MI6 profiles David Arnold, composer of the last
four James Bond outings from "Tomorrow Never Dies"
to "Casino Royale"...
Meet The Filmmakers - David Arnold Biography
3rd October 2007
David Arnold was born on January 23rd
1962 in Luton, England where he launched himself
into the world of movies at an early age. Together with
filmmaking partner Danny Cannon (who he first met while
they were both studying at Centre of Arts in Hitchin, England),
shot a series
of short films. The duo worked hard over this period and
all the while Arnold taught himself to read and write music
in order to score his short film exploits.
When Cannon made his breakthrough, Arnold
was brought on board his debut feature film, the 1993 production
"The Young Americans". Arnold provided
a full orchestration for this production, which neatly
title song, "Play Dead". This production proved
the perfect springboard for Arnold's career as a
moviemaker and composer.
Straight out of "The Young Americans", Arnold
was offered a chance of a lifetime - the chance
to score Roland Emmerich's "Independence Day".
Out of his Grammy award-winning work on this blockbuster
sci-fi flick, Arnold and Emmerich forged a strong working
Next up was Emmerich's TV series "Stargate" and Arnold was welcomed back to compose the memorable theme-tune. His work on this TV production earned his first of several BMI awards.
Arnold was inspired to produce a solo
album, with a distinct 007 theme. His personal project "Shaken
and Stirred", subtitled 'The David arnold James Bond
Project" was released in 1997 and featured a variety of
performing re-imagined Bond theme songs and themes.
This critically acclaimed album, and his use
of larger than life orchestration and dramatic overtones in his
movies scores, won favour with the Bond family. After hearing
his work on the "Independence Day" soundtrack, Arnold
was called on by the producers, who had been searching for someone
to produce a classic-Bond sound in a modern way. Arnold's combination
of '90s electronic pop-rock rhythms with the classic orchestration
Bond is known for brought both continuity and change to the "Tomorrow
Never Dies" sound. Arnold clocked up another BMI award
for his score of the 17th James Bond adventure.
"It is about the
whole film, not a moment. Every bit is almost as crucial
as the next bit and some of my favourite moments are actually
Most recently, Arnold composed music for Daniel
Craig's debut Bond outing "Casino
Royale". For Arnold, this movie saw a change in focus
- the synthesisers were all but dropped from the scoring and
a classic orchestration clearly dominated the work. Arnold
collaborated with the Audioslave front-man Chris Cornell on
the rocky title song "You Know My Name". Arnold picked
up the 2007 BMI Film Music Award for his work on Casino Royale.
It was the eighth time he has won the BMI award.
Beyond Bond, Arnold is the resident composer
for TV-hit "Little
Britain" - for which he won a Royal Television Society Award
- and feature films such as "Godzilla", "2 Fast
2 Furious", "Amazing Grace" and "Hot Fuzz".
Away from the film world, Arnold maintains a career as a successful
record producer, having worked with contemporary artists such
as Pulp, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, David McAlmont and The Cardigans.
He regularly works with orchestrator/conductor Nicholas Dodd,
and has established long-standing relationships with directors
such as Roland Emmerich and John Singleton.
Selected Interview Quotes
Arnold on Bond in "Casino Royale": "Reading through the script you realise that it is a far more intriguing and consequential relationship that he has with Vesper and realised that his relationship with Solange helps him get where he wanted, and informed us a great deal about his attitude to women. I think he would have had the same attitude with a man."
"For some people John Barry will always be the definitive and undeniable sound of James Bond, and wrote the greatest Bond scores. I'm firmly in that camp, some people who have written to tell me that "Casino Royale" is their greatest James Bond film ever and has the best music ever as far as they are concerned."
On following in Barry's footsteps: "It is a fantastic privilege to be walking in John's shadow, he casts a very long shadow over the entire franchise. It's something that I'm very aware of and I think his sound is the sound of James Bond."
James Bond Music Coverage
Royale Official Soundtrack