Open main menu

Daniel Frederick Hart is an American musician and composer. He is a classically trained violinist.[1] Hart has released music as a solo artist and with his bands The Physics of Meaning and Dark Rooms.[2][3][4] Hart has also toured with and recorded for numerous bands, including St. Vincent, Other Lives, John Vanderslice, Swans, The Rosebuds, Annuals, Glasser, Broken Social Scene, Pattern Is Movement, Mount Moriah, The Polyphonic Spree and Sarah Jaffe.[3][5][6] In 2012, Hart wrote and recorded the score for David Lowery's film Ain't Them Bodies Saints, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2013.[7][8] In 2016, Hart composed the score for Pete's Dragon, and in 2017 Hart composed the score for A Ghost Story.[9] Hart currently resides in Los Angeles.[9]

Daniel Hart
Birth nameDaniel Frederick Hart
BornAugust 1976
Emporia, Kansas, United States
GenresChamber pop, Indie rock, indie, film score
Occupation(s)musician, composer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, violin
Years active2002–present
LabelsMilan, Lakeshore, Walt Disney Records, Bu Hanan Records, Trekky, Varese Sarabande
Associated actsThe Physics of Meaning, Dark Rooms, St. Vincent, Other Lives


Early lifeEdit

Daniel Hart was born in Emporia, Kansas, where his parents worked as church musicians.[10] Hart began playing the violin at age three.[2] Hart graduated from Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts.[4] After graduating college, Hart joined AmeriCorps and worked for a non-profit in New York City.[4][11][12]



Hart moved to North Carolina in 2002 and, along with David Karsten Daniels, John Ribo, Perry Wright, and Alex Lazara, founded the Bu Hanan record label.[9][13] While in North Carolina, Hart formed the band The Physics of Meaning, releasing two studio albums.[13] During this time, Hart began touring extensively in several bands. Hart played violin with The Polyphonic Spree, including opening for David Bowie in 2004.[14][9] Hart was also a member of St. Vincent's band from 2007 through 2010, and he contributed to the albums Mary Me, Actor, and Strange Mercy.[5][6] Hart released his first solo record, The Orientalist, in 2011.[2] In 2013, Hart's new band Dark Rooms released their debut self-titled album.[15] During his stint in North Carolina, Daniel also performed and recorded with the group Project Mastana, playing violin on their record, Backroads to Bollywood.


In 2009, director David Lowery asked Hart to write some music for his first feature film St. Nick. Hart wrote two short compositions for the film, which began Lowery and Hart's collaboration. Hart has scored all of David Lowery's films to date, and the two feel that they share a similar aesthetic vision for storytelling.[5][16][17]

In 2012, Hart scored Lowery's breakout feature Ain't Them Bodies Saints, and Hart was subsequently named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 Faces of Independent Film" in 2013.[18] The score mixes chamber orchestral arrangements of strings and horns with more traditional folk instruments, such as the banjo, mandolin, kneeslaps and handclaps.[19][5][7]

Following the release of Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Hart scored half a dozen independent feature films over the next two years, including Comet (2014), Return to Sender (2015), Uncertain (2015), and Lost in the Sun (2015), Tumbledown (2015), and The Girlfriend Game (2015).

Hart and Lowery next teamed up in 2016 for Disney's Pete's Dragon, an adaptation of the 1977 musical film of the same name.[20] Hart's score was written for a 94-piece orchestra and 32-person choir, by far the largest ensemble for which Hart has written music. Hart composed the score in three months, working "seven days a week, eleven to twelve hours a day" to finish it in time.[21]

Hart's next project was Season One of Fox's TV series The Exorcist, which debuted on September 23, 2016, and is based on the William Peter Blatty novel of the same name.[22][23]

In February 2017, Hart was nominated for IFMCA's Breakthrough Composer of the Year, for his work on Pete's Dragon and television series The Exorcist.[24]

On March 28, 2017, Daniel Hart released his composition for the soundtrack to the podcast "S-Town"[25]. The music is moody and brooding, and contemplative, a perfect foil to the subject matter of the podcast itself.


Studio albumsEdit

The Physics of Meaning
  • The Physics of Meaning (2005)
  • Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight (2008)
  • The Orientalist (2011)
Dark Rooms
  • Dark Rooms (2013)
  • Distraction Sickness (2017)



Year Title Notes
2009 St. Nick Lead Composer
2013 Ain't Them Bodies Saints Composer
2014 Comet Composer
The Sideways Light Composer
2015 Uncertain Composer
Return to Sender Composer
Lost in the Sun Composer
Tumbledown Composer
2016 Half the Perfect World Composer
Pete's Dragon Composer
2017 A Ghost Story Composer, Additional Music Provided By John Congleton
Heroin(e) Composer
2018 The Old Man & the Gun Composer
2019 Light of My Life Composer


Year Title Notes
2016 The Exorcist Composer
2017 SMILF Composer
2018 Strange Angel Composer
2019 The Society Composer


  1. ^ Ryding, Paul (August 25, 2012). "From Gurus to Tacos: Indie Violinist Daniel Hart". Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Album Review: Daniel Hart's The Orientalist is For Wanderlusting Lovers – D Magazine". D Magazine. July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Critic, Mario Tarradell / Music. "Local Music Connection: Dallas-based singer-songwriter and violinist Daniel Hart". Pop Culture Blog. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Noted Indie Rock Musician Daniel Hart Found His Voice at Meadows – Meadows School of the Arts – SMU". Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Macaulay, Scott. "Daniel Hart | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Daniel Hart | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Daniel Hart on Scoring Ain't Them Bodies Saints". ANOBIUM. September 24, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Ain't Them Bodies Saints: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Raggio, Eva (July 19, 2016). "Daniel Hart, Dallas' Native Son, Is Riding a Dragon to L.A." Dallas Observer. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Berlin, Joey. "Emporian returns home with band". Emporia Gazette. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "Interview: Daniel Hart, composer for 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints' and 'The Girlfriend Game' | Your Classical". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  12. ^ Currin, Grayson Haver. "The Physics of Meaning". Indy Week. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Currin, Grayson Haver. "Bu Hanan: Harmonic divergence". Indy Week. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  14. ^ Newspapers, Cary Darling Knight Ridder. "At 9:30 club Aug. 16 Polyphonic Spree is drowning out critics". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Lone Star Sounds: New albums from Eisley and Dark Rooms, plus 'Dallas for Moore' |". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Q&A with composer Daniel Hart (Tumbledown) – Milan Records". Milan Records. January 27, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  17. ^ Ponsoldt, James. "In Dark Trees: David Lowery on Pete's Dragon | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "25 New Faces of 2013 | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Ain't Them Bodies Saints director David Lowery on outlaws and '70s movies". The Dissolve. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  20. ^ "A Wondrous Remake of "Pete's Dragon"". The New Yorker. August 11, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  21. ^ Hussey, Allison. "Score One for Disney: Daniel Hart Discusses His Biggest Musical Project Yet". Indy Week. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "Daniel Hart to Score Fox's 'The Exorcist' TV Series | Film Music Reporter". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  23. ^ "Exorcist TV Series Revealed as Direct Sequel to Original Movie". Pop Culture Now. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  24. ^ "IFMCA Award Nominations 2016 | IFMCA: International Film Music Critics Association". Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  25. ^ "Music From S-Town, by Daniel Hart". Daniel Hart. Retrieved August 8, 2018.

External linksEdit