Green Knight Composer Daniel Hart Makes Critically Acclaimed Movies Weird
Ohen fantasy medieval adventure 2021 The green knight finally released in theaters (after a year-long delay due to the pandemic), Daniel Hart, composer of the film’s musical score, organized a screening with friends and family at Valley View Centerof the AMC 16.
“Talk about weird,” jokes Daniel.
The green knight is almost universally revered by critics and discerning observers for its specific, well-executed, and stately weirdness, but it portrays weirdness of a different ilk.
Daniel worked at this mall when he was in high school – at the food court, in Chick-fil-A.
So, standing outside the theater with his guests last August, he pointed to one abandoned space after another, telling them who occupied each in the 90s.
“Which is strange in itself, isn’t it?” Daniel wonders. “For example, why is this information still in my brain? It’s of no use to me. Very, very strange.
Despite the absence of Hat World and Games Chest, Daniel cherished the day he rented this theater. It was a day spent with his parents, Ken and Ellen Hart, to whom he owes his remarkable success.
“It feels like sharing it with them is a reflection on their parenting work,” Daniel says.
Ken and Ellen – both respected musicians in their own right – played the piano and accompanied their son at countless violin recitals, and they took him to God knows how Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra rehearsals across town, Daniel said.
“They spent a lot of time giving me opportunities to explore music, so I feel like it’s come full circle,” he says.
Daniel lives with his partner Rachel and two dogs, Daphne and Archie, in northeast Los Angeles, but they all came to town last summer to celebrate Ken and Ellen’s 50th wedding anniversary. All but the canines made the trip to Valley View.
Shooting The green knight, Daniel and Rachel traveled to Ireland. She also has a role in the film. In a scene from Camelot where King Arthur is giving a speech, she stands behind him. “She’s on screen for about 15 seconds,” Daniel says.
Ellen and Ken still live in the Lake Highlands home they bought in 1987, near Audelia and Ferndale. Annie Clark – now a famous rock star called St. Vincent – grew up on the same street, even though she and Daniel were a few years apart at school and wouldn’t become friends (and collaborators) into adulthood.
At 82, Ken and Ellen both retired to Richardson’s Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, known for its ambitious musical program and a magnificent pipe organ. But Ellen still plays gigs throughout the Metroplex, filling in when needed.
“I think they really enjoyed The green knight“, says Daniel.
Ken said the lawyer at the time he found the film “deep and empowering”.
Critics call it “haunting” and “emotionally piercing” and applaud the director for “leaning into Hart’s lush, string-heavy score” so “full of pathos and nostalgia”. (It’s fair to say that the critics overtook the father.)
Ken says Daniel taught Casey Affleck to play the piano, at least “enough to sound like he knew what he was doing in a few short scenes”.
Daniel and his brother Justin began their musical education at an early age. Daniel played the violin before he was 3 years old. Music was a family hobby, “something we all wanted to do,” Ken says.
It didn’t take long to realize Daniel had a gift — more specifically, two lessons, Ken says. Daniel had a unique vocal ability, phenomenal for a child.
Daniel was 10 when the family arrived in Dallas, and his father took a teaching job at Southern Methodist University.
Daniel attended Northlake Elementary, Lake Highlands Junior High, and Richardson High School (RISD’s arts magnet), majoring in orchestral and drama.
At SMU, Daniel laid off music for about a year while earning a degree in playwriting.
In the theater program at SMU, everyone is good, he says. Among his classmates was Amy Acker, a regular Hollywood actor, also from Lake Highlands.