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 both A Mighty Heart and The Road To Guantanamo), Nick Broomfield (Ghosts), and 2014 Oscar winner Steve McQueen (Shame). Harry has recently completed the score for Winterbottom’s latest project, The Face of an Angel and for Tout, Tout de Suite, Richard Berry’s harrowing account of Ilan Halimi’s kidnapping in 2006. Both films are due for cinema release in 2015.

Last year, Harry scored two movies: British crime thriller Welcome To The Punch, directed by Eran Creevy, and The Selfish Giant, a contemporary adaptation of the Oscar Wilde short story directed by Clio Barnard (nominated for the Best British Film at the 2014 BAFTAS).  For television, Harry scored the BBC1 4-part thriller What Remains; Run, a 4-part urban drama starring Olivia Coleman, and New Worlds, a major new historical drama by Peter Flannery, both for Channel 4.

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

Welcome To The Punch
‘… bolstered by Harry Escott’s percussive, electro-flavored score.’
Variety

Shame
‘… they allow the film to breathe more naturally in keeping with its less oppressive tenor, aided by composer Harry Escott’s resonant, largely cello-based score.’
Variety

The Face of an Angel
‘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

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

 

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

Poppy Shakespeare
Director: Benjamin Ross

A Mighty Heart
Director: Michael Winterbottom

Film cont.

 

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

 

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′