Don Davis (composer)
February 4, 1957 |
Anaheim, California, United States
Donald Romain Davis (born February 4, 1957) is an American film score composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Best known for his work on The Matrix, he has worked on a variety of films, from horror to comedy.
Davis was born in Anaheim, California. After graduating from high school, Davis enrolled at UCLA. He continued his study of musical composition with tutor Henri Lazarof. Additionally, he learned orchestration from Albert Harris. During their orchestration lessons, Harris introduced Davis to the TV composer Joe Harnell, who supported Davis during his search for work—his first job was working for composer Mark Snow's TV show Hart to Hart. He also worked as additional orchestrator for Michael Kamen on the film Die Hard 2.
Film and television scoring
Davis won Emmys in 1990 for Beauty and the Beast and 1995 for SeaQuest DSV. He wrote scores mostly for television series up until 1995, in which he wrote a few of the cues for the animated Disney motion picture A Goofy Movie. He continued to score television series until the two then young directors, the Wachowski brothers, hired him to score their neo-noir film Bound. It was reasonably successful at the box office. Bound was the film which led Davis into becoming the composer for the entire Matrix trilogy. Subsequently, Davis has composed scores for films such as Jurassic Park III (recommended to the filmmakers by John Williams, the composer of the scores for the first two films in the series), House on Haunted Hill, Behind Enemy Lines, and The Unsaid. In 2004, he produced the music score for the BBC science fiction documentary series Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, released as Voyage to the Planets and Beyond in the United States.
Davis' magnum opus is Matrix franchise: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and The Animatrix. It was set apart from other film scores of its time for its atonality and avant garde style of composition, with influences from polytonal minimalist works like John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine and cluster-like as well as aleatoric techniques prominent in the works of composer Witold Lutosławski.
Don's first opera, Río de Sangre, received its premiere at the Florentine Opera Company on October 22, 2010. Previously, excerpts from the opera were performed in Los Angeles with the Los Angeles Master Chorale on November 6, 2005, and the New York City Opera on May 13, 2007.
- Hyperspace (1984)
- Blackout (1984)
- Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)
- A Goofy Movie (with Carter Burwell) (1995)
- Bound (1996)
- Pandora's Clock (television film) (1996)
- Warriors of Virtue (1997)
- The Matrix (1999)
- Universal Soldier: The Return (1999)
- House on Haunted Hill (1999)
- Jurassic Park III (2001)
- Antitrust (2001)
- Valentine (2001)
- The Unsaid (2001)
- Behind Enemy Lines (2001)
- Long Time Dead (2002)
- Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)
- The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
- The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
- The Animatrix (2003)
- The Marine (2006)
- The Good Life (2007)
- Crazy Like A Fox (multiples) (1986)
- Sledge Hammer! (1986)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
- Beauty and the Beast (1990)
- Tiny Toons Adventures (1990)
- My Life and Times (1991, sixth episode only)
- Capitol Critters (1992)
- SeaQuest DSV (1993)
- The Beast (1996)
- House Of Frankenstein (1997)
- Invasion (1997)
- Weapons of Mass Distraction (1997)
- Murder in Greenwich (2002)
- Weird TV (2003)
- Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004)
In addition to orchestrate and conducting his own scores, Don Davis has done orchestration work for many other composers. He was also conductor for the movie Flowers in the Attic, whose score was composed by Christopher Young, and for the TV documentary Eagles: Hell Freezes Over, and did arrangements for The 86th Academy Awards.