fishing in Quebec.

Kyls has scored seven TV series including Jesters with Mick Malloy and Susie Porter, and Bondi Rescue. She has scored over 40 films and docos, over 250 Ads and Idents for Disney, ABC TV, Channel 9. Her short animation 'Zero' won Best Animation at the LA Shorts in 2010, as did 'Message from Fallujah which won Best in Fest at LA shorts 2007.

Chloe Cassidy has been working as a producer in Australian Television for over 8 years. She has produced and directed documentaries for Australian free to air Network, Channel Ten, winning numerous awards including a Clarion for her documentaries ‘Diamonds in the Rough’ and ‘On the Ball’. She is currently the senior producer for Disney Channels in Australia & New Zealand where she writes and produces content for both Disney Channel and Disney Junior.  

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