BAFTA and IFMCA award-winning games, film & television composer James Hannigan – known among other things for his contributions to the Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Dead Space, Theme Park, Evil Genius, EA Sports, and Command & Conquer franchises – is a hugely versatile artist focused on the emotional directness and personal nature of his music.
Among James’s many and varied credits are RuneScape (the world’s most popular free MMORPG), Dead Space 3, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Freelancer (forerunner to the record-breaking Star Citizen), the BAFTA-nominated Evil Genius, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (James’s iconic theme, Soviet March, has collected tens of millions of plays on YouTube, and recently reappeared in EA’s Battlefield 4), Republic: The Revolution (Bafta Nomination, Music, 2003), Terraria: Otherworld, Nintendo’s smash-hit Art Academy, Transformers Universe, Microsoft’s Brute Force, entries in the Warhammer and Space Hulk series, Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. 4, Reign of Fire, Grand Prix, Cutthroat Island, Catwoman, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (BAFTA award nomination, Music, 2012), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2, the groundbreaking Privateer: The Darkening (with Christopher Walken, John Hurt & Clive Owen), Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, Digital Anvil's Conquest: Frontier Wars, Frontier Developments' Infestation various EA Sports titles in the F1 & FIFA series’, Lost in Space (Sound Design; Golden Reel nomination), and numerous others. His work for TV and Radio includes BBC America’s Primeval, BBC Audio Drama Award 2015-winning Neverwhere, Good Omens, Alien: Out of the Shadows and 2017’s Alien: River of Pain – and his production music is heard every day all over the world in shows ranging from Top Gear to The Apprentice.
Having composed hours of music performed by world class orchestras such as the Philharmonia, Chamber Orchestra Of London, Skywalker Symphony Orchestra and Slovak Symphony Orchestra (recording worldwide at locations such as Air-Lyndhurst, Abbey Road Studios and Skywalker Ranch) James considers himself a sound designer, too, and is profoundly interested in the interplay between sound and music.
James’s early textural and atmospheric games industry scores include those of Theme Park World (1999; US title: Sim Theme Park) and Republic: The Revolution (2003) – earning a BAFTA Award and BAFTA Nomination, respectively, for their innovative use of interactive music. In subsequent years James’s scores have received a further four BAFTA nominations, along with numerous awards and accolades – including an IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) Award for the score of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
An interviewee and contributor for BBC Radio, Classic FM, Bafta Guru, BEEP and many others, Hannigan has had his music performed globally by VGL, The Eminence Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonia and numerous other ensembles, and he writes using words as well – once penning the first Audio-related cover feature for Develop Magazine. (To read a small collection of James’s articles & interviews click here). Hannigan is also Creative Director of various annual sell-out London-based talk events – supported by Sony, Electronic Arts, BAFTA, Classic FM, PRS For Music, COOL Music, and others. Among these is Game Music Connect , co-founded with colleague, John Broomhall.
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“James Hannigan has not only written the best music in the video game series, but he has surpassed [the] film score. That’s right, this is better than the film score. I really hope someone over at Warner Bros. is listening to this score.”‘Movie Music UK’ on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
A score which combines musicality with wit. It adds atmosphere throughout, whilst remaining entirely in keeping with the humorous and fun nature of the game. The subtle development of the score according to the development of the game works effectively, whilst complementing the sound and dialogue perfectly. A creditable combination of interactive technology and highly skilled composition.The British Academy of Film and Television Arts on ‘Theme Park World’ (US title, ‘Sim Theme Park’).
Sound 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. As soon as you are able to start a rally … you will know what I mean.Game FAQs