Graeme Revell

Active - 1989 - 2013  |   Born - Oct 23, 1955   |   Genres - Thriller, Drama, Action, Science Fiction, Horror

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Composer Graeme Revell's organic scores can linger in viewers' minds for days, and his music has complemented everything from low-key dramas (Killer: A Journal of Murder) to large-scale Hollywood action excess (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider). A native of New Zealand who graduated from the University of Auckland with degrees in economics and politics, Revell trained as a classical pianist and mastered the French horn in his early years. His sharp ear for natural sound served the musician well when he took a job as an orderly in an Australian mental hospital. After recognizing the curious rhythms of various patients' vocal patterns, Revell began incorporating recordings of their ramblings into his music, and his musical experimentation soon led him to join experimental/industrial rockers SPK. In the following years, the band followed in the footsteps of such famed acts as Throbbing Gristle and Suicide.

SPK served as something of a precursor to Revell's career in film music, with the group's recordings striking a curious balance of danceable beats and experimental sound design. In 1989, Revell scored his first film, director Phillip Noyce's high seas thriller Dead Calm. Utilizing the hit SPK single "In Flagrante Delicot" as the foundation of the score, Revell's freshman effort not only backed a surprise hit, but also landed him an Australian Film Industry award. In the decade that followed, the composer became an increasingly popular figure in the realm of cinema music. With scores for such films as Until the End of the World (1991), The Crow (1994), The Basketball Diaries (1995), and The Negotiator (1998), he set himself apart with a willingness to subtly push boundaries with compositions that served to compliment rather than overwhelm. Revell's scores to The Saint, The Chinese Box (both 1997), and Blow (2001) were singled out for particular praise in the World Soundtrack Awards and the BMI Film and TV Awards. He also worked on such made-for-TV features as Dune (2000) and Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001). In 2002, the busy composer recorded music for the popular series CSI: Miami. Returning to features, Revell scored such box-office heavies as Collateral Damage (2001), Daredevil (2003), Freddy Vs. Jason (2003), and Catwoman (2004).

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