I put to American composer, Dustin O’Halloran, that when he first spoke to Headliner in 2016 over coffee in Berlin, his career was just about to seriously take off. “Well, Lion came out in 2017, and things took a turn for sure,” he says.
Indeed, that film, which stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, and Nicole Kidman, saw Dustin and co-composer Hauschka receive a string of nominations at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs. He has also picked up an Emmy award for his work on TV show, Transparent.
This saw O’Halloran land more high- profile projects, including movies such as The Hate U Give, and the new BBC adaptation of A Christmas Carol. And working alongside Hauschka once more, two very exciting films with music from these two due for release are Ammonite (starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan), and a very special Netflix film, The Old Guard (Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor and many more).
And this is all off the back of a successful career in composition that has seen him release solo albums and as part of ambient music duo, A Winged Victory For The Sullen.
Discussing his several years working heavily in film, he says “because the film industry is a collaborative experience, that means there’s always going to be some compromise. You have to go into it knowing that. Which reinforces the fact that I have to focus on my own music — I’m not going to give everything to film permanently.”
O’Halloran has a number of excellent, ambient solo piano albums to his name, not least of which being 2011’s Lumiere.
That release date shows you just how busy he’s been with film scoring since:
“I’m going to take a break and work on my own record. And doing this tour now with Winged Victory has been a nice return to just making music, which is very important for an artist.”