Carvin Knowles Biography

Carvin Knowles was born in Long Beach, California to a mixed ethnic, multicultural family of musicians. At the age of 6, his family moved to Oklahoma, where as a teenager, he became involved in the New Orleans-Tradition Marching Brass Band, "The T-Connection," playing funk and soul in a style that would eventually be banned as "indecent" in the city where he lived.

Carvin took his BMA in Music Composition from the University of Oklahoma in 1988, where he studied composition under film composer Michael Hennagin (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Lost in Space) and Early Music under Dr. Eugene Enrico. His post-graduate studies have included classes in orchestration under Emmy® Award Winner Thom Sharp and master classes with opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti.

Carvin Knowles 2004. Photo by Jason Friedrich.
Inspired by the film scores of Bernard Herrman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams, Carvin flew to back to California the week after his graduation to write music for film. In those first few years in Hollywood, before breaking into the music buisness, Carvin worked on classical orchestral works, including The Funhouse Waltz Suite and his incomplete opera The Dream King.

In 1997, Carvin began producing albums for Oglio Records. He has been a contributing writer and producer for the postmodernist funk band Sex-O-Rama. Music that Carvin wrote for their second album "Sex-O-Rama 2" was featured in the hit film "American Pie."

Carvin Knowles 2006.
Carvin's music has appeared in over 25 feature films and a half-dozen documentaries. In the early 2000s, he was regarded as the go-to guy for any job that seemed too difficult, strange or controversial for other composers. Unafraid of controversy, he went on to score Th!nkFilm's important 2005 documentary "F*ck" which explored issues of profanity and Freedom of Speech in America under George W. Bush. In late 2011, he began work on Sir Peter Jackon's The Hobbit Blog. Other directors who have used Carvin's music include Tyler Perry, John Waters, Will Farrell, and Paul Dinello.

Carvin's body of work includes chamber works, orchestral works, wind ensemble and brass band works, award-winning film scores (well...only one has won any awards), electronic dance tracks, sephardic infused albums, electronic ambient albums and funk.

Carvin currently lives in New Zealand.