From home to the world – an honoured screen composer has her life sewn up

'The ability to focus, without interruption and just inhabit a beautiful space where you're working extremely fast with clarity.' Nerida Tyson-Chew reflects on life as a screen composer.

Australian screen composers are one of the craft jewels in the sector. To receive the APRA-AMCOS Distinguished Services Award is a substantial achievement. In 2020, that touch of magic landed on Nerida Tyson-Chew, a composer, orchestrator and conductor who is known most recently for H is for Happiness. She has built an international career while she insists on staying home in Sydney. Family life, community and cultural origins are important to her. 

For the last 30 years, Tyson-Chew has composed, scored and recorded here, and travelled to centres like London, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver for the mix. 

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David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.