Screen Composers Guild of Ireland: one year anniversary

Summer 2018 saw the establishment of the Screen Composers Guild of Ireland CLG following a number of informal meetings of composers who create music for film/tv, animation, documentary, advertising, video games and VR in Ireland. The primary aims of the organisation is to improve the status and rights of professional composers for screen in Ireland, to improve visibility for these composers and promote the value of their contribution to the wider audio-visual and music industries in Ireland. 

In February 2019, the SCGI was formally launched at a reception hosted by Dublin International Film Festival with special guests SCGI member composer Bill Whelan, BAI CEO Michael O Keefe and Oscar winning Hollywood composers David Shire. The reception was followed by a composer panel for DIFF featuring Irish composers who worked on festival programmed features. This marked the start of SCGI representation at Industry events and festivals which continued through 2019 at Dingle Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Fastnet Festival and Galway Film Fleadh and Sheffield Childrens Media Conference. This will be continued at the Advertising industry Shark Awards in September, and the Belfast Media festival and Awards in November. 

The DIFF launch also saw the publishing of website the online home of SCGI which includes a searchable directory of members. Each composer profile page has a short biography with recent credits, IMDB, soundcloud and social media links as well as contact information. Each member can use their SCGI directory url as a stand alone website whilst industry seeking to work with a composer based in Ireland can browse the directory for a wide selection of composers and easily make direct contact with them. 

The SCGI website will be continued to be developed into 2020 with the addition of an industry resources section and a page outlining the benefits of working with an Irish composer for international producers. 

Screen Composers Guild recognises the importance of continuous professional development opportunities for composers, to help improve their creative practise and develop soft skills required for developing professional careers. So far in 2019 we have run four training events ; Masterclass in Orchestration for Screen with renowned orchestrator Jeff Atmajian and the RTE Concert Orchestra supported by Screen Skills Ireland and BAI supported delivering the music series: Working with Post Sound department with Niall Brady, Contracting and Negotiations with Media Lawyer Andrea Martin and Composer Agent Juliet Martin and a skills workshop with Forensic Musicologist Peter Oxendale. We will have two further workshops to complete the Delivering the Music series before the end of the year. 

Screen Composers Guild wants to join the wider Audio-visual Industry conversation and to this end we have developed working relationships with key industry partners including; IMRO, Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland, BAI, RTÉ, Screen Producers Ireland, Screen Directors Guild of Ireland in Ireland and by joining ECSA the European umbrella group for creators. 

2020 will see us continue to explore the potential for working collaboratively with these and others to promote the work of Screen Composers in Ireland and positively contribute to the overall success of the Irish audio-visual and music industries. SCGI also engaged in lobbying which contributed to the successful passing of the European Copyright Directive. 


SCGI composer members currently working on animation projects include Darren Hendley (The Octonauts) whose music For ‘Angela’s Christmas’ was nominated for Emile Award in 2019. Colm Mac Con Iomaire, composer for Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon’s ‘Late Afternoon’, Kíla who are currently working on their third Cartoon Saloon feature ‘Wolf walkers’ with the French composer Bruno Coulais, who they also worked with on Oscar nominated ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Song of the Sea’. Giles Packham who is currently working on Jam Media’s ‘Jessy and Nessy’ and recently completed work on Dracco’s ‘Filly Funtasia’and is composer on Australian co-production ‘Lexie and Lottie’. John Mc Phillips who worked under Simpsons composer Bill Shultz on ‘Hero: 108’ for Cartoon Network International and ‘Teenage Fairytale Dropouts’ and co-composed Dracco’s ‘Filly Funtasia’ with Giles Packham.  Anna Rice who wrote title songs for BBC’s ‘Zombie Hotel’ and ‘Mondo Yan’ (Telegael) as well as scoring for ‘Lucky Fred 2’ and ‘Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs’. Sarah Lynch who worked under Anna Rice on ‘Lucky Fred 2’ and is currently working as music arranger on Nick Jr’s ‘Top Cop’ for Mooshku. Greg Magee who scored for the Oscar nominated Granny O’ Grimm. Niall Byrne who is currently working on a half hour animation ‘A Christmas Letter’ for Universal. Jonathan Casey who is composing for Disney’s ‘Space Chickens in Space’ and new SCGI member (directory profile coming soon) Mark Gordon working under Score, Draw, Music composed for Jam Media’s ‘Becca’s Bunch’. Lastly the Riverdance composer Bill Whelan who is currently working on a feature length Chinese Animation.


Screen Composers are composers who create and produce music for media, film/TV, Animation, Video games, Documentary’s and Advertising. They are composers who have developed the specific skill set to create music to compliment another creative vision, working as a member of a wider team of directors, producers, editor, sound designers to contribute to the narrative of the project and add value to the end production. Through composing original score as a collaborative member of the creative team and as a key creative element of a production the music that is delivered is bespoke and tailored to the production, creating its own cultural and economic value which returns to the home economy. 

Music is a key point of engagement for audience with any production, music informs on emotional cues, places action in genre, geographical location and era, it can create points of access and within advertising it has been recognised as a hugely valuable element in holding an audience in the new era of skipping through. 

As well as contributing to the music industry, through composition, copyright creation and adding to our musical heritage, composers for screen are very much a part of and facing the audio-visual industry. They invest in technology and equipment specific to the delivery of music as an element of a media production and they invest in developing specific skills to work in this field. It is hugely important for this population of creators that there is recognition of them as key creative members of the AV industry and for their contribution to the indigenous audio-visual industry.