FFG Sessions with Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart Sessions
News 15 Feb 2024
The latest FFG Session features acclaimed American composer and violinist Daniel Hart, who is most famous for his ongoing creative partnership with director David Lowery. Together with students from KASK & Conservatory in Ghent and fellow composer Natalie Holt who joined the session, Hart performed music from A Ghost Story (2017) and The Green Knight (2021).
FFG Sessions screengrab

FFG Sessions

Film Fest Gent breathes music. In line with the festival's DNA, there are the FFG Sessions in collaboration with KASK & Conservatory. Experienced composers present their own work and bring select pieces of their oeuvre together with students of KASK & Conservatory. Re-arranged for a small ensemble, the music is performed in the intimate setting of the MIRY Concertzaal after a hands-on rehearsal with the composer.

Daniel Hart Foto Bas Bogaerts bijgewerkt

Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart and David Lowery bring out the best in each other. So it was to no one's surprise that the multitalented composer chose to re-arrange two pieces he wrote for the director's films for a FFG Session. Hart's music contains something mythical, transcendental, almost even sacral - which fits in well with Lowery's universe. At its 2022 edition, Film Fest Gent highlighted the duo's creative partnership with an in-depth talk and a retrospective, honouring their long-standing collaboration which brought us incredible films like A Ghost Story, The Old Man & the Gun, family adventure Pete's Dragon, and Arthurian legend The Green Knight.

  • Bio Daniel Hart

    Daniel Hart is a composer and performer based in Los Angeles. Hart made his feature film debut in 2013 with the critically acclaimed Ain't Them Bodies Saints, which began his collaboration with filmmaker David Lowery. Hart has composed the music for all of Lowery's films, including Pete's Dragon, A Ghost Story, Old Man and The Gun, and 2021's The Green Knight. Over the past decade, he has also scored multiple TV shows, from Fox's The Exorcist, to SMILF, to The Society. Hart has written music for This American Life, and composed the score for S Town, one of the most popular podcasts of all time.

    Hart's musical career started on the road, as a hired gun for bands such as St. Vincent, Broken Social Scene, Other Lives, and The Polyphonic Spree. He continues to work in this field, having recorded strings for St. Vincent's 2021 album Daddy's Home, re-arranging songs for Anjimile's latest release Reunion, and writing new music for his own band Dark Rooms, which has released two albums, and toured extensively throughout the US and Europe over the past eight years.

A Ghost Story still

"The Secret in the Wall" (A Ghost Story)

A meditative and haunting piece that ended up serving as a main theme for the intimate and atmospheric drama A Ghost Story, Lowery's piercing study of grief starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. Since dialogue is limited in the film, Hart's music often takes center stage, taking the audience along on an almost spiritual journey full of pathos. The song builds to an inexpressibly emotive crescendo fitting to the cinematic landscape Lowery created.

The Green Knight still

"O Nyghtegale" (The Green Knight)

For this piece, Daniel Hart stepped in as an acapella singer. The song starts as a lullaby originally performed in character by actress Atheena Frizell as Gawain's sister in The Green Knight. The piece evolves into a medieval inspired melody that plunges us into an Arthurian fantasy. Growing up singing liturgical music in church, Hart heavily researched medieval English folk music for the film. The whole score strengthens the mythical, mystic and mysterious mood of Lowery's intoxicating chivalric film poem.