Graeme Revell (born 23 October 1955) is a New Zealand musician and composer. He came to prominence in the 1980s as the leader of the industrial/electronic group SPK. Since the 1990s he has worked primarily as a film score composer.[1]

Graeme Revell
Born (1955-10-23) 23 October 1955 (age 67)
Auckland, New Zealand
Occupation(s)Musician, composer

Some of Revell's best known film scores include Dead Calm (1989), The Crow (1994), Street Fighter (1994), Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), The Craft (1996), The Saint (1997), The Negotiator (1998), Bride of Chucky (1998), Titan A.E. (2000), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Daredevil (2003), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), and Sin City (2005). He is also known for his frequent collaborations with director David Twohy, having scored Below (2002) and the Riddick franchise. He is an eight-time recipient of the BMI Film Music Award, including the Richard Kirk Career Achievement Award,[2] and an AACTA Award winner.[3]

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Revell attended Auckland Grammar School, where he finished his final year in 7A. As an orderly in an insane asylum in Australia in the late 70's, he and one of the patients formed one of industrial music's first bands, SPK, as an outgrowth of his interest in music therapy. He spent the next decade making music that ranged from extreme to beautiful to academic and earning a reputation for wild stage stunts that included accidentally setting an audience member on fire with a flamethrower.[4] Revell's break came in 1989, when he scored the Australian film Dead Calm. A Hollywood agent, Richard Kraft, heard it and tracked him down. Since then, he moved to Hollywood, working with everything from 85-piece orchestras for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, to Tuvan singers and Armenian stringed instruments for The Crow, to brassy jazz and hip-hop rhythm loops for Fled, with Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin.[4]

Education and training Edit

Revell is a classically trained pianist and French horn player, but also graduated from the University of Auckland with degrees in economics and political science.[5]

Vocational pursuits Edit

He worked as a regional planner in both Australia and Indonesia, and was also an orderly in an Australian psychiatric hospital.[citation needed]

Musical career Edit

Revell was a founding member of the industrial music band SPK, playing keyboards and percussion. The SPK single, "In Flagrante Delicto", was the basis for the Dead Calm film score (his first) that won him an Australian Film Industry award in 1989.[5]

Most of Revell's subsequent projects were film scores. But in 1997, he teamed up with Roger Mason to create a non-film music album Vision II – Spirit of Rumi, released through New York based Angel Records. The two coproduced, supplied some of the instrumental accompaniment, and set to music 11 poems by renowned 13th century Persian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. Vocals were provided by Noa, Lori Garson, Esther Dobong'Na Essiene a.k.a. Estha Divine, and the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.[6]

In 2002–03, he assisted the rock band Evanescence on their debut album, Fallen, in which he is credited for doing most of the string arrangements. He has also done string arrangements for Ludus, Stefy, Biffy Clyro and The Wombats.

Style Edit

Revell's musical style is predominantly electronic and computer-based, yet often utilizes classical instruments or entire arrangements for certain pieces (similar to his contemporary counterparts, Hans Zimmer and Mark Isham). The orchestral scores that Revell has composed have changed throughout his career—from Bernard Herrmann-like pieces to Ennio Morricone-influenced works. "Whenever I write songs, I always have visual images in mind, and I have always changed styles dramatically. That's not good for a long-term rock career, but it's good if you want to score films."[4] "I'm trying to bring a dose of class to Hollywood," he said. "I want my music to be the real thing instead of some terrible synthesized thing thrown together in a week. I don't want to sound just like everybody else."[4]

Revell's music is often re-used from movie to movie[citation needed] and in more recent times he has collaborated with other artists on their albums. After the success of his soundtrack on Red Planet where he used the voice of French singer Emma Shapplin to back up and often lead his score, he collaborated with her on her own album Etterna, producing all of her songs. He has recently been interviewed for the independent documentary Finding Kraftland.

Collaborators Edit

Revell has been assisted in sound design by Brian Williams, who creates dark ambient music under the German language black humorous pseudonym Lustmord.[7]

Awards and nominations Edit

On 18 May 2005, Revell was honored at the annual BMI Film & TV Awards with the Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement.[8]

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA[9] Edit

1994 Nominee

Saturn Award

Best Music

Hard Target (1993)

ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards[9] Edit

1993 Winner


Top Box Office Films

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)

International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA)[9] Edit

2008 Nominee


Best Original Score for a Documentary Film

Darfur Now (2007)

World Soundtrack Awards[9] Edit

2001 Nominee

World Soundtrack Award

Best Original Score of the Year Not Released on an Album

Blow (2001)

Venice Film Festival[9] Edit

1997 Winner

Golden Osella

Best Score

Chinese Box (1997)

Online Film & Television Association[9] Edit

2001 Winner

OFTA Television Award

Best Music in a Motion Picture or Miniseries

Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001)

Best New Theme Song in a Motion Picture or Miniseries

Dune (2000)


OFTA Television Award

Best Music in a Motion Picture or Miniseries

Dune (2000)

Best New Theme Song in a Motion Picture or Miniseries

Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001)

Fangoria Chainsaw Awards[9] Edit

2003 Nominee

Chainsaw Award

Best Score

Below (2002)

1997 Nominee

Chainsaw Award

Best Score

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

1994 Winner

Chainsaw Award

Best Soundtrack

The Crow (1994)

BMI Film & TV Awards[9] Edit

2009 Winner

BMI Film Music Award

Pineapple Express (2008)

Works Edit

Theatrical film Edit

1980s Edit

Year Title Director
1989 Dead Calm Phillip Noyce

1990s Edit

Year Title Director Notes
1990 Spontaneous Combustion Tobe Hooper
Child's Play 2 John Lafia
Till There Was You John Seale
1991 Deadly Esben Storm
The People Under the Stairs Wes Craven "Additional Orchestral Music" credit
Until the End of the World Wim Wenders
1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Curtis Hanson
Love Crimes Lizzie Borden
Traces of Red Andy Wolk
Body of Evidence Uli Edel
1993 Boxing Helena Jennifer Lynch
Hear No Evil Robert Greenwald
The Crush Alan Shapiro
Faraway, So Close! Wim Wenders
Hard Target John Woo Composed with Tim Simonec
Ghost in the Machine Rachel Talalay
1994 No Escape Martin Campbell Composed with Tim Simonec
The Crow Alex Proyas
S.F.W. Jefery Levy
Street Fighter Steven E. de Souza
1995 Tank Girl Rachel Talalay
The Basketball Diaries Scott Kalvert
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie Bryan Spicer
Killer: A Journal of Murder Tim Metcalfe
The Tie That Binds Wesley Strick
Strange Days Kathryn Bigelow
1996 From Dusk till Dawn Robert Rodriguez
Race the Sun Charles T. Kanganis
The Craft Andrew Fleming
Fled Kevin Hooks
The Crow: City of Angels Tim Pope
1997 The Saint Phillip Noyce
Spawn Mark A.Z. Dippé
Chinese Box Wayne Wang
Suicide Kings Peter O'Fallon
1998 The Big Hit Kirk Wong
Phoenix Danny Cannon
All I Wanna Do Sarah Kernochan
The Negotiator F. Gary Gray
Lulu on the Bridge Paul Auster
Bride of Chucky Ronny Yu
The Siege Edward Zwick
1999 Idle Hands Rodman Flender
Buddy Boy Mark Hanlon Composed with Michael Brook and Brian Eno
Three to Tango Damon Santostefano
Bats Louis Morneau

2000s Edit

Year Title Director
2000 Pitch Black David Twohy
Gossip Davis Guggenheim
Titan A.E. Don Bluth
Gary Goldman
Calle 54 Fernando Trueba
Attraction Russell DeGrazier
Red Planet Antony Hoffman
2001 Double Take George Gallo
Blow Ted Demme
Human Nature Michel Gondry
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Simon West
2002 Collateral Damage Andrew Davis
High Crimes Carl Franklin
Below David Twohy
2003 Daredevil Mark Steven Johnson
Freddy vs. Jason Ronny Yu
Out of Time Carl Franklin
Open Water Chris Kentis
2004 Walking Tall Kevin Bray
The Chronicles of Riddick David Twohy
2005 Assault on Precinct 13 Jean-François Richet
Sin City Robert Rodriguez
Frank Miller
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D Robert Rodriguez
Goal! Danny Cannon
Harsh Times David Ayer
The Fog Rupert Wainwright
Æon Flux Karyn Kusama
2006 Bordertown Gregory Nava
Man of the Year Barry Levinson
2007 Marigold Willard Carroll
Planet Terror Robert Rodriguez
The Condemned Scott Wiper
Darfur Now Ted Braun
Awake Joby Harold
2008 The Ruins Carter Smith
Street Kings David Ayer
Pineapple Express David Gordon Green
Days of Wrath Celia Fox

2010s Edit

Year Title Director
2010 Unthinkable Gregor Jordan
The Experiment Paul T. Scheuring
Kites: The Remix Anurag Basu
2011 Shark Night David R. Ellis
2013 Riddick David Twohy

Television film Edit

Year Title Director
1990 Psycho IV: The Beginning Mick Garris
1995 Down Came a Blackbird Jonathan Sanger
1998 Dennis the Menace Strikes Again Charles T. Kanganis

Television series Edit

Year Title
1988 Bangkok Hilton
2000 Frank Herbert's Dune
2001 Anne Frank: The Whole Story
2002–2003 CSI: Miami
2008–2009 Eleventh Hour
2009–2010 The Forgotten
Dark Blue
2012 The River
2014–2015 Gotham

Video games Edit

Year Title
2005 Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

References Edit

  1. ^ Jason Buchanan (2013). "Graeme Revell". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Graeme Revell to Receive Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement at BMI Film/TV Dinner". 11 April 2005. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Past Awards | AACTA". Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Strauss, Neil (4 July 1996). "The Pop Life". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Graeme Revell". IMDb. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  6. ^ Carol Wright (18 March 1997). "Vision 2: Spirit of Rumi - Graeme Revell | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  7. ^ John Bush. "Lustmord | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  8. ^ "BMI Honors Composers of Top Movies, TV Shows and Cable Programs at 2005 Film/TV Awards". 18 May 2005. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Graeme Revell". IMDb. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

External links Edit