Super/Natural wins documentary score of the year

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Some of today’s most talked-about film and TV composers walked off with Composers Choice Awards at Tuesday night’s annual Screen Music Awards of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in West Hollywood.

Michael Abels won Film Score of the Year for Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror movie “Nope.” Cristobal Tapia de Veer and Kim Neundorf won Television Score of the Year for HBO’s black comedy “The White Lotus” And Bear McCreary won Video Game Score of the Year for Sony Interactive’s acclaimed “God of War: Ragnarok.”

In a tie, Documentary Score of the Year went to both Amanda Jones for the National Geographic nature series “Super/Natural” and Jeff Cardoni for HBO Max’s skateboarding doc “Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off.” Cristobal Tapia de Veer also won a second award for Television Theme of the Year for “The White Lotus.”

Only de Veer did not attend. The composer and songwriter crowd was greeted by ASCAP president Paul Williams along with executives from both New York and L.A. offices of the performing-rights society.

For Abels, it marked the second major award in just eight days: His opera “Omar,” with co-writer Rhiannon Giddens, last week won the Pulitzer Prize in music. And for McCreary, it’s a second major award for his “Ragnarok” score, which won a BAFTA a month and a half ago.

Composers Choice Awards are voted by fellow ASCAP composers and songwriters from nominations chosen by film, TV and game industry leaders. All nominees were based on 2022 releases in their various fields.

Winners were announced during the invitation-only party, along with numerous other ASCAP Screen Music Awards, given annually in several different categories. Composers honored for top streaming series included Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein for “Stranger Things,” Natalie Holt for “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and Siddhartha Khosla for “Only Murders in the Building.”

Among top streaming films, John Debney was honored for his music for “Hocus Pocus 2,” while Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Khiyon Hursey, Mark Sonnenblick and Sukari Jones were cited for their work on the songs and score of “Spirited.”

Simon Franglen won as composer of top box-office film of the year for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and veteran composer David Vanacore was honored for most performed themes and underscore for his work on shows including “Survivor,” “The Kardashians” and “The Daily Show.”

Composers Matthew Hawkins, Maurice “m.O.” Jackson and Neil Martin earned top network TV series honors for their main theme for “NCIS,” while John Sereda received top cable series honors for his music for “When Calls the Heart.”

A complete list of winners is available at the ASCAP site here.

(Pictured above: ASCAP’s Composers Choice Award winners Kim Neundorf, Jeff Cardoni, Michael Abels, Amanda Jones and Bear McCreary attend the ASCAP Screen Music Awards Party at Cavatina at Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood.)