Known for his diverse, emotionally driven and memorable scores, BAFTA and IFMCA award winning composer James Hannigan has created music for virtually all forms of media. His credits include entries in the Harry Potter, Dead Space, Transformers, The Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, Evil Genius, Theme Park, RuneScape, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Command and Conquer video game series’; TV such as ITV’s Primeval; Radio and audio drama including Audible’s Alien series, adaptations of Neverwhere and Good Omens – and, recently, the record-breaking dramatisation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (with a cast including James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Michael Sheen, David Tennant and Regé-Jean Page). James’s tracks – such as the much-memed ‘Soviet March” – have collectively been streamed hundreds of millions of times on digital music platforms.
In the early years of his career, after a short period in Television, James based himself at Pinewood Studios in West London, quickly establishing himself as a pioneering force in interactive music – scoring titles such as Theme Park World (BAFTA Award, 2000), the BAFTA Award nominated Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution (designed by Google DeepMind co-founder, Demis Hassabis, and featuring one of the earliest fully orchestral European game scores), Conquest, Nintendo‘s Art Academy, entries in the ‘Wing Commander’ universe including Privateer: The Darkening and Freelancer, film tie-ins such as Catwoman and Reign of Fire, EA Sports titles in the FIFA and F1 series, Grand Prix and many others. In 2004, he appeared on the cover of DEVELOP after penning the magazine’s first ever audio-related feature, and has written articles for Classic FM and other outlets in the years since.
Tracks from James’s back catalogue appear TV productions ranging from Top Gear and The Grand Tour to Floor is Lava and The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and have appeared in games such as the Super Smash Bros series, and in the most listened-to audiobooks in history: the Harry Potter series read by Stephen Fry.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, James 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 – and James has appeared on panels with Barrington Pheloung, Harry Gregson-Williams, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Smith, Jesper Kyd, Olivier Deriviere and others.
With his music occasionally airing on stations such as Classic FM and Scala Radio, James has worked with several world class orchestras including The Philharmonia, The Chamber Orchestra of London, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Slovak Symphony Orchestra – recording at locations such as Air Studios, Abbey Road and Skywalker Ranch. Among his awards are an IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) Award for the score of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (EA/WBIE, 2010) and in 2012 he was made a subject of BAFTA’s Conversations with Composers series held at the Royal Albert Hall.