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Meet Tim Davies in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Davies.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a bit of a musical jack of all trades. As a student, I liked to do everything, play, arrange, compose, conduct, anything to do with music. In 1997, I had finished my Masters and was lecturing at a university in Australia, I had my own big band and did some freelance arranging, but teaching was where my main income came from. I knew I had to leave Australia and study elsewhere. It was what everyone I looked up to had done. My teacher gave me the brochure for the film scoring program at USC, I applied, was accepted, got a few grants and was on my way to LA! I planned on staying for about 18 months, then heading back home but I started to get work and ended up staying. It was quite an accident that I ended up finding a job that allowed me to make money doing all the things I used to do for fun. I do the occasional guest lecture now and enjoy that, but that is the only teaching I do, so things have flipped around.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I must admit, I have had a pretty smooth run. I have always worked hard and because I can do so many things, there always seems to be something to do. In the last year, I have orchestrated and conducted movies and TV shows like Lego Ninjago and Empire, played drums in a big band, conducted the National Symphony of Taiwan in four performances of Frozen live to picture and written arrangements and conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center for sold out shows with Babyface. In the middle of that, I write the music for Guillermo Del Toro’s animated show Trollhunters.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Tim Davies – what should we know?
I would not call it a ‘business’ so much. I do what I do, but in order to get everything done, I have quite a bit of help! I am most known for orchestrating and conducting movie, TV show and video game scores. I take what the composer has done on his computer and write it out for the live orchestra to play. I have to translate it. I then go and conduct it.

This can be quite time consuming. Lots of work creating sketches and organizing files before it gets to the creative part so, I have a team of awesome people that do a lot of the prep work and a few that work beside me, orchestrating as well. There might be 75-100 minutes of music in a movie and only 2-3 weeks to do it.
What sets us apart is that we can do any style of music and fast. My main crew is all jazz musicians as well as classically trained. We can make an orchestra sound like a horror movie or something Sinatra would sing to. We have worked on classic Disney animation music in Frozen and hip-hop arrangements for Kendrick Lamar and Nas. I also conducted the score for La La Land. We can switch gears pretty quickly. I have a separate team that works with me on the score to Trollhunters. All up there, might be 3-10 people working each day to help me get everything done!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Back in Australia, I had some great teachers and musical friends. Alan Slater and Brenton Broadstock were two teachers who had a great impact on me. In LA, I sought out arranger John Clayton for a lesson, that led to him asking me to assist him when he was Director of Jazz at the Hollywood bowl. This was my first job in the states and I learnt so much from working on Johns music. I would get a sketch at 2 am and have to have it orchestrated and copied for a rehearsal at 10 am!

My first break in the orchestrating and conducting world came from a USC classmate and friend Jim Dooley. After school, he went to work for Hans Zimmer. This led to him getting a big game to score for Sony Playstation and he invited me to work on it. I still work with Jim and nearly everything I have now can be traced back to that job. I also have done many more projects with Sony. Another game changer was when I started to work with composer Christophe Beck on projects like Frozen, Ant-man and the Peanuts Movie. I was then trusted and proven an asset for the studios.

There are two important people I work with now, who I could not do anything without. Jeremy Levy is my partner in all things orchestrating and arranging. We have worked together for 10 years now and I can trust him to do anything I can’t. He also looks over all of my work and finds any silly mistakes I may have made! I tend to go too fast sometimes. But I never have to worry, he will fix it! The other important person is Ryan Humphrey. He works with me on Trollhunters. Looks after all of the administration and organization and also writes some additional music when I am swamped. If I ended up incapacitated for a bit, thanks to these two guys things would be able to keep going for quite a while.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
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  • Instagram: timdavies72
  • Twitter: debreved

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