Though pianist-composers Hauschka and O’Halloran are longtime friends, Garth Davis’ 'Lion' marks their first cinematic collaboration, reflecting the composers’ shared interests in both classical and avant-garde compositions. After pursuing solo careers for many years, both treated the film score as something that would add variety to their artistic work.
'Lion' (2016) tells the journey of Indian boy Saroo, adopted by an Australian family, who decides to find his biological family and go home. The touching film, based on a true story, has gathered six Oscar nominations, including for best music. The soundtrack, also rewarded with nominations for the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards, forms the starting point of this concert. Improvising on the 'Lion' themes, Hauschka - master of the prepared piano - and Dustin O’Halloran - famous for his minimalist vibes and ambient-like productions - musically challenge each other, each at their piano.
“The way a piece of music is played is just as important as the notes themselves. The one thing with Hauschka and I, in our music, the way we play it is such a big part of the sound, and I can’t play the way he plays, and he can’t play the way that I play. It’s so particular to our individual touch; it transmits a lot.” - Dustin O’Halloran
Hauschka (Volker Bertelmann) is an avant-garde composer, songwriter and experimental musician who uses the prepared piano as his primary instrument. The prepared piano refers to the technique of resting paper, marbles, drumsticks and other objects on the strings to produce odd, sometimes randomly generated sounds, that move the instrument in unexpected directions. With a background in hip-hop and some avant-garde aspects of techno music, Hauschka’s music blends classical, contemporary percussive and pop impulses, with an aura of measured melancholy. For the last few years, Hauschka has also built a prolific career in scoring for film with 'The Current War', 'Hotel Mumbai' and 'Adrift' among his most recent credits.
Dustin O’Halloran is referred to as neo-classical or post-classical and first received widespread recognition after Sofia Coppola invited him to contribute music to her award-winning 'Marie Antoinette'. O’Halloran’s solo pieces provided the movie moments of eloquent stillness. Ever since, Dustin has not only released a number of piano solo albums, but he has also gone on to score a number of films and TV shows, which resulted in an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination. O’Halloran has collaborated with Adam Wiltzie under the name A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Together they scored 'In the Shadow of Iris' and 'God’s Own Country'.