James Hannigan

James Hannigan – Composer Profile

“I like expressing ideas and emotion through music in the simplest of terms. For me, music need not be a demonstration of virtuosity or a mere means of parading the newest technological tools, but more for the purpose of carrying – transparently – an essential message to the listener.” – James Hannigan, BAFTA’s ‘Conversations with Composers’ at the Royal Albert Hall.

James Hannigan is a British Academy Award-winning composer profoundly focused on the emotional directness and personal nature of his music, with a long list of credits including entries in the Harry PotterThe Lord of the RingsDead SpaceEA Sports, Evil GeniusDiscworld and Command & Conquer series’. He is also co-founder of sell-out Southbank conference, Game Music Connectand founder of new London-based event series, Screen Music Connect.

Even given his foray into the exuberant and often florid musical universes of popular fantasy and science fiction franchises, Hannigan’s music succeeds in transcending the stylistic expectations and constraints of genre, delivering a compelling and recognisable voice all of its own – from the minimal and quirky to the downright ‘epic’.

Among Hannigan’s many credits are: RuneScape (the world’s most popular free MMO), Dead Space 3Cloudy With a Chance of MeatballsCommand and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (James’s iconic theme, Soviet March, has collectively received over 50 million plays on YouTube), Terraria: Otherworld, Nintendo’s Art AcademyTransformers UniverseTheme Park World (BAFTA Award, 2000), Brute ForceEvil Genius (BAFTA Nomination, 2005), Republic: The Revolution (BAFTA Nomination, 2004), entries in the Warhammer and Space Hulk series, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. 4 (additional music), Reign of FireGrand PrixCutthroat IslandCatwomanThe Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s QuestHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (VG), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (VG; BAFTA nomination, 2010; IFMCA [International Film Music Critics Association] Award), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2, Microsoft/Digital Anvil’s ground-breaking Freelancer, the technically dazzling fusion of film and game: Privateer: The Darkening (with Clive Owen, John Hurt & Christopher Walken), Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian TwilightConquest: Frontier Wars, entries in the EA Sports F1 & FIFA series’ – and more.

Hannigan’s work for TV and Radio includes BBC America’s Primeval, the award-winning BBC adaptation of Neverwhere and Good Omens, Audible’s Alien trilogy and Unseen Academicals – and his music is heard regularly all over the world in countless shows and trailers.

James Hannigan has recorded with several world-class orchestras during his career so far – ranging from The Philharmonia OrchestraThe Chamber Orchestra Of London to the The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Slovak Symphony Orchestra –  at locations such as Air-Lyndhurst, Abbey Road Studios and Skywalker Ranch.  An audio enthusiast with an arsenal of vintage synthesizers, processors and sound manipulation tools at his disposal, James considers himself a sound designer as well as a composer, taking a profound interest in the interplay between sound and music in everything he does. Films featuring James’s sound design include New Line Cinema’s Lost in Space.

An interviewee and/or contributor for BBC RadioClassic FMBafta GuruBEEP and many others, Hannigan has had his music performed in global concerts by Video Games Live, The Eminence Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Concert OrchestraThe Philharmonia and other ensembles, and he is co-founder of several talk-based events – which have variously been supported by Sony, Electronic Arts, BAFTA, Classic FM, BASCA, PRS For Music, COOL Music and others.

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsElectronic Arts/Warner Bros
Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's QuestHeadstrong/Warner Bros
Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian TwilightElectronic Arts
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceElectronic Arts/Warner BrosIFMCA Award 2009: Best Original Score for a Video Game
Nominated for BAFTA Video Games Awards 2010 (Best Original Score)
Cloudy with a Chance of MeatballsUbisoft/Sony Pictures
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 UprisingEA LA
Unannounced TileEA Bright Light Studio
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 UprisingElectronic Arts
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixEA/Warner BrosBest of 2007, IGN; 'Best Game Score', Movie Music UK Awards 2007
FreelancerDigital Anvil/Microsoft
Evil GeniusVU GamesBAFTA Nomination, Music, 2005
Republic The RevolutionEidosBAFTA Nomination, Music, 2004
Conquest: Frontier WarsDigital Anvil / Ubisoft
Warhammer: SotHRMindscape; Games Workshop
CatwomanEA/Warner Bros
Reign of FireKUJU/BAM
Brute ForceDigital Anvil/Microsoft
Yamaha SuperCrossDSI Games
Mr. BeanBlast! Ents
JetixBlast! Ents
Lost In SpaceNew Line Cinema
Sim Theme Park/Theme Park WorldElectronic ArtsBAFTA Award, 2000
Sim Coaster/Theme Park IncElectronic Art
Grand Prix 4Infogames
Warhammer: Dark OmenElectronic Arts; Sound Design
Action Man (multiple titles)Intelligent Games/Hasbro
Privateer, The DarkeningElectronic Arts, Origin Systems
FA Premier League ManagerEA SportsBAFTA Nomination, Music, 2000
F1 Series – variousEA Sports
FIFA Soccer ManagerEA Sports
FIFA Soccer Managervarious entries; EA Sports
Cutthroat IslandSony Imagesoft
Flight of the Amazon QueenRenegade
InfestationFrontier Developments
MoHoLost Toys
Beasts and BumpkinsElectronic Arts
Darklight ConflictElectronic Arts
Space HulkElectronic Arts/Games Workshop
PRIMEVALSERIES 3 (Additional Score)
Impossible Pictures/ITV
Director: Tony Mitchell, Mark Everest, Cilla Ware, Richard Curson Smith, Matthew Thompson
Producer: Tim Bradley
Execs: Tim Haines, Adrian Hodges
Commercials / Misc
Big Screen, Space and Science, Distorted Reality, Short Cuts series miscellaneous library music productions Ducati Launch Events Ferrari Red Racing Advertising Campaign