Biography

Born in London in 1976, Harry Escott’s musical education began as a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and he went on to complete his studies at The Royal College of Music and Somerville College, Oxford University, studying composition under Robert Sherlaw-Johnson and Francis Pott.

Harry Escott first came to prominence in 2005 with his score to the influential psychological horror film Hard Candy.  Since then, Harry has worked with such stellar directorial talents as Michael Winterbottom (on The Face of An Angel, A Mighty Heart and The Road To Guantanamo), Nick Broomfield (Ghosts), Clio Barnard (on The Arbor and The Selfish Giant) and 2014 Oscar winner Steve McQueen (Shame).

This year Harry has been working on scores for Paddy Consadine’s Journeyman and Clio Barnard’s latest feature, Dark River, for which he also collaborated with PJ Harvey on the title song.  For television, last year Harry composed the music for River, the BBC1 6 part drama penned by Abi Morgan, and the score was awarded the 2016 Music and Sound Award for best original TV score.

Away from the screen, recent works include a collaboration with the poet Lavinia Greenlaw for her sound installation, Audio Obscura, which won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and a large-scale choral work, O Viridissima Virga, critically acclaimed in The Observer as “a stunning new piece for choir” that “feels as though it’s been in the repertoire for years.”

 

The Face of An Angel
‘Harry Escott’s score effectively mixes the old and the new. Processed effects chug, whirr and throb menacingly beneath beautiful bursts of solo violin and countertenor. Occasionally Italian pop songs butt in and shatter the mood, but the real takeaway here is Escott’s Fellinia theme, five minutes and 30 seconds of heartbreaking loveliness.’
Empire

‘Harry Escott’s score heightens the poetic-exotic atmosphere of Hubert Taczanowski’s lensing, particularly in the final scenes which read more like a tone poem than narrative.’
Hollywood Reporter

The Selfish Giant
This film was chosen for its film quality, human emotion, exquisite cast and remarkable use of music and sound design’
The Jury – Awarded the Grand Prix for Best Film at the 40th Film Fest Gent.

‘Backed by an effectively spare score from Harry Escott that sometimes recalls his work on Steve McQueen’s Shame.’
Variety

Shame
‘…the music throughout is perfectly picked, most notably the original music,  a looming brassy theme by rising star Harry Escott.’
Indie Wire

‘… meaningfully framed long takes and tracking shots set to a controlled rhythm…allow the film to breathe, aided by composer Harry Escott’s resonant, largely cello-based score.’
Variety

O Viridissima Virga
‘… a stunning new piece for choir and ensemble that meditates on the Nativity entirely from a female perspective.

He sets poetic reflections on the Christmas story by Christina Rossetti, Emily Hickey, Alice Meynell and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, enclosed within two Hymns to the Virgin by the 12th century Benedictine Abbess, Hildegard of Bingen. The framing allows him to explore the infinite possibilities of Hildegard’s own plainchant, mellifluous and pure at the opening and then densely reworked in his own powerful polyphony at the close. Each of the intervening movements is an elegant vignette that could stand alone as an Advent anthem. Most notable among them is Alice Meynell’s ‘Unto us a Son is Given’ – an instant classic, beautifully crafted and gloriously sung by St Bride’s superb professional choir. Mary’s growing sense of foreboding for the torments awaiting her infant son is achingly captured by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and powerfully portrayed in Escott’s pungent writing…

His choice of instrumentation for the ensemble is crucial to the work’s overall effect; vibraphone and horn putting warm, concentrated points of light into the choral texture, and guitar and percussion adding an exciting edge and urgency. It’s not often that a new work feels as though it’s been in the repertoire for years, but this one does.’
The Observer (Stephen Pritchard)

Credits

Film

 

Journeyman
Director: Paddy Consadine

Dark River
Director: Clio Barnard

Damascus Cover
Director: Daniel Zelik Berk

Tout, Tout de Suite
Director: Richard Berry

The Face Of An Angel
Director: Michael Winterbottom

The Selfish Giant
Director: Clio Barnard

Welcome To The Punch
Director: Eran Creevy

Shame
Director: Steve McQueen

Axis Of Light
Director: Pia Getty/Nichola Bruce

The Battle For Barking
Director: Laura Fairrie

I Am Slave
Director: Gabriel Range

The Arbor
Director: Clio Barnard

Shifty
Director: Eran Creevy

 

Film cont.

 

Poppy Shakespeare
Director: Benjamin Ross

A Mighty Heart
Director: Michael Winterbottom

Ghosts
Director: Nick Broomfield

Deep Water
Director: Louise Osmond

The Road To Guatanamo
Director: Michael Winterbottom

Hard Candy
Director: David Slade

Miss Montigny
Director: Miel van Hoogenbemt

Peace One Day
Director: Jeremy Gilley

 

Short Film

 

Out of Darkness
Director: Manjinder Virk

Os Olhos Do Farol
Director: Pedro Serrazina

Bitter
Directors: Joel Wilson & Jamie Campbell

What’s Your Name 41?
Director: Marcel Grant

 

Television

 

River
BBC drama series

The Frankenstein Chronicles
ITV drama series

New Worlds
Channel 4 drama series

What Remains
BBC drama series

Run
Channel 4 drama series

Father and Son
ITV drama series

Michael Palin’s New Europe
BBC documentary series

Stephen Fry in America
BBC documentary series

A View From A Hill
BBC drama

 

Other

 

Audio Obscura
Sound installation for train station
forecourts. ca. 30′

O Virdissima Virga
For choir and chamber ensemble. ca. 40′