In a possible preview of what may take home Oscars for music, “No Time to Die” songwriters Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell and “Encanto” composer Germaine Franco won Society of Composers & Lyricists awards Tuesday night at Los Angeles’ Skirball Center.
Franco’s Colombian-flavored music for “Encanto” took the award for outstanding original score for a studio film, overtaking scores for “Dune” and “The Power of the Dog,” among others, in the balloting. Daniel Hart’s medieval sounds for “The Green Knight” won original score for an independent film. “Encanto” is Oscar nominated, while Hart was short-listed for the Oscar but didn’t make the final five.
Billie Eilish’s Bond theme won outstanding original song for a drama or documentary, while “Just Look Up” — by Ariana Grande, Nicholas Britell, Kid Cudi and Taura Stinson, from “Don’t Look Up” — won in the category of original song for a musical or comedy.
Eilish and O’Connell sent a video message thanking SCL and noting how proud they were to be recognized by “some of the great composers and lyricists of our time.” “No Time to Die” is favored to win on March 27, having already won a Grammy and a Golden Globe, and the SCL honor may be an indicator of which way voters are leaning. “Just Look Up” was short-listed but didn’t receive an Oscar nomination.
The score for HBO’s “The White Lotus,” by Cristobal Tapia de Veer, won outstanding original score for television (beating out such shows as “Succession” and “Loki”), while the music for “Battlefield 2042” by Hildur Guðnadóttir and Sam Slater, took the award for outstanding original score for interactive media. This was Guðnadóttir’s third SCL win.
A new award for “emerging talent,” named after legendary composer David Raksin (“Laura”), went to Stephanie Economou, who recently scored Netflix’s “Jupiter’s Legacy.” And the annual Spirit of Collaboration award, given to a composer-filmmaker team, went to Carter Burwell and his longtime filmmaking partners Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
Burwell has scored 17 of their films, most recently Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” with earlier titles including “Fargo,” “The Big Lebowski” and “No Country for Old Men.” Burwell led a small ensemble of musicians in a suite of music from Coen Brothers films.
This was the third annual SCL awards, given by the organization that represents professional composers, songwriters and music professionals active in the media-music business. Singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc was host for the evening, which also featured performances by Grammy winner Judith Hill and Grammy-nominated writer-performers Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear (“The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical”).