James Hannigan is a BAFTA Award Winning Composer, Producer and Sound Designer, with a career spanning over twenty-five years, encompassing more than 120 video game, television and audio productions. His evocative, wide-ranging scores straddle several entertainment industries, from AAA games and prime time TV to installations and groundbreaking audio drama.
An IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) Award Winner and a five-time BAFTA award nominee, Hannigan’s distinctive musical touch can be found in numerous realms, from record-breaking, award winning audio drama such as the Alien series and The Sandman, through to blockbuster video games in the Harry Potter, Dead Space, Evil Genius, Command and Conquer, RuneScape, Transformers, The Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, EA Sports, and Theme Park series. His recent projects include the NY Times best-selling Act III of The Sandman, next-gen games Steelrising and Evil Genius 2, and the newly re-recorded Discworld series.
“An astonishing composer…”
“James Hannigan has not only written the best music in the series, but he has surpassed [the] film score.”
“The music expertly captures the ‘60s spy-movie aesthetic”
“10/10. The music in Republic is amazing. It is possibly the greatest and most appropriate music in any game ever. The sweeping eastern classical music fits the game so well it is untrue.”
“…a wonderful cinematic score”
“Seeing a horde of monsters fast approaching, with pointy limbs flailing, as .. horns and violins rise to cacophony, is guaranteed to get the heart pumping.”
“In games of this genre, it’s common for me to mute the music and listen to something other than the OST. In Evil Genius 2, that most certainly wasn’t the case… the music truly excels”
“The most powerful weapon is the music.”
“Returning composer James Hannigan (has) brought this new game to life without losing step with the original. The music that Hannigan brings to life shows that he has not missed a beat. My only wish was that there were more..”
“A score which combines musicality with wit … complementing the sound and dialogue perfectly.”
” a superb score by composer James Hannigan — nothing more, nothing less.”
“The formidable music, sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, is by the composer James Hannigan, noted for his contributions to screen and video games”
“… Dramatic special effects and James Hannigan’s music make The Sandman totally immersive.”
“The soundtrack is particularly fantastic”
“The music.. is amazing. James Hannigan returns and he expands the original soundtrack with gusto… Brilliant Music.”
Among Hannigan’s hugely diverse credits are BBC R4 adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and Good Omens; Primeval (Season 3, BBC America), Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (including the much-memed, parodic Soviet March), Nintendo's Art Academy, Super Smash Bros. (additional music), Conquest: Frontier Wars, Space Hulk, Terraria: Otherworld, F1 2000, Call of Antia, Grand Prix 4, Transformers Universe; entries in the Wing Commander universe inluding Privateer: The Darkening and Freelancer; film tie-ins such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (BAFTA Nomination, Original Music, 2010), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 and 2), Catwoman, Cutthroat Island, Reign of Fire, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and more.
Hannigan's musical journey began at Electronic Arts and later led him to Pinewood Studios in London, where he based himself for ten years. There, he honed his composition and production skills, contributing to the creation of interactive music techniques still widely in use today - for projects such as the BAFTA-Nominated Republic: The Revolution (designed by DeepMind co-founder, Demis Hassabis), Evil Genius and Bullfrog's Theme Park World. His early work also includes sound design for films, including the Golden Reel nominated Lost in Space..
Music from Hannigan’s back catalogue is regularly licensed for use in TV productions, ranging from the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, Top Gear and The Grand Tour to Floor is Lava, SpongeBob SquarePants and The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and his other credits include the popular Harry Potter audio book series read by Stephen Fry - one of the most listened-to audiobook series in history.
James Hannigan is a founder of sold-out London Southbank based conferences, Screen Music Connect and Game Music Connect, introduced to inspire and educate professional and aspiring composers alike. London Southbank-based events held since 2013 have been partnered with BAFTA, Classic FM, Sony PlayStation, Music Week, The Ivors Academy and others.
With his music having aired on Classic FM, Scala Radio, BBC Radio, ABC Classic and other stations, Hannigan has recorded with several world class orchestras including The Philharmonia, The Chamber Orchestra of London, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra, The Budapest Film Orchestra and Slovak Symphony Orchestra – recording at studios such as Air Lyndhurst, Abbey Road and Skywalker Ranch. An occasional radio interviewee, Comic Con and conference panelist, Hannigan has also written articles for Classic FM and other outlets, and once penned DEVELOP Magazine‘s first ever audio-related cover feature — and in 2012 was made a subject of BAFTA’s Conversations with Composers held at the Royal Albert Hall.
James Hannigan is represented by COOL Music in London.