As a composer I incorporate my interest in 20th century classical music, electronics, recording techniques, sound-design and cult film soundtracks into my composition practice. I have worked in a number of different areas from film and theatre composition to opera, free improvisation, sound art and most recently musical sculpture.
My unorthodox film music has gained attention in Australia for its genre bending approach and its use of unconventional instrumentation and live musicians. In 2014 my score for low budget Australian feature film Sororal was nominated for APRA Feature Film Score of the Year alongside David Hirschfelder’s The Railway Man (starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth) and Christopher Gordon’s Adoration (starring Robin Wright and Naomi Watts). Sororal has been labelled by Mikael Carlsson of Movie Score Media “some of the most refreshing and eclectic horror music to be heard in a contemporary film.” Wolf Creek script writer Aaron Sterns is also a fan calling it “haunting, eerie and yet discordantly beautiful… histrionic and yet assured and gripping.”
I obtained a Masters degree in composition from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where I also taught composition from 2008 - 2012. In 2012 I moved to Melbourne and worked as composer and sound designer on several theatre shows including Thérèse Raquin [2014, Theatre Works], Persona [2014, MUST Container Festival], Dream Home [2015, Darebin Arts Speakeasy, winner of Best Sound/Music Green Room Awards], The River [2016, Red Stitch] and Nought Point Five Above Zero No Wind [2016, La Mama]. I have also been commissioned to compose works for several Australian musicians and ensembles, and have performed as a free music improviser. I have released several albums of theatre and film music through the New Zealand label Rattle Records, the Swedish label MovieScore Media and online through The Mind Is Listening.
My past projects include The Eldridge Trio (live improvised music to accompany avant-garde silent film), SLIDE NIGHT (7-piece band performing kitsch exotica music of the 50s and 60s) and the two piano pop band Sir Thomas.
From 2015 – 2018 I worked almost exclusively on my first opera Löpez based on the 20 hour video diary of Björk stalker Ricardo Lopez.
“The Sororal soundtrack is haunting, eerie and yet discordantly beautiful. Goblin, Tangerine Dream and Morricone can be creepy; this is mind-bending. It’s as if de Groot is channeling Goblin, yet elevating their sound into a modern, more orchestral complexity. ‘Diana Rolls into Town’, for instance, is a masterpiece in re-imagined giallo: histrionic and yet assured and gripping. It makes my head hurt.”
Aaron Sterns – Scriptwriter, Wolf Creek 2