Artist: James Newton Howard

Information about the artist.

Works

Album:Defiance: Music from the Motion Picture

Defiance: Music from the Motion Picture

James Newton Howard

Album:The Dark Knight: Soundtrack

The Dark Knight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard

Soundtrack album for the 2008 Batman movie, The Dark Knight, an American superhero film based on the DC Comics character Batman.

Album:Michael Clayton: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Michael Clayton: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard’s gripping score for the acclaimed motion picture.

Album:King Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

King Kong: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard reportedly got the King Kong gig as a last-minute replacement for Howard Shore (who of course had worked on King Kong director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series). The good news is that Howard still managed to write an honorable score; the bad news is that it’s no more than honorable. For some, the biggest disappointment may be that Howard didn’t find more inspiration in the film’s 1930s setting. Once in a while he inserts a vaguely jazzy flourish (the brief clarinet passages in “Defeat Is Always Momentary” for…

Album:The Village: Original Score

The Village: Original Score

James Newton Howard

In the wake of his Sixth Sense triumph, young director M. Night Shyamalan shrewdly marketed himself as a marquee draw, a thriller auteur in the vein of Hitchcock and DePalma. In the process he’s also run headlong into one of Hollywood’s truest adages: There’s no such thing as a sure thing. But while his tale of an isolated hamlet ringed by mysterious, threatening ‘others’ met with tepid reviews and disappointing box office, it also underscored another filmmaking truism: So-so films can still be blessed with magnificent musical scores. This hauntingly…

Album:Batman Begins: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Batman Begins: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard

It’s rare to see two marquee-name composers credited for a score, but perhaps two people were needed to come up with something that would stand up to the memory of Danny Elfman’s work on the 1989 Batman. Just as director Christopher Nolan’s back-in-black approach is quite different from Tim Burton’s phantasmagorical one, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s take doesn’t bear much kinship to Elfman’s. (You’d be hard-pressed to find any recognizable theme here, for instance.) Mostly the composers remain conservatively subtle, though coming up with the…
Album:Freedomland: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Freedomland: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Newton Howard

In this soundtrack to the thriller starring Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson, James Newton Howard takes a departure from his usual neo-traditional scores. Oh sure, there are atmospheric pianos and lush orchestrations here (“Brenda’s Apartment,” “Inside Freedomland”), but Howard also ventures out a bit closer to the edge (which still isn’t that far-out, but should make his fans jerk to attention). “Main Title,” for instance, deploys harsh guitar riffing against discreet synth whooshes reminiscent of the 1980s soundtracks of Giorgio Moroder (a feeling that also…

Album:The Postman: Original Score

The Postman: Original Score

James Newton Howard

Album:Restoration: Music from the Motion Picture

Restoration: Music from the Motion Picture

James Newton Howard

Album:The Sixth Sense: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Sixth Sense: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard was no stranger to psychological horror prior to this project. But The Sixth Sense has a little more bite to its creepiness than previous assignments such as The Devil’s Advocate, inspiring a touch more atonality from the composer. The tension of the film is enhanced by moments of aural surprise, such as the discomforting cue “Suicide Ghost” in which string instruments are struck by their bows leading into voiceless choir, but more so by the sustained notes that feel as if they’ll never end. Sadly, there’s no melodic “hook” to…

Album:Snow Falling on Cedars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Snow Falling on Cedars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

James Newton Howard

Thanks to the success of pioneering musician-scorers like Hans Zimmer, the symbiosis of traditional orchestral tones with synthesized electronic elements has become one of film-scoring's most popular working methods. The underlying reasons, however, haven't been always been particularly altruistic; a music software program doesn't have to work for scale. Composer James Newton Howard's score for director Scott Hick's telling of novelist David Guterson's interracial soap opera cum murder mystery is one of the best of the new genre, a seamless sonic wedding of the…

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