Two 2023 Oscar contenders, Son Lux and Diane Warren, each won awards in competition at the fourth annual SCL Awards, presented by The Society of Composers & Lyricists. Emmy winner Darren Criss hosted the event, which was held on Wednesday (Feb. 15) at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.
Son Lux, Oscar-nominated for best original score for Everything Everywhere All at Once, won outstanding score for an independent film. The award was accepted by the trio’s Ryan Lott. Warren, Oscar-nominated for best original song for “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman, won outstanding song for a drama/documentary.
Michael Abels was a double winner on the night. He won outstanding original score for a feature film for Nope as well as a Jury Award for Omar, an opera he composed with Rhiannon Giddens.
The SCL presented two 2023 Jury Awards in recognition of the increasing number of ways music is used in an audiovisual context. These awards are voted on by the SCL board of directors. The other went to the audiovisual concert experience Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, for which Amy Andersson is musical director.
The Spirit of Collaboration Award was presented to composer Justin Hurwitz and director Damien Chazelle, who have collaborated on five films, including La La Land, for which they each won Oscars, and the 2022 film Babylon, for which Hurwitz is again nominated for an Oscar for best original score. The presentation was accompanied by a musical performance which included “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land, the First Man theme for harp and theremin, and a Babylon medley.
The Spirit of Collaboration Award, considered the SCL’s most distinctive and perhaps most meaningful, is presented to a composer and filmmaker who maintain a distinguished creative partnership. Previous recipients are Thomas Newman and Sam Mendes, Carter Burwell and the Coen Brothers, and Terence Blanchard and Spike Lee.
Additionally, filmmaker/lyricist Guillermo del Toro and lyricist Roeban Katz accepted their award for outstanding original song for a musical or comedy for “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, which they co-wrote with Alexandre Desplat.
Nami Melumad, who became Star Trek’s first female composer with Star Trek: Prodigy, won the David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Stephanie Economou, who received the first ever David Raksin Award at last year’s ceremony, won best original score for interactive media for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök. Also, Emmy-winning composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer won outstanding original score for a television production for White Lotus for the second year in a row.
The Society of Composers & Lyricists is a leading organization for professional film, television, video game, and musical theater composers and lyricists. The 77-year-old organization is focused on education and addressing the creative, technological and legal issues affecting the music for visual media community.
Here are the nominees for the 2023 SCL Awards, with winners identified:
Outstanding score for a studio film
Alexandre Desplat – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Winner: Michael Abels – Nope
Michael Giacchino – The Batman
John Powell – Don’t Worry Darling
Outstanding score for an independent film
Leo Birenberg, Zach Robinson – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Sharon Farber – Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power
WINNER: Son Lux – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Rob Simonsen – The Whale
Mark Smythe – The Reef: Stalked
Outstanding song for a musical/comedy
WINNER: Alexandre Desplat, Roeban Katz, Guillermo Del Toro – “Ciao Papa” From Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Khiyon Hursey, Sukari Jones, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Mark Sonnenblick – “Good Afternoon” From Spirited
Danny Elfman – “Light the Match” From Central Park
Billy Eichner, Marc Shaiman – “Love Is Not Love” From Bros
Weird Al Yankovic - “Now You Know” From Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Outstanding song for a drama/documentary
WINNER: Diane Warren – “Applause” From Tell It Like a Woman
Taylor Swift – “Carolina” From Where the Crawdads Sing
Lady Gaga, Bloodpop – “Hold My Hand” From Top Gun: Maverick
Tems, Rihanna, Ludwig Göransson, Ryan Coogler – “Lift Me Up” From Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “(You Made It Feel Like) Home” From Bones and All
Outstanding score for television
Nicholas Britell – Andor
Siddhartha Khosla – Only Murders in the Building
Bear Mccreary – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Theodore Shapiro – Severance
WINNER: Cristobal Tapia De Veer – The White Lotus
Outstanding score for interactive media
Nainita Desai – Immortality
WINNER: Stephanie Economou – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök
Bear Mccreary – God of War Ragnarök
Winifred Phillips – Jurassic World Primal Ops
Christopher Wiliis – Cat Burglar
David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent
Dara Taylor – The Invitation
Anna Drubich – Barbarian
DeAndre James Allen-Toole – God’s Country
Esin Aydingoz – Simchas and Sorrows
WINNER: Nami Melumad – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds