Open Letter From Hudson Beck, Score IT! Plus 2017 Winner

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Hudson Beck (left) was the 2017 winner of the Score IT! Plus competition. Hudson Beck (left) was the 2017 winner of the Score IT! Plus competition.

Last year, Hudson Beck was the winner of Queensland Music Festival’s composing competition Score IT! Plus.

Ahead of entries for the 2018 competition closing this Friday (18 May), Hudson has written an open letter about his experiences last year.

In 2017, I had one of the greatest opportunities that a young composer could ask for: winning the Queensland Music Festival’s composing competition, Score IT! Plus.

As the finalist, I was gifted with a live performance of my winning piece at the Score IT! awards ceremony, a professional recording of it and so much more.

Score IT! is a competition where three or four animated videos from the Griffith University Film School are uploaded and high school students across Queensland are challenged to write music that accompanies the moving pictures.

The competition comes in three categories: Junior, Senior and Plus, with the Plus category having an added challenge; students must compose a piece for a given ensemble of 14 musicians. This has both its rewards and its difficulties.

On the one hand, the winner has their music brought to life by real musicians. However, when writing for such a small ensemble, the composer must fine-tune their orchestration skills to create an effective and cohesive piece with such a limited number of voices.

And for those who doubt, it can be done. Never underestimate the capability of just a single instrument, let alone 14.

Last year I chose to write for the Score IT! Plus category, which involved an animated film titled 'Sprite Knight', which told the story of a knight who had obtained magical powers that allowed him to eradicate the invasive species and save the day.

It was an amazing short film and I really enjoyed scoring it, creating memorable themes for each of the characters and manipulating them in unique ways to convey the story of the film.

And with that, I hope that any emerging film composers will understand and appreciate the power of the theme. Just a simple melody can open up an entire world of emotion if used in the right way.

In winning the competition, I was also gifted with not only a trophy and a live performance, but an entire experience that has ultimately bettered me as a composer.

Cameron Patrick, a judge for the Score IT! competition as well as a well-established composer and orchestrator in the industry, took my fellow finalists and I through all the ins-and-outs of the film industry: from how a score is written, orchestrated and copied, to how a piece of music is actually recorded and synchronised with the picture.

I would have to say for any young composers across Queensland, the Score IT! competition is an amazing competition put on by the Queensland Music Festival and inspires some amazing work. I urge all high school students to give the competition a try, whether you’re into film scoring or not, as it accepts all composers regardless of their skill levels, process or background - isn’t that something great in today’s world?

Queensland high school students keen to follow in the legendary footsteps of film composers such as Ennio Morricone and John Williams, entries for Queensland Music Festival’s annual state-wide competition Score IT! close on Friday 18 May.

Budding high school composers are invited to create an original composition to accompany a short animated film produced by Griffith Film School, with winning entries to be performed by a live orchestra in July 2018.

Click here for more information.


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