Jim Lang was born on November 22, 1950 and raised just outside Kansas City. Although largely self-taught, he studied music briefly at the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City. He also studied theater at Northwestern University. After acting professionally for several years in Chicago, he served a three year stint as composer and musical director of the Goodman Theater's Free Street Theater Project where he did pioneering work in integrating pre-recorded tapes and synthesizers with live musicians and actors. He moved to Los Angeles in 1972 to play in Todd Rundgren's band, and subsequently became involved in film scoring when he was tapped by John Carpenter to collaborate on his Showtime project, "Body Bags."
He is known for his theme music, original songs and score for Nickelodeon's hit animated series "Hey Arnold!" A "Hey Arnold" theatrical feature with Lang composing premiered in 2002. His music can also be heard on Disney's animated series, "Lloyd in Space." His original music was featured in the Ron Howard films "The Paper," "Ransom," and "ED TV." Other recent film outings include the independent features "El Mascarado Massacre," "Pedestrian,""Piggy Banks,""World Song" (winner of Grand Prize for Best Short Film at the Houston International Film Festival) and "In the Mouth Of Madness" (New Line.)
His numerous record credits include a series of collaborations with Eels writer/producer Mark (E) Everett. The Eels "ElectroShock Blues," "Daisies of the Galaxy," "Soul Jacker" and "Blinking Lights" feature string and horn arrangements written and conducted by Lang.
Jim has also played on, produced and arranged records for such diverse artists as Smokey Robinson, Steve Wynn, Vince Gill, Public Image founding member Keith Levene, The Four Tops, Stan Ridgway and The Pointer Sisters.
Jim brings to the task of film scoring an unusual combination of pop smarts, picture sense and a quirky, yet lyrical style. He has a deep understanding of both electronica and the live rhythm section; experience in synthesis that stretches back to the early days of analog synthesizers, and recording studio expertise on both sides of the glass, playing, engineering and producing. Whether composing for electronic instruments, orchestra or rhythm section, his writing is direct, atmospheric and emotional.
- Knobworld.com, Jim Lang's personal website
- Jim Lang's profile in IMDb
- Hey Arnold! composer Jim Lang on his career, fans, and Helga at Moniqueblog