Sundance 2020 Composer Spotlight: James Newberry
James Newberry is an award winning film composer who has found work through numerous relationships with creative filmmakers and storytellers. His approach to scoring to picture and unique voice has allowed him to work on features and Oscar-eligible short films that have reached top-tier film festivals around the world (Sundance, Cannes, NYFF, Tribeca, and more).
Characterized by an organic, artistic, specialized electro-acoustic sound, James’ music elevates what’s on screen in every project. His scores incorporate new sounds, un-conventional style blends and professionally recorded, high-end musicians who he frequently collaborates with on each film.
One of his earliest film projects, Bandito, directed by Evan Ari Kelman, was selected for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and led to numerous collaborations with Kelman. James’ next collaboration with Kelman was on Where There’s Smoke, an Amazon Prime short and 2017 Tribeca Film festival selection, as well as a western in 2018, The Badlands Girl. in 2016, James composed the score to the feature-length drama Luba, a drama from directed Casey Wilson, about a poor single mother who is trying to turn her life around. James recently composed music for Light My Fire, directed by Bobb Barito, which played at the 2018 Austin Film Festival, as well as Haxan, a horror film co-composed with Gavin Brivik and directed by Michael Fontaine, which premiered at the Sitges Festival in Spain. James’ latest project, Buck, directed by Elegance Giiavoni & Jovan James, will be screening at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
James is a classically trained percussionist and electronic composer and he also performs clarinet, saxophone, guitar, and strings. He currently lives in LA.