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Trevor Jones (composer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Trevor Jones
Background information
Birth nameTrevor Alfred Charles Jones
Born (1949-03-23) 23 March 1949 (age 71)
Cape Town, South Africa
GenresFilm score
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor
Years active1967–present

Trevor Alfred Charles Jones (born 23 March 1949) is a South African composer of film and television scores.[1][2] Having spent much of his career in the United Kingdom, Jones has worked on numerous well-known and acclaimed films including Excalibur, Runaway Train, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Mississippi Burning, The Last of the Mohicans, and In the Name of the Father; collaborating with filmmakers like John Boorman, Andrei Konchalovsky, Jim Henson, and Michael Mann.[3] Although not especially well known outside the film world, he has composed for numerous films and his music has been critically acclaimed for both its depth and emotion, and he has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and three BAFTA Awards for Best Film Music.


At the age of six, Jones already had decided to become a film composer.[4] In 1967 he attended the Royal Academy of Music in London with a scholarship and afterwards worked for five years for the BBC on reviews of radio and television music. In 1974 Jones attended the University of York from which he graduated with a master's degree in Film and Media Music. At the National Film and Television School Jones studied for three years on general film-making and film and sound techniques. During this time he wrote the music for twenty-two student projects. In 1981 Jones wrote the score for the Academy Award-winning short movie The Dollar Bottom and for the short Black Angel.

Jones was soon after brought to the attention of John Boorman, who was in the midst of making his Arthurian epic, Excalibur (1981). Although mostly tracked with classical music by Richard Wagner and Carl Orff, Boorman also needed original dramatic cues (as well as period music) for certain scenes. Given Excalibur's modest budget, a "name" composer was out of the question, so Boorman commissioned the up-and-coming young Jones.

Excalibur brought Jones to the attention of Jim Henson, who was making The Dark Crystal (1982), and looking for a composer who was young and eager to work in the experimental, free-wheeling way which Henson preferred. The resultant score is an expansive, multi-faceted work, featuring the London Symphony Orchestra, augmented by inventive use of Fairlight and Synclavier synthesizers, as well as period instruments like crumhorn, recorder, and the unusual double-flageolet, which Jones came across by chance in a music store.

Jones followed Excalibur with scores for the horror films The Appointment (1981) and The Sender (1982), and the pirate adventure Nate and Hayes (1983). In 1985 Jones composed one of his best scores, for the acclaimed television production The Last Place on Earth.

Jones reunited with Henson for the 1986 fantasy musical Labyrinth. David Bowie wrote and performed the vocal tracks for this movie, including the hit "Underground", while Jones provided the dramatic score.

Reflecting that his complex, symphonic score for The Dark Crystal garnered little notice, Jones began to re-think his entire approach to dramatic scoring. Around the mid-80s, Jones' work became more electronic-based (much like fellow film composer Maurice Jarre), eschewing identifiable themes in favor of mood-enhancing synth chords and minimalist patterns. While he wrote a somber, chamber orchestra score in 1988 for Dominick and Eugene (which featured classical guitarist John Williams), scores like Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988) and Sea of Love (1989) are more typical of Jones' output during this period.

Jones' return to large-orchestra scoring came with 1990s Arachnophobia, and he provided a light-hearted Georges Delerue-flavoured score for Blame it on the Bellboy in 1992.

Jones' most popular success came later in 1992 with his score for The Last of the Mohicans, and his soaring, passionate music belies the difficulties which afflicted its creation. Director Michael Mann initially asked Jones to provide an electronic score for the film, but late in the game, it was decided an orchestral score would be more appropriate for this historic epic. Jones hurried to re-fashion the score for orchestra in the limited time left, while the constant re-cutting of the film meant music cues sometimes had to be rewritten several times to keep up with the new timings. Finally, with the release date looming, composer Randy Edelman was called-in to score some minor scenes which Jones did not have time to do. Jones and Edelman received co-credit on the film (thus making this very popular and acclaimed score ineligible for Oscar consideration). Although all were displeased with the circumstances, Jones was not fired from the film despite reports to the contrary.

Jones became active in television in the 1990s, with orchestral scores for several Hallmark productions, including Gulliver's Travels, Merlin and Cleopatra. He also provided a fun, jazzy, 1930s-style score for Richard III (1995), which features a swing-band setting of Christopher Marlowe's The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. In 1997 Jones worked for the first time with Ridley Scott, providing an electronic/orchestral/rock-flavoured soundtrack for G.I. Jane (1997).



Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1979 Brittania: The First of the Last John Samson N/A Short film
1980 Black Angel Roger Christian 20th Century Fox (theatrical only)
Brothers and Sisters Richard Woolley British Film Institute Also conductor.
The Beneficiary Carlo Gébler National Film and Television School (NFTS) Short film
1981 The Dollar Bottom Roger Christian Cinema International Corporation (theatrical only)
The Appointment Lindsey C. Vickers First Principle Film Productions Ltd. Also conductor.
Excalibur John Boorman Orion Pictures
Warner Bros.
Also conductor.
Bootleg soundtracks released by Old World Music and Excalibur Enterprises.
Time Bandits Terry Gilliam HandMade Films
Janus Films
Avco Embassy Pictures
Additional music only. Main score by Mike Moran and George Harrison
1982 The Sender Roger Christian Paramount Pictures Soundtrack released by La-La Land Records.
The Dark Crystal Jim Henson ITC Entertainment
Henson Associates
Universal Pictures (US/Canada)
Columbia Pictures (International)
First collaboration with Jim Henson.
Score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Soundtrack released by Warner Bros. Records, reissued in 2007 by La-La Land Records.
1983 Nate and Hayes Ferdinand Fairfax Paramount Pictures Soundtrack released by La-La Land Records.
1985 Runaway Train Andrei Konchalovsky Northbrook Films
Golan-Globus Productions
The Cannon Group Inc.
Also conductor.
Soundtrack released by Enigma Records, reissued by La-La Land Records.
1986 Labyrinth Jim Henson Henson Associates.
TriStar Pictures
Second and final collaboration with Jim Henson.
Soundtrack released by EMI with the songs by David Bowie and about 20 minutes of score.
1987 Angel Heart Alan Parker Carolco Pictures
TriStar Pictures
1988 Dominick and Eugene Robert M. Young Orion Pictures Also conductor.
Soundtrack released by Varèse Sarabande.
Just Ask for Diamond Stephen Bayly 20th Century Fox N/A
Mississippi Burning Alan Parker Orion Pictures Soundtrack released by Island Records.
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
Sweet Lies Nathalie Delon Island Pictures N/A
1989 Sea of Love Harold Becker Universal Pictures Soundtrack released by Mercury Records.
1990 Bad Influence Curtis Hanson Triumph Releasing Corporation N/A
Arachnophobia Frank Marshall Amblin Entertainment
Hollywood Pictures
First fully orchestral score since Labyrinth.
Soundtrack released by Hollywood Records.
1991 True Colors Herbert Ross Paramount Pictures N/A
Chains of Gold Rod Holcomb M.C.E.G.
Orion Pictures
1992 Freejack Geoff Murphy Morgan Creek Productions
Warner Bros.
Blame It on the Bellboy Mark Herman Hollywood Pictures Also orchestrator.
CrissCross Chris Menges Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Also conductor and orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Intrada Records.
The Last of the Mohicans Michael Mann Morgan Creek Productions
20th Century Fox (US/Canada)
Warner Bros. (International)
Composed with Randy Edelman.
Original soundtrack released by Morgan Creek Records. A re-recorded version, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely, was released by Varèse Sarabande in 2000.

Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score

1993 Cliffhanger Renny Harlin Carolco Pictures
Le Studio Canal+
Pioneer Corporation
RCS MediaGroup
TriStar Pictures
Also orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Scotti Bros. Records, reissued by Intrada Records in 2011.
In the Name of the Father Jim Sheridan Hell's Kitchen Films
Universal Pictures
Also orchestrator.
1994 De Baby Huilt Mijke de Jong N/A Short film.
1995 Hideaway Brett Leonard TriStar Pictures Also conductor.
Kiss of Death Barbet Schroeder 20th Century Fox Also conductor and orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Milan Records.
Richard III Richard Loncraine United Artists
Soundtrack released by London International.
1996 Loch Ness John Henderson PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Working Title Films
Gramercy Pictures (US/Canada)
Universal Pictures (International)
Also orchestrator.
Brassed Off Mark Herman Prominent Features
Miramax Films (US)
Channel Four Films (UK)
Also conductor and orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by RCA Victor.

Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Film Music

1997 Roseanna's Grave Paul Weiland Spelling Films
Fine Line Features
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
G.I. Jane Ridley Scott Hollywood Pictures
Caravan Pictures
Largo Entertainment
Also orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Hollywood Records.
Lawn Dogs John Duigan Strand Releasing (US)
The Rank Organisation (UK)
Also orchestrator.
1998 Desperate Measures Barbet Schroeder Mandalay Entertainment
TriStar Pictures
Also conductor and orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Velvel Records.
Dark City Alex Proyas Mystery Clock Cinema
New Line Cinema
Also orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by TVT Records.
The Mighty Peter Chelsom Scholastic
Miramax Films
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra
Soundtrack released by Pangaea Records.

Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song

Titanic Town Roger Michell Shooting Gallery N/A
Talk of Angels Nick Hamm Miramax Films N/A
1999 Notting Hill Roger Michell PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Working Title Films
Universal Pictures
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra
Soundtrack released by Island Records.
Molly John Duigan Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer N/A
2000 Thirteen Days Roger Donaldson Beacon Pictures
New Line Cinema
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Soundtrack released by New Line Records.
The Long Run Jean Stewart Universal Focus Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
2001 From Hell Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
20th Century Fox Also orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Varèse Sarabande.
2002 Crossroads Tamra Davis MTV Films
Zomba Films
Paramount Pictures
Also orchestrator.
2003 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Stephen Norrington Angry Films
International Production Company
JD Productions
20th Century Fox
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Soundtrack released by Varèse Sarabande
I'll Be There Craig Ferguson Morgan Creek Productions
Warner Bros.
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
2004 I, Robot Alex Proyas Davis Entertainment
Overbrook Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Rejected score. Replaced by Marco Beltrami.
Around the World in 80 Days Frank Coraci Walden Media
Walt Disney Pictures
Composed with David A. Stewart
Also orchestrator.
Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Soundtrack released by Walt Disney Records.
The Unsteady Cough Sam Leifer
Jonathan van Tulleken
Rise Films Short film.
2005 Aegis Junji Sakamoto Cross Media
Kadokawa Daiei Studio
Shochiku Company
Chaos Tony Giglio Capitol Films
Also orchestrator.
Soundtrack released by Contemporary Media Recordings as a digital-only release.
2006 Fields of Freedom David de Vries Greystone Communications

Stargate Studios

Short film for museum exhibit
We Fight to Be Free Kees van Ostrum
2008 Three and Out Jonathan Gershfield Worldwide Bonus Entertainment Soundtrack released by Contemporary Media Recordings.
2010 My Hunter's Heart Craig Foster
Damon Foster
Foster Brothers Productions
Videovision Entertainment
Documentary film
2011 War Paint Marcus Carlos Liberski N/A Short film.
How to Steal 2 Million Charlie Vundla Indigenous Film N/A
2018 To Tokyo Caspar Seale Jones Mannequin Films In post-production.


Year Title Notes
1979 Ripping Yarns 1 episode
1982 Joni Jones Miniseries;
2 episodes
1983 Those Glory Glory Days Television film
One of Ourselves
1984 The Last Days of Pompeii Miniseries;
3 episodes
This Office Life Television film
Aderyn Papur... and Pigs Might Fly
1985 Dr. Fischer of Geneva
The Last Place on Earth Miniseries;
7 episodes
Arena Documentary series;
1 episode
Jim Henson Presents The World of Puppetry Documentary series;
6 episodes
1988 Coppers Television film
1989 Murder by Moonlight
Screen Two 1 episode
1990 By Dawn's Early Light Television film
Guns: A Day in the Death of America Documentary
1993 Death Train Television film
1994-2014 Generations Theme music only
1996 Gulliver's Travels Miniseries;
2 episodes
1998 Merlin Miniseries;
2 episodes

Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition

1999 Cleopatra Miniseries;
2 episodes
2002 Dinotopia Miniseries;
3 episodes
2006-07 Jozi-H 13 episodes
2009 Blood and Oil Television film
2012 Labyrinth Miniseries;
2 episodes

Video games


Personal life

He is married to Victoria Seale and has four children. His South-African born uncle, the actor Norman Florence, together with his aunt Rhoda Florence and his cousin Peter Florence, together founded the Hay Festival in 1988, which Jones has attended almost every year since its inception.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Trevor Jones | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Trevor Jones | Soundtrack". Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  3. ^ Eoghan Macguire. "'Last of the Mohicans' composer on soundtrack to his life". Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  4. ^ Cooper, David; Sapiro, Ian; Anderson, Laura (2019). The Screen Music of Trevor Jones: Technology, Process, Production. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-01662-5. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Obituary, Norman Florence". The Independent. 8 January 1997.
  6. ^ Edemariam, Aida (28 May 2005). "Festival Fever, Books". The Guardian.

Selected bibliography

  • Cooper, David, Christopher Fox & Ian Sapiro (eds.), CineMusic? Constructing the Film Score, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. Book page on publisher's website
  • Sapiro, Ian & David Cooper, "Spotting, Scoring, Soundtrack: The Evolution of Trevor Jones's Score for Sea of Love", 17-32 in CineMusic? Constructing the Film Score, edited by David Cooper, Christopher Fox & Ian Sapiro. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
  • Cooper, David, Ian Sapiro & Laura Anderson, The Screen Music of Trevor Jones: Technology, Process, Production, Abingdon, Routledge, 2020. Book page on publisher's website.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 January 2021, at 23:45
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