With a broad range of creative talent, composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Henning enjoys a versatile music career in both film and live performance. He has worked on the score orchestrations for nearly 40 feature films, including "Swordfish," "Chocolat" and "The Day After Tomorrow." Paul's original score to "The Town That Was" marks his first feature-length project as a composer.
In addition to his film writing, Paul also works on orchestral arrangements that have received performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has helped create concert suites from the film scores, "Spider-man," "The Passion of the Christ," "Peter Pan," as well as multiple works from the catalogs of Dimitri Tiomkin and Elmer Bernstein.
An accomplished pianist and violinist, Paul plays regularly on both live orchestral concerts and recording sessions. He currently sits concertmaster of the Golden State Pops Orchestra and has also played violin for Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli and Smokey Robinson.
Paul grew up in Pullman, Washington. He studied music at Washington State University and the University of Southern California.
THE TOWN THAT WAS
In 1962, a trash fire ignited a seam of anthracite coal beneath Centralia, Pennsylvania, a once thriving mining town of over 1600 people. By the mid 1980’s, giant plumes of smoke and deadly carbon monoxide gases billowed from fissures in the ground, the local highway cracked and collapsed, trees were bleached white and petrified, as the fire continued to rage unchecked. It wasn’t until a young boy nearly died after falling into a smoldering mine subsidence that the government was pressed into action. After estimating the cost of extinguishing the fire at over a half a billion dollars, the government opted to raze the town and relocate its residents.
Today, 11 die-hards remain.
Filmed over a period of five years with interviews ranging from former residents to Congressmen, "The Town That Was" is an intimate portrait of John Lokitis, the youngest remaining Centralian, and his quixotic fight to keep alive a hometown that has literally disintegrated under his feet. His unbowed determination and steadfast refusal to acknowledge defeat reveal a man, a town, a region, and a way of life abandoned and forgotten.