Directory of Members

Phillip Johnston

Exile (2017) – Feature Documentary

Shock Room (2015) – Feature Documentary

Mr Sin: The Abe Saffron Story (2010) – Feature Documentary

Noise (2007) – Feature Film

Stolen Life (2007) – Feature Film

Faithful (1996) – Feature Film

Umbrellas (1994) – Feature Documentary

The Music of Chance (1993) – Feature Film

Money Man (1992) – Feature Documentary

Money (1989) – Feature Film


Phillip Johnston has had a long career as a practitioner of film music in the US, Europe and Australia. He has worked in Hollywood, independent film, documentaries and television; his feature film scores include Geld (1989, dir. by Doris Dörrie), The Music of Chance (1993, dir. Philip Haas), Faithful (1996, dir. Paul Mazursky), and Noise (2007, dir. Henry Bean). In Australia he has scored Kathryn Millard’s Shock Room, which won best Australian documentary at the 2015 Antenna Documentary Film Festival, and Stolen Life which won Best Original Music at the Machinima Film Festival (US). His original scores for silent film have been performed at the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center, the Melbourne Festival, the Revelation Perth Film Festival, the Sydney Vivid Festival and the Sydney Opera House and have toured widely throughout the USA and Europe. His multimedia project Wordless! with graphic artist Art Spiegelman (Maus), was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House and has toured widely internationally. Recent performances include The Paris Philharmonie, the Barbican Centre/London Jazz Festival, and Comicópolis in Buenos Aires. He has a parallel career as a jazz musician, with over 20 CDs as a leader or co-leader. In the USA he has co-led the Microscopic Septet with Joel Forrester since 1981–their 2017 release is Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down To Me: The Micros Play The Blues (Cuneiform); in Australia, he leads The Greasy Chicken Orchestra, and Phillip Johnston & the Coolerators, with Lloyd Swanton, Nic Cecire and Alister Spence; their most recent CD is Diggin’ Bones (2018). He has simultaneously released the recording of his silent film score for Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed. He was the 2017 winner of the Johnny Dennis Award for Film Music Composition, administered by the AGSC.

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