James Hannigan

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James Hannigan
Hannigan in 2013
Hannigan in 2013
Background information
Born (1971-07-23) 23 July 1971 (age 49)
  • Composer
  • Musician
  • Music Producer
  • Conference Impresario
  • Writer
  • Visceral Games
  • Nettwerk America
  • Extreme Music
  • Universal Music
  • West One Music
  • EA Games Soundtrack
  • Du Vinage Publishing
  • Sumthing Distribution

James Hannigan (born 23 July 1971) is a multi-award winning British composer, sound designer, music producer and live event creative director. His work as a composer has included single or multiple entries in the multi-million selling Command & Conquer, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Dead Space, Warhammer, Wing Commander, Space Hulk, Evil Genius, Grand Prix and Theme Park game series; video games including Freelancer, RuneScape, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Dead Space 3, The Transformers Universe, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Republic: The Revolution, Sim Theme Park (UK title: Theme Park World), Wing Commander: Privateer 2: The Darkening, Conquest: Frontier Wars, Nintendo's Art Academy (video game), Reign of Fire, The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest, and others, along with television such as BBC America’s Primeval. He has also contributed music to EA Sports titles, such as those belonging to the FIFA and F1 series and his music has minimally been heard in games such as Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and Saints Row 4. In the early years of his career, Hannigan worked as Composer for Electronic Arts Europe before basing his studio at Pinewood Studios in England for ten years between 1997 and 2007,[1] where he sometimes worked as a Sound Designer on films such as Lost in Space alongside composing.

James Hannigan's other music credits include Audible's Audie Award winning Alien dramas (2016 - 2019), Unseen Academicals (Discworld 37) and the acclaimed BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens and Neverwhere. His music is heard in trailers and television shows, such as the BBC's Top Gear, Amazon's The Grand Tour, Netflix's 100 Humans and Floor is Lava, and Disney's The World According to Jeff Goldblum. [2]

In March 2020, it was announced that James Hannigan would be scoring the DC Comics and Audible adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. In June 2020, Rebellion Developments announced that Hannigan would return to score Evil Genius 2. [3]

James Hannigan's popular main theme to Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, "Soviet March"[4] has garnered tens of millions of plays on YouTube and other streaming services.


James Hannigan, Richard Joseph and Nick Laviers at the BAFTA Interactive Awards, 2000.

Hannigan's music scores have been nominated five times by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and Hannigan won a BAFTA Award with Electronic Arts in 2000 for Sim Theme Park (UK title: Theme Park World). In 2010 his score for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game received a BAFTA nomination[5] and won an International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) award.[6] In 2014, Hannigan was nominated for a Develop Award for his work on RuneScape. His other BAFTA-nominated scores include those of Republic: The Revolution, FA Premier League Manager and Evil Genius.

Game Music Connect and Screen Music Connect[edit]

In 2013 James Hannigan founded popular yearly conference 'Game Music Connect' with friend and fellow composer and industry commentator John Broomhall, which has been described by UK radio station Classic FM (UK) as "The games music event of the year". Held each year at London’s Southbank Centre, the event has been sponsored by Sony, Bafta, Electronic Arts, COOL Music and others, and ran for three years between 2013 and 2015.

In 2018 it was announced that James Hannigan had founded a new London-based conference on film, television, game and virtual reality music, to be known as 'Screen Music Connect'.[7]

Written publications[edit]

In 2004, Hannigan wrote "Changing Our Tune", a seminal 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] It was the magazine's first audio related cover feature.

In 2010, Hannigan was interviewed for Tom Hoover’s book, “Soundtrack Nation: Interviews with Today's Top Professionals in Film, Videogame, and Television Scoring”.[9]

In 2015, he wrote a series of articles on video game music for Classic FM.[10]

In 2016, Hannigan wrote a foreword for Tim Summer's book, Understanding Video Game Music, published by Cambridge University Press.[11]

Public performances[edit]

In 2007, a collage of Hannigan's music entitled Welcome to Hogwarts[12] was added to Video Games Live debuting in London at the Royal Festival Hall on 22 October 2007, and featuring the Philharmonia orchestra.

Video Games Music Live performing the Red Alert 3 Theme

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.[13] The popular track can be heard on YouTube.[14] Other public performances include Video Games Music Live and the Games & Symphonies concert series.

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[15]

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.[16]

In May 2018, it was announced that there would be a performance of Hannigan's RuneScape music by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at RuneFest 2018.[17]

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. The composer is known to be an analogue synthesizer enthusiast.[18]

Credited works[edit]

  • The Sandman (By Neil Gaiman; DC Comics/Audible)
  • Alien III (By William Gibson; Audible)
  • RuneScape: The Orchestral Collection
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Additional Music; Nintendo)
  • Unseen Academicals (Audible/Amazon)
  • Alien: Sea of Sorrows
  • Alien: River of Pain (Audible/Amazon)
  • Alien: Out of the Shadows (Audible/Amazon)
  • Dead Space 3 (Electronic Arts)
  • Terraria: Otherworld (as guest composer)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (EA/Warner Bros. 'Best of 2007', IGN; 'Best VG Score', Movie Music UK Awards 2007).
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U (Nintendo)
  • Transformers Universe
  • Neverwhere (BBC)
  • RuneScape (Jagex Studio)
  • Good Omens (BBC)
  • 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)
  • Harry Potter audio books (Nar: Stephen Fry; Pottermore)
  • Primeval (Impossible Pictures/ITV)
  • 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)
  • Saints Row IV (additional music)
  • 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)
  • 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 (Sim Theme Park in US) (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. (Simcoaster in US) (EA/Bullfrog)
  • Warhammer: Dark Omen (Electronic Arts; Sound Design)
  • Action Man (Hasbro/Intelligent Games; multiple titles in the series)
  • Privateer: The Darkening (Electronic Arts, Origin Systems)
  • 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 (multiple titles in the series)
  • 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 (Electronic Arts/Games Workshop; music for the PlayStation version)
  • Evil Genius 2 (Rebellion)


  1. ^ Mera, Miguel (1 June 2009). "An Interview with James Hannigan". Music, Sound, and the Moving Image. 3 (1): 99–115. doi:10.3828/msmi.3.1.6. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  2. ^ "James Hannigan". IMDb.com. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Composer James Hannigan returns to score Evil Genius 2". Thesixthaxis.com. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  4. ^ "C&C Red Alert 3 Theme - Soviet March". YouTube. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  5. ^ "List of 2010 BAFTA Games Award Winners". Bafta.org. 19 March 2010. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  6. ^ "IFMCA Award Winners 2009". Filmmusiccritics.org. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  7. ^ "New conference Screen Music Connect to explore audio for film, TV and interactive media - Audio Media International". Web.archive.org. 28 July 2018. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Changing Our Tune by James Hannigan". Jameshannigan.com. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ "Video Game Music: Is it Art by James Hannigan". Classicfm.com.
  11. ^ "Understanding Video Game Music". Cambridge.org.
  12. ^ Welcome to Hogwarts on YouTube
  13. ^ Eminence Symphony Orchestra Eminence Symphony Orchestra
  14. ^ Soviet March on YouTube
  15. ^ "James Hannigan concert report in Develop". Develop-online.net. 21 October 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  16. ^ "A Conversation with Screen Composer James Hannigan". Guru.bafta.org. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Runefest 2018 Tickets Now On Sale". Mmohuts.com. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  18. ^ "James Hannigan • The website of the BAFTA award-winning composer". Jameshannigan.com. Retrieved 28 April 2019.

External links[edit]