Trevor Jones is perhaps one of the most diverse film composers of modern cinema. In his years scoring films, Jones has worked on everything from remarkably intimate, personal dramas (Dominick and Eugene ) to large-scale action blockbusters that only Hollywood can produce (Cliffhanger ). Perhaps his diversity lies in the fact that, unlike other composers, Jones was not inspired by what he heard during his early years of soaking in cinema, but what he didn't hear. Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, Jones spent much of his youth in the dilapidated Gem Theater opposite his childhood home. The theater had seen better days, and by the time young Jones became a regular, it wasn't unusual for the soundtrack to cut out for long periods during a film. It was the eerie silence -- and the resulting lack of impact that the film had as a result -- that first prompted the knowing young cinephile to realize the power of music in film.
Encouraged by his parents to pursue his love of music and armed with a scholarship to England's Royal Academy of Music, 17-year-old Jones set out to pursue his education abroad. It was during his tenure there that Jones began to garner the attention of the BBC, and before long, the aspiring musician was working as a classical reviewer for them -- a job that ultimately found him accepted as a naturalized citizen of the U.K. A subsequent stint at the British National Film School earned Jones his M.A. in film music and found the curious composer brushing up his knowledge of all aspects of filmmaking. Though knowing the ins and outs of film production did indeed serve Jones well, it was his work scoring the films of his peers that fueled his creativity the most. During his final year at the British National Film School, Jones composed the score for the Academy Award-winning short The Dollar Bottom (1980), and from that point on, there was no turning back.