John Powell is one of the most versatile composers working today. Just looking at his filmography, his work spans multiple genres: animation, romantic dramas, action/adventure, thrillers, etc.
I’ve been a fan of his work for some time, but for some reason I don’t always recognize that it’s him behind the great music I enjoy. So for that reason, and because I’m such a fan of his work, he’s the perfect subject for my Music Break! According to this Spitfire Q&A, early in his career Powell worked with Hans Zimmer at Media Ventures. His music influence also came from his dad, a tuba player with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the 50s and 60s, who performed on a lot of film scores.
Powell has been nominated for various major awards, including one Academy Award nomination (for How To Train Your Dragon) and three BAFTAs. I’ve said it before that composers are instrumental (pardon the pun) in the filmmaking process. A great score adds so much to the experience as a whole, and at times it could be the best thing about the movie itself.
So for this music break, here are my five favorites from the talented British composer:
Powell did all the Bourne films’ soundtrack except Bourne Legacy, and this one from Bourne Ultimatum is my favorite. He also worked with Moby on the Extreme Ways track that I’ve featured here.
P.S. I Love You
It’s interesting how he could go from an action theme like Bourne to something tender and sweet like this one. But I LOVE this music, I actually have the soundtrack in my car and I always replay this last theme on the CD.
One of my fave soundtracks from the 90s and it’s still awesome to listen to today. I love both the slower theme as well as the action-packed version. This is Powell’s big film project and at times it sounds a bit like something Hans Zimmer would’ve done. Of course over the years Powell’s created his own unique style in his music.
How To Train Your Dragon
This score won a bunch of awards, including an Oscar nomination. It’s perhaps one of my favorite scores of all time! The entire soundtrack is excellent but my all time favorite is this one that I’ve highlighted in this post. It literally makes my heart soar!
The Italian Job
Some of Powell’s music has that tribal sounding and this is one of them. Yet it sounds very cool, modern and exciting. I like this boat chase one a bit more than the mini cooper chase through the tunnel. Fun stuff overall.
Hope you enjoy today’s music break, folks.