Don Davis (composer)
Donald Romain Davis (born February 4, 1957) is an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator. Best known for his work on The Matrix franchise, he has worked on numerous television and film scores, collaborating with directors including The Wachowskis, Ronny Yu, and Joe Johnston in film genres ranging from horror, to action, to comedy. He is the recipient of two Primetime Emmy Awards and four BMI Film Music Awards.
Donald Romain Davis
February 4, 1957
Anaheim, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Film score composer, opera composer, conductor, musician|
Megan MacDonald (m. 1986)
|Genres||Film score, electronica, breakbeat, downtempo, neo-classical dark wave|
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 has worked as an orchestrator and conductor for Michael Kamen, Alan Silvestri, James Horner, and Randy Newman.
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 Wachowskis, 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 the 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 Davis' political 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.
|1983–1984||Hart to Hart||N/A|
|1987–1990||Beauty and the Beast||N/A|
|1991||My Life and Times||N/A|
|1990–1991||Tiny Toon Adventures||N/A|
|1992||The Plucky Duck Show||Episode: "A Ditch in Time" (Season 1, Episode 7)|
|1993||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Episode: "Face of the Enemy"|
|1995||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Episode: "Between Mother and Daughter" (Season 12, Episode 5)|
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.