Composer Interview - Nerida Tyson-Chew


My name is… Nerida Tyson-Chew.

I've been composing... exclusively for the screen for 27 years, orchestrating for longer.

I studied music at… The NSW State Conservatorium of Music; The University of Sydney and qualified with a B.Mus Hons (Composition) and the University of Southern California with a Masters in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television.

Something people don't know about me is….. I recently skied at 69.5kms/hr. Oh, and I love solving cryptic crosswords.

My musical journey involved…. Recitals, accompanying, choirs, playing in orchestras, big bands, concert bands, wind ensembles and chamber groups…

The instrument I'm best at is… Piano.

I'm best known for my scores to… ’Hotel Sorrento’, ‘Tracey McBean’ and ‘The Deep’.

A score I'm proud of but received little recognition for is….. ‘Anacondas – The Hunt for the Blood Orchid’.

The score I wish I wrote is…… ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.

If I wasn't me, the composer I'd love to be is … Vaughan Williams, because…. swoon…

My composing style is…. variable.

My most memorable recording experience is…. The day after delivering my action-adventure score for Sony’s ‘Anacondas’ - which had 9 calls of 60-piece orchestra, plus live ethno sessions including shakuhachis and Asian percussion as well as MIDI soundscape - the day after, I recorded my first episode of ‘Tracey McBean’ for the ABC with 2 musicians: the legendary Col Nolan on Hammond Organ and the very cool Craig Scott on Upright Bass.

I compose using… 4 Ps : Pencil, Paper, Piano and Performer.

My screen composing income is … my only income.

The person that helped me get to where I am now is….. my partner Paul.

If I wasn't a screen composer I'd probably be … florist because designed beauty with flowers brings joy to everyone despite the circumstance.

The thing I love about my job is … constant creativity.

One of my many favourite films is …. Galaxy Quest.

To relax I…. watch movies, TV, and binge-watch streaming, read, and laugh with friends.

A day wouldn't be complete without…. A cuppa watching the birds in our backyard.

A message to my fellow composers would be…. Don’t neglect your private life.

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