James Hannigan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Roman Catholic bishop, see James Hannigan (bishop).
James Hannigan
Background information
Occupation(s) Composer, musician, producer
Years active 1992–present
Website http://www.jameshannigan.com/

James Hannigan (born 1971) is a British film, television and video game composer who has composed music for entries in the Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Command & Conquer, Dead Space, Warhammer, RuneScape 3 and Grand Prix series of games.[1]


Early game credits include Sim Theme Park, Space Hulk, Conquest: Frontier Wars, Wing Commander: Privateer 2: The Darkening and Freelancer. He has created and remixed tracks for numerous titles on the EA Sports label, along with creating scores for the BAFTA-nominated titles Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution. Hannigan also composes for television, most recently contributing to BBC America sci-fi TV series Primeval. Some of his recent VG credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Command & Conquer: Tiberian Twilight, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Art Academy and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

In the earlier stages of his career, between 1995 and 1997, Hannigan held the position of in-house composer at Electronic Arts, before he based himself at the world-famous Pinewood Studios complex in West London for a number of years. Some of James Hannigan's other credits include Theme Park World and Theme Park Inc, along with Elixir Studios' Evil Genius and Republic: The Revolution. An accomplished sound designer, Hannigan also worked on films such as Lost in Space in the earlier stages of his career.


Hannigan's music scores have been nominated five times by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and he won a BAFTA Award with Electronic Arts in 2000 for Sim Theme Park (UK title: Theme Park World). In 2010 his score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince received a BAFTA nomination[2] and won an International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) award.[3]

Public and media appearances[edit]

A regular on industry panels at events such as Games Meet Film at Pinewood Studios,[4][5] James Hannigan is a regular radio interviewee and has been interviewed several times by the BBC, Classic FM and Sky News, and has been profiled in Develop magazine, Audiomedia, Resolution, Post Magazine, Game Informer, Music Sound and the Moving Image (MSMI) and other publications.[6] In 2010 Hannigan was featured in Tom Hoover's book 'Soundtrack Nation: Interviews with Today's Top Professionals in Film, Videogame, and Television Scoring'.[7] James has talked at other industry events, including Glasgow's Musicworks, 'Ear Candy' with fellow composer Richard Jacques at The Barbican Centre and The Edinburgh International Festival with co-panelists John Broomhall, Harry Gregson-Williams, Stephen Deutsch and Barrington Pheloung.

Game Music Connect[edit]

James Hannigan is the co-creator of the Game Music Connect conference held in London at the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room.

Written publications[edit]

In 2004, Hannigan wrote "Changing Our Tune", a cover article for the UK's Develop magazine, outlining some of the differences between scoring for games and conventional linear media forms such as film and television.[8] Drawing on his experience as a composer and arranger in different industries Hannigan argued that, due to players being both audience to and participants in games it is increasingly difficult categorising music and sound as either diegetic or non-diegetic as understood by the conventions of the film viewing experience. The player, often a character existing inside the gameworld, is able to hear music and sound normally only reserved for a passive audience, completely inaudible to characters in the story world of a film, for example, and this raises philosophical questions as to the essential function of such content in games. Hannigan argues that, ultimately, for sound and music to best support and enhance the games playing experience, the games industry should cease to rely on the film model in forming the soundtrack of games and attempt to bring sound and music closer together in function. In an interview for the BBC's Front Row radio programme, to highlight one of the philosophical conundrums of scoring music for games, Hannigan cited the hypothetical example of James Bond's theme being utilised in a James Bond game, suggesting that if the player is being expected to assume the role of James Bond, should it follow that the James Bond theme ought to be audible to James Bond himself? Hannigan appears to concede that the use of such a theme can be effective but calls upon the games industry to recognise the gamer's dual role of audience and participant in games.[9]

In an interview with the Independent newspaper, Hannigan is quoted as having said he believes music production for games has become as sophisticated as music for film[10]

Public performances[edit]

In 2007, a collage of Hannigan's music entitled Welcome to Hogwarts[11] was added to Video Games Live debuting in London at the Royal Festival Hall on 22 October 2007, and featuring the Philharmonia orchestra.

Hannigan's 'Soviet March' theme from Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 was performed at 'A Night in Fantasia', by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Australia on 26 September 2009.[12] The popular track can be heard on YouTube.[13]

On 28 October 2010, a concert of Hannigan's music was held at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham, England. As part of the GameCity 2010 Festival, the concert featured The Pinewood Singers and soloists performing the theme of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1', pieces from Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Evil Genius and other titles[14]

On 29 June 2012, Hannigan was interviewed in front of a live audience at the Royal Albert Hall's Elgar Room by presenter Tommy Pearson, as part of the BAFTA Sponsored event 'Conversations With Composers'. The event featured an overview of the composer's work and live performances from soprano, Tamara Zivadinovic.

Live recording[edit]

Hannigan has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, The Skywalker Symphony Orchestra, The Slovak Symphony Orchestra and The Chamber Orchestra of London, recording at Abbey Road Studios, AIR Studios and Skywalker Ranch.[15] He has recorded renowned soloists such as Miriam Stockey, Soname, Tony Hinnigan and the Pinewood Singers for his projects.[15] On his official website he is quoted as saying he is 'comfortable in the studio working with synths, processors and sample libraries' but is also an 'advocate for keeping music live whenever it's possible and appropriate to do so'.[15]

Selected works[edit]

  • Dead Space 3 (Electronic Arts)*
  • Transformers Universe
  • RuneScape (Jagex Studio)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (EA Bright Light Studio)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (EA Bright Light Studio)
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (Electronic Arts)
  • Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight (EA LA)
  • Primeval (Impossible Pictures/ITV; series 3)
  • Art Academy (Nintendo/Headstrong)
  • The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest (Headstrong/Warner Bros.)
  • FreeLancer (Digital Anvil/Microsoft)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Electronic Arts/Warner Bros; BAFTA nomination, 2010)
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Ubisoft/Sony Pictures)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (EA/Warner Bros. 'Best of 2007', IGN; 'Best VG Score', Movie Music UK Awards 2007).
  • Evil Genius (VU Games. BAFTA Nomination, Music, 2005)
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Uprising (EA LA)
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Commander's Challenge (EA LA)
  • Republic The Revolution (Eidos. BAFTA Nomination, Music, 2004)
  • Conquest: Frontier Wars (Digital Anvil/Ubisoft)
  • Warhammer: SotHR (Mindscape; Games Workshop)
  • Sim Theme Park* NASCAR Thunder 2004 (2003), Electronic Arts, Inc.
  • NASCAR Racing 2002 Season (2002), Sierra Entertainment, Inc.
  • NASCAR Thunder 2003 (2002), Electronic Arts, Inc.
  • F1 2000 (EA Sports)
  • F1 Manager (EA Sports)
  • FIFA 96, FIFA 98 (EA Sports)
  • Theme Park World (EA/Bullfrog; BAFTA Award, 2000)
  • Hasbro Family Game Night 3 (EA Bright Light)
  • Grand Prix 4 (Infogrames)
  • Brute Force (Digital Anvil/Microsoft. Co-composed with Jesper Kyd and Mike Reagan)
  • Catwoman (EA/Warner Bros.)
  • Reign of Fire (KUJU/BAM)
  • Mr. Bean (VG)
  • Lost In Space (Sound Design; New Line Cinema)
  • Theme Park Inc. (EA/Bullfrog)
  • Warhammer: Dark Omen (Electronic Arts; Sound Design)
  • Action Man (multiple titles; Hasbro/Intelligent Games)
  • Privateer: The Darkening (Electronic Arts, Origin Systems)
  • Sim Coaster (EA/Bullfrog)
  • FA Premier League Manager(EA Sports; BAFTA Nomination, 2000)
  • FIFA Soccer Manager (EA Sports)
  • Cutthroat Island (Software Creations)
  • Short Cuts series (Chappell)
  • Big Screen (West One Music)
  • Distorted Reality (Chappell)
  • Jetix (various titles)
  • Flight of the Amazon Queen (Renegade)
  • Yamaha SuperCross
  • ATV Racing
  • Infestation (Frontier Developments)
  • MoHo (Lost Toys)
  • Ball Breakers
  • Beasts and Bumpkins (Electronic Arts)
  • Gummy Bears Crazy Golf (Beyond Reality Games)
  • Darklight Conflict (Electronic Arts; additional music)
  • Space Hulk (PSX, Electronic Arts/Games Workshop)


  1. ^ James Hannigan at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "List of 2010 BAFTA Games Award Winners". Bafta.org. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "IFMCA Award Winners 2009". Filmmusiccritics.org. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Games Meet Film at Pinewood Studios". Tiga.org. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Ben Maxwell (26 February 2010). "Games Meet Film, Edge Magazine". Next-gen.biz. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "James Hannigan Official Website". Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Soundtrack Nation by Tom Hoover". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Changing Our Tune by James Hannigan". Postlinear.co.uk. 16 September 1926. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Interview with James Hannigan, BBC Front Row". Bbc.co.uk. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "James Hannigan interviewed by the Independent Newspaper". Develop-online.net. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Welcome to Hogwarts on YouTube
  12. ^ Eminence Symphony Orchestra Eminence Symphony Orchestra
  13. ^ Soviet March on YouTube
  14. ^ "James Hannigan concert report in Develop". Develop-online.net. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c "James Hannigan's website biography". Postlinear.co.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2011. 

External links[edit]