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Senior Lecturer James Hannam’s music ‘Strings outro’ currently features in Michael Moore’s newly produced documentary, Planet of the Humans. We caught up with James to find out more, and what he’s planning to do next.

7th May 2020
Music and performance

Hi James, tell us a bit about how your music came to be featured in this film?

The film's director Jeff Gibbs approached my publisher directly. I'm not sure how he and his production team discovered 'Strings Outro', but it had already been featured on quite a few TV shows and proven popular on streaming services in the US.  

How was the experience overall?

I discovered Michael Moore's work whilst at university and became a fan of both his books and films. I loved his rebellious approach and willingness to take on a challenge. It's been a great experience to contribute to one of his projects and, similarly, to be featured on the soundtrack alongside other artists I admire such as Radiohead and King Crimson. When music is 'synced' to film or TV, it's also interesting to see how a production team has utilised the music to support the narrative. 

Having seen the film, what are your thoughts?

The film has proven controversial, which of course has been the case with several of Jeff and Michael's previous collaborations. I found the film to be both gripping and thought-provoking. It has certainly made me consider several environmental issues in a different way. 

Tell us a bit about your career history:

I studied classical music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. During my studies there, I began making electronic music at home.  Some of the tracks that I made were broadcast by local DJs and subsequently by BBC Radio 1. Following this initial support, I was lucky enough to be offered recording and publishing contracts. After working in the music business for a few years as an artist and remixer, I was asked to become involved in music technology workshops at a nearby school and university. Through those education projects, I developed a passion for teaching music which eventually led to my role here at Solent. 

What are you planning to work on next?

Alongside my full-time teaching role I'm also working on creative academic projects with colleagues, including a book and journal article. So even though I don't have too much spare time to work on music at the moment, I will get back in to it soon. For the moment, it's great to hear music being produced, managed and promoted by our brilliant students here at Solent.


James' track can be heard at 45.55 on YouTube