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Canberra Today 16°/18° | Sunday, December 10, 2023 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Canberra composer wins screen music award

James Mountain and his award.

CANBERRA composer James Mountain was one of the big winners at the 2023 Screen Music Awards, held  in Melbourne late last week.

Hosted by APRA AMCOS and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, the awards celebrate excellence in composition across the small and large screen.

Mountain, a first-time nominee, received the award for Best Music for a Short Film for “Mud Crab”.

Directed by David Robinson-Smith, the film depicts a woman reflecting on her past and was shot in Budgewoi, on the NSW central coast.

“Mud Crab”, Mountain says, was made in the middle of the pandemic, meaning that, unusually, the score was composed before the film shoot, allowing Robinson-Smith to play the music on set.

Initially a student film, it came out of the master’s program at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in Sydney where Robinson-Smith and Mountain were studying together.

Written for a string quintet, Mountain’s music aimed to have a “gritty contemporary sound”.

Now based in Sydney, he’s working on more short films at the moment  and hopes to move into TV and feature films.


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Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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