Early life and career
Powell originally trained as a violinist as a child, before studying at London's Trinity College of Music. He later ventured into jazz and rock music, playing in a soul band "The Fabulistics". On leaving college, he composed music for commercials, which led to a job as an assistant to the composer Patrick Doyle on several film productions, including Much Ado About Nothing.
In 1995, he co-founded the London-based commercial music house Independently Thinking Music, which produced scores for more than 100 British and French commercials and independent films.
Notable films scored by Powell
Since moving to the U.S. in 1997, he has scored a number of comedy and action films, including Robots, The Italian Job, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Shrek, Chicken Run (co-composed with Harry Gregson-Williams), Endurance, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Jumper, and Face/Off.
Powell's additional credits include Drumline, X-Men: The Last Stand, United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Happy Feet, for which he received the first ever Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for an Animated Feature Film. He is one of the best known former members of the Remote Control (formerly known as Media Ventures) team of film composers and has a scoring style that incorporates both traditional orchestral and more modern, synthesized elements. His latest work included Bolt by Disney in 2008.