Amanda Davis, whose performer name Dyagula means ‘Lyrebird' in Wiradjuri, is commencing the 2023 NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive.
She has just begun the three-month, Sydney-based program that explores the key practices of screen composing in production settings and will be mentored by Ken Francis.
"I've been a composer all my life but never had the platform to shine and extend my craft like this," said Dyagula.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office (NATSIMO) is pleased to announce that Amanda Davis, whose performer name Dyagula means ‘Lyrebird' in Wiradjuri, is commencing the 2023 NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive. Amanda is a proud Wiradjuri Ngunawal Song Woman born in Yass, NSW, and an established multi-genre vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer and vocal producer and vocal arranger.
As the successful applicant, Amanda has just begun the three-month, Sydney-based program that explores the key practices of screen composing in production settings. As part of the intensive, she has composing space at Church Street Studios and will create of a soundtrack for a short film with guidance from screen composer mentor Ken Francis and will work on the arrangement with Jigsaw Music's Jessica Wells.
The intensive is funded by APRA AMCOS with support from the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC), Church Street Studios, Jigsaw Music and Trackdown Studios.
Amanda's impressive CV includes starring in successful musical theatre productions including FAME the Musical, HAIR the Musical, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and The Sapphires. She was vocal producer on Christine Anu's ARIA-nominated Island Christmas album. She has performed as a backing vocalist for Dan Sultan, Emma Donovan, Stan Walker, Troy Casser-Daly to name a few and toured extensively for Christine Anu and the late Uncle Archie Roach.
Amanda was a proud Black Arm Band member and also toured Australia and internationally in DIRTSONG, MURUNDAK and NGUNGWURRA MEANS HEART. Her group, the contemporary First Nations electro-soul trio BOW AND ARROW, has played festivals, performed on NITV, caught airplay on Triple J and ignited the Sydney Opera House and other major venues numerous times.
Amanda launched her solo Dyagula project in 2022 and was co-Music Director for NITV's 10 year anniversary concert at Uluru. She has ventured into screen composing with co-writers Emily Wurramara and last year's NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive participant DOBBY, on ‘Marringa Lullaby’ for ABC Kids and composed a work for APPLE and The Art Gallery Of NSW.
"We are thrilled to announce and congratulate Dyagula on her selection. Dyagula is an incredible multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a broad range of experiences leading, accompanying and composing musical experiences in contemporary, theatre and art music installations nationwide," said Jacob Ridgeway, Manager, NATSIMO.
"Dyagula has been working on various screen projects, and we can’t wait to see what knowledge and networks she will gain in this sector. The NATSIMO Screen Composer Intensive is now in its second year, and we hope to continue to create meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music creators in the screen industry."
"I am completely honoured to be chosen by NATSIMO as the recipient of the 2023 Screen Composer Intensive Program here on Gadigal land. I've been a composer all my life but never had the platform to shine and extend my craft like this. I'm honestly over the moon to have this opportunity to learn from the best, deepen my knowledge and create a score for a short film under the mentorship of Ken Francis and orchestration/arrangement sessions with Jessica Wells," said Amanda.
"I'm very looking forward to moving into the guest suite composing studio at Church Street Studios where I can create in my own private space and I'm also thrilled to be able to use such a renowned space like Trackdown to record the score.
"To say I feel my Ancestors behind me right now would be an understatement. I am certainly eager to learn and grow, but I am also very proud to be walking into this space and taking up space as a First Nations woman!! I'm so pleased to be joining the Australian Guild of Screen Composers and excited at the idea of creating First Nations scores for Australian screen stories in the near future.
"I'd like to acknowledge NATSIMO for creating this unique and necessary pathway for myself and other First Nations composers, and hope this opportunity continues for others in the future."
"The Australian Guild of Screen Composers is excited to continue its partnership with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music Office by providing membership, networking, and observational experiences for the Screen Composer Intensive program. We're thrilled to welcome the very talented Dyagula, who was selected from a national search by NATSIMO for this year's second iteration of the program,"s aid Dale Cornelius, AGSC President
"The AGSC is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion in the screen industry, as well as self-determined outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We're excited to work with NATSIMO on this important program and to support the next generation of screen composers in Australia."
The intensive program was developed in consultation with screen industry professionals with the goal to create, forge and develop self-determined pathways to employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Screen Composers through the development of a three-month creative immersive experience.
As the program's inaugural participant Rhyan Clapham (DOBBY) was mentored by APRA Screen Music Award-winning composer Amanda Brown. The creative outcome resulted in Rhyan’s composition, 'SPRING'. He recently signed to Sony Music Publishing.