The young musician has just completed his final year of the Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Music Practice) and received this accolade for Now I Know, a piece he composed for ABC’s medical drama Pulse. Presented by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, the award ceremony was held at City Recital Hall on Monday 19 November.
“It’s pretty crazy!” Oscar exclaimed.
“I am incredibly honoured to have even been nominated.”
Oscar’s brief from the ABC for this episode of Pulse outlined an intense, brooding piece to play over two scenes, with a Nick Cave duet supplied as a reference.
“I wrote the vast majority of the song in one sitting because I felt the quicker I could get them something, the better, and I guess they liked what I came up with,” Oscar said.
“I asked fellow Contemporary Music Practice students John Lawrie and Alana Patmore to sing on it to match the duet style of the reference track,” he explained.
“In the show, the piece starts as diegetic sound, that is, it’s actually playing from the bar’s speakers in the first scene. As the on-screen action progresses, the track becomes more prominent – this part was overlaid in post-production as a soundtrack.”
The category was highly competitive, with Oscar’s track up against pieces from Brothers’ Nest, a dark comedy premiered earlier this year at Austin’s SXSW festival, and children’s programs The Justine Clarke Show and Grace Beside Me.
Studying at the Con helped me to develop communication and industry skills, which have enabled me to navigate specific briefs and communicate effectively with clients.
Contemporary Music Lecturer Dr Jadey O’Regan said: “Oscar has been one of the most talented students I have had the pleasure of teaching. His win this week is not at all surprising to me, but I am immensely proud of him and his music.”
Oscar said the teaching staff and projects at the Con gave him essential advice and skills, preparing him for a career as a professional musician.
“Studying at the Con helped me to develop communication and industry skills, which have enabled me to navigate specific briefs and communicate effectively with clients.”
“He has done the contemporary music cohort proud,” Dr O’Regan said.
“I can't wait to see what he does next!”
Oscar is currently in two bands, Sal and The Mandas and Matt Druery and The Midnight Flyers, and performs as a sessional musician with various ensembles.
“Next year I would really love to release some of my own music”, Oscar said.
“Coming out of the contemporary course I’ve found I’m sitting on a lot of material, it would be fun to get it out into the world.”
Top image: Photo by Jess Gleeson.