David Downes is a Wellington-based composer and filmmaker who has pursued an individual path of creative work. As a composer, his work has been commissioned and performed by ensembles such as the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra, NZTrio, Stroma, Strike, Defying Gravity (Australia) and BackBeat (UK).

Between 1988 and 1999, Downes made a considerable contribution to modern choreographic work in New Zealand with his contemporary dance scores, including many notable collaborations with choreographer Michael Parmenter.

As a moving image artist, Downes has explored experimental video, long form narrative filmmaking and animation, and computer generated-imagery. With a particular focus on the expression of music through the moving image, he has produced several international award- winning films, including the 2000 musical feature A Small Life with Michael Heath, and the 2004 animated short film Generation. In 2014, he was invited to present a concert of his music-based films at the Beijing Modern Music Festival.