Oscar Smith


Oscar Smith (b.1997) is an promising young composer with a wide spectrum of interests. Oscar’s strong passion for music began in the St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, where he learnt organ and singing, and he still continues to sing there as well as with other choirs across Sydney. He is also very passionate about Balinese Gamelan and regularly studies in Bali with local musicians. Oscar is currently studying a Bachelor of Composition (Honours) at the Sydney Conservatorium, primarily under Michael Smetanin. Oscar’s works have been premiered by SPIRAL ensemble, Gondwana Chorale, St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, Voces Cælestium, double bassist Will Hansen, the Sydney Conservatorium Gamelan Ensemble, Gamelan Çudamani and Gamelan Salukat.

Composer website: via Facebook

Featured Works

Waringin, for Balinese Gamelan ensemble.

Huge Banyan trees (Waringin/Bingin) are important landmarks in most Balinese village, often at a central crossroads. These behemoth trees are allowed to grow untamed and often grow to nearly 50 metres. They are highly sacred, and it is believed that both auspicious and malevolent spirits spend their time nearby these twisted, sprawling, almost grotesque trees. Like cathedrals in English towns, Banyan trees can be seen from hundreds of metres away; these age-old sentinels loom over the village. The Balinese word “Bingin” carries a sense of strong and solid foundations, and as such these trees are a symbol of tradition. These incredible trees formed the inspiration of the piece.

– Oscar Smith

Featured in Evolving Waves– November 2019