Graeme Revell

New Zealand musician, composer (b. 1955)

Graeme Revell (born 23 October 1955) is a New Zealand musician and composer.


  • Here’s my attitude, and I’m sort of sorry to say this sometimes – but there are people who try and elevate film music - of all kinds – to being the great twentieth century classical music, and my opinion is it just isn’t. It’s very straightforward, major/minor or modal writing. The only time you get any kind of originality is usually in the timbres and the sounds and the mixture of elements. But to get through a scene it’s either happy, or sad – and it’s either going forward in action or it’s not – and it can be ironic, which means you’ve got to switch from major to minor frequently. But it’s not rocket science. It’s a lot of skills – a lot of political skills, frankly. It’s being in a room and playing off fifty opinions from studios, producers, directors, sometimes actors – and coming out the end with something that vaguely represents music. And frequently it doesn’t. The minute you try to get original or break the box – unless you’ve got either a very experimental or powerful director, it’s probably not going to happen.
  • I feel just as much compulsion to be an architect, for example, as I do a musician. And I feel inestimably guilty that I cannot fulfil the vocation for which I was trained - that of an economist specialising in problems of underdevelopment. My sadness stems from the fact that I do not have several lifetimes to lead.
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