Don Davis (composer)

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Donald Romain "Don" Davis (* 4 February 1957 in Anaheim , California ) is an American film music - composer , who primarily for his soundtracks for the Matrix was known -Spielfilme.


Don Davis began to play the trumpet and piano at the age of nine and only three years later he tried his hand at his own pieces of music. With his enthusiasm for music, his demands grew and he was soon composing and arranging orchestral pieces of music for local jazz ensembles, with whom he performed together.

After graduating from high school , he studied music at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in music theory and composition . Although Davis was primarily interested in jazz and rock , he also tried modern music. University opened up entirely new opportunities for him long before he thought of becoming a film music composer.

After graduating successfully, he continued to study composition under Albert Harris. Harris introduced the young Davis to television and film composer Joe Harnell, best known for his music for the television series V and The Incredible Hulk .

Harnell was impressed with Davis' sense of orchestral detail. Harnell became something of a mentor for Davis and introduced him to the professional world of film music. Davis enjoyed his new role and at the age of 22 he got a job under Harnell as one of the conductors for The Incredible Hulk .

Davis now had a foot in the door of the music business and established himself in the scene with various commissions. He conducted z. B. Mark Snow's music for Hart but heartily and composed for four episodes himself. This early work called on Lee Holdridge , who wrote the music theme for the television series Beauty and the Beast . He helped Davis get on this series and take over some of the compositions. Of the four episodes he was allowed to take on, he was honored with an Emmy for A Time to Heal and nominated for To Reign in Hell , which brought him a lot of fame as a young composer at the time.

He also worked as an orchestrator for film composers such as James Horner , Alan Silvestri , Michael Kamen and Randy Newman until the end of the 1990s . He himself says that he particularly enjoyed working with Randy Newman and that James Horner taught him a lot about the film music business.

After Beauty and the Beast , Davis was enthusiastic about the work as a composer and was commissioned to set dozens of TV films and series to music. He worked for Steven Spielberg's seaQuest DSV , for Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story (with Ann-Margret ) and for the NBC miniseries House of Frankenstein .

In 1996 he composed for Larry and Andy Wachowski's thriller Bound - Gefesselt and between Davis and the two brothers a solid collaboration developed. For Bound he developed a broad pool of musical ideas and the Wachowski brothers then decided on their favorite.

The soundtrack for the film Matrix , which was one of the most successful films of the year, was created later . Davis combines minimalist and polytonal techniques, as in the case of John Adams, with dissonant layers of sound from the Polish avant-garde ( Krzysztof Penderecki , Witold Lutosławski ), with repeated outbreaks into “classical styles”. The brass section in particular is challenged with extremely virtuoso passages. Such a soundtrack expresses the complexity of a film like Matrix through the constant change in the music .

Don Davis currently resides in Southern California with his wife, Megan, and two children.


Don Davis received a total of eight Emmy nominations and two awards for his television work .


  • 1984: Gremlords (Hyperspace)
  • 1988: The Law of Silence (A Stoning in Fulham County)
  • 1988: Storms of the Heart (Bluegrass)
  • 1988: Death Greetings from Beyond ( Blackout )
  • 1989: Dead Have No Name (Home Fires Burning)
  • 1990: Running Against Time
  • 1991: A Little Piece of Heaven
  • 1991: Kisses and Lies (Lies Before Kisses)
  • 1991: Tiny Toons: Summer Home Video (Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation)
  • 1991: Session Man
  • 1992: Beloved Agent (Notorious)
  • 1992: Guilt Knows No Forgetting (Woman with a Past)
  • 1993: Murder of Innocence
  • 1994: Bitteres Blut (In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness)
  • 1994: Heart in conflict (Leave of Absence)
  • 1995: Kidnapped from the cradle (Sleep, Baby, Sleep)
  • 1996: Alibi - Your killer plays along (Alibi)
  • 1996: The Beast
  • 1996: Bound - Bound (Bound)
  • 1996: Dangerous Memory (The Perfect Daughter)
  • 1996: Ivana Trump: You can't buy love (For Love Alone: ​​The Ivana Trump Story)
  • 1997: Visitors from Beyond - They Come by Night (House of Frankenstein)
  • 1997: The Third Twin
  • 1997: The warriors of the Tao universe (Warriors of Virtue)
  • 1997: A Match Made in Heaven
  • 1997: God save this town (Not in This Town)
  • 1997: Weapons of Mass Distraction
  • 1997: Lethal Invasion - Attack of the alien viruses ( Invasion , TV movie)
  • 1997: Pandora's Clock - Killer viruses aboard the 747 (Pandora's Clock)
  • 1998: The horror at the lake (The Lake)
  • 1998: Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story
  • 1998: Murderous Pact (The Lesser Evil)
  • 1999: Agents of Death (In the Company of Spies)
  • 1999: Haunted Hill (House on Haunted Hill)
  • 1999: Matrix (The Matrix)
  • 1999: Route 9
  • 1999: Turbulence 2 (Fear of Flying)
  • 1999: Universal Soldier - The Return
  • 2000: Hell Swarm (Hell Swarm)
  • 2000: Race Against Time - race for survival (Race Against Time)
  • 2000: Single alarm - our daddy needs a woman! (Personally Yours)
  • 2001: In the Crosshairs - Alone Against All (Behind Enemy Lines)
  • 2001: Jurassic Park III
  • 2001: Scream If You Can (Valentine)
  • 2001: Startup (Antitrust)
  • 2001: The Unsaid - Lautlose Schreie (The Unsaid)
  • 2002: Ballistic (Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever)
  • 2002: Long Time Dead
  • 2002: Murder in Greenwich (Murder in Greenwich)
  • 2003: Animatrix
  • 2003: Matrix Reloaded (The Matrix Reloaded)
  • 2003: Matrix Revolutions (The Matrix Revolutions)
  • 2004: Space Odyssey : Voyage to the Planets
  • 2006: The Marine
  • 2007: The Good Life
  • 2007: Ten Inch Hero

TV Shows

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