Hans Zimmer on how to sound like him
#91
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucie View Post
My thesis is that you aren't, for example in the case of Psycho, listening to the music, the music is reinforcing the images you are watching. You are getting a multi-modal sensory experience, but you are not listening to music in a traditional context. The underscore, is 'noticed' but it matches with the expectation of what the action could sound like.

Peace

Neil
You are "noticing" the music, which is exactly what the old cliche of "if music is done well, it you don't even notice it working" says shouldn't happen. It of course does happen, just as we notice great cinematography, great acting, and a great story. That's my point. Noticing music does not mean the composer has failed at his assignment.
#92
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
  #92
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Originally Posted by alphaproject View Post
Yea...I see POTC AWE similarities in that section compared to Gladiator. Of course his POTC soundtrack was not anything I was interested in from the start.

I like his more synth/orch stuff like Inception and TDK soundtracks. They are to me at least different beasts. I think he has switched up his style a little since POTC. I've gottne the consensus that it was a lame score....especially the 4th one.... but I can't put all blame on him because if someone doesn't like it, why not hire someone else just to mix things up, but they had him do all of them.

The Thin Red Line vs Pearl Harbor though.... I mean...it's not just the melody that is the same, it's like literally almost the same thing isn't it? I'm not judging him...I'm asking?
This happens a lot in film scoring and sometimes it's because the scene has been temped with a cue the composer has done in the past. Sometimes because of deadlines, which are the worst of any industry imaginable, it's easier just to please the director and get it done. At least you are "stealing" from yourself.

TH
#93
7th March 2012
Old 7th March 2012
  #93
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About noticing music, directing, editing.... Th old school methods are not of today's standards. I took a film class in 1992...not just 1, but I'm making this short.

In noticing things in film may depend more so on the person, but for someone who wants to direct, act, or just have something to do with films/tv shows you will notice things because you want to but it doesn't end there. In the old days they were told that edits had to be so good that you don't notice them, and I'm guessing that the directing and possibly the music was as well...I was informed mainly about editing being seamless that you simply don't notice it.

The thing about today's films is that directors want you to notice the style and frantic editing and epic music....it's just not the same era of filmmaking. This was back when they wanted movies to more or less be like filming a play but you get to watch it in a theater.

Personally for me...wanted to be a filmmaker, I always noticed camera angles, shot choices, music...everything.... the biggest gripe I've ever had was bad edits/script supervisor mistakes. Peace....
#94
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdiggity View Post
The current trend is 'simplicity'. I believe this applies to music, as well as fashion.
I will always admire more 'complex' scores for their musicality and ingenious minds behind them, but a hollywood film score is there to evoke emotions. Emotions that are not complex. Emotions that simply need a minor chord with high sustained strings. Or a large brass section (featuring a cimbasso of course) pelting out one note. No melody. No counter-point.
i think that is v. close to where the audience is today. so hard to try and move people on (emotionally) and not "tail" or pander to the audience. doubly difficult given the constraints of supporting and not distracting from the visual.

given the constraints of film scoring i am surprised that as a musician he has not published much music outside of his film work unlike Philip Glass and Michael Nyman who have great success outside of films.

spek
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#95
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
given the constraints of film scoring i am surprised that as a musician he has not published much music outside of his film work unlike Philip Glass and Michael Nyman who have great success outside of films.
spek
HZ has said that he does not find interest to write music to other genres than film.
#96
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
given the constraints of film scoring i am surprised that as a musician he has not published much music outside of his film work unlike Philip Glass and Michael Nyman who have great success outside of films.

spek
Because his music relies on the visual stimulant to maintain interest. (This is not a criticism)
But there's always Video Killed The Radio Star
#97
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdiggity View Post
Because his music relies on the visual stimulant to maintain interest. (This is not a criticism)
But there's always Video Killed The Radio Star
I agree. However, I don't think his music relies on visual so much as works itself into it, which is what it's supposed to do. I like how Questlove said he doesn't believe in good or bad music anymore, just effective and non- effective.

I thought the Inception soundtrack was amazing when I saw the movie , but on it's own it's just not as moving. But why does that matter? It was made to be part of the film and it was effective where it counts.

And while HZ does occasionally borrow from himself, I don't think it's a big deal. HZ gets ragged on for sounding generic when the main reason is that he has essentially created his own sub-genre of film scoring

Other composers end up sounding like him even when they're not trying to. I don't think it's intentional, but if your'e like me and grew up on the Lion King, Gladiator etc. , it's going to influence you in some way. And with over 200 films there are going to be similarities. I agree that there are other composers who may be more technically complex, but that doesn't mean they are more effective film scorers.

Take for example one of HZ's major influences, Ennio Morricone who is IMO the God of modern film scoring. Alot of his music was super simple but inspiring nonetheless.
#98
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xill View Post
Hans Zimmer in my opinion has 1% the talent of Ligeti, 0.1% the talent of Stravinsky, and 0.001% the talent of Tchaikovsky and Mahler.

Pirates of the Caribbeans lol
That music is epic pompous cheapness from an Hollywood medium that's behind times and has only the commercial mass market as a priority.

Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony, that's a lesson in composition.
Ravel's La Valse, a lesson in orchestration.
He is doing a job.
I don't ever recall him saying he is comparable to the greats. He is a composer for film.
That is a challenging and difficult thing to do on budget and on time and on multiple mega budget films.

Comparisons are absurd. Different era, different genre, different requirements.
In your opinion Ligeti is 1000th as good as Mahler. I'd put him above Mahler in my personal taste, but giving them marks is once again, absurd.
#99
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddreloaded View Post
...I don't think his music relies on visual so much as works itself into it, which is what it's supposed to do...

...But why does that matter? It was made to be part of the film and it was effective where it counts.
I completely agree. my "(This is not a criticism)" was my quick way of saying this

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddreloaded View Post
Other composers end up sounding like him even when they're not trying to.
I think this is related to 'familiarity sells' (a theory of mine).
We have come accustomed to hearing the HZ sound whenever we watch a big action blockbuster. We perceive that as "This is what a big budget movie sounds like", and unfortunately so do many directors. Now if a composer does not match that sound that we are all used to hearing, suddenly it is not effective and not 'correct'. So while some composers sound like that unintentionally, i also believe that there are others who aim for that sound, simply because that is what is in demand. That is what is trending. The 'Epic' trailer/film score sound has made it's way onto reality TV, Television commercials of all sorts, and all sporting promotions over here in Australia. Not sure if that is the case anywhere else.
#100
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #100
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I find it funny that he's so eager to brag about him hearing "like a 20 year-old", which is physically impossible, to say the least.

Then again, it depends which 20 year-old!

The same with famous seasoned engineers, like Eddie Kramer and the like: "I'm gonna boost 1 dB of 12 kHz, oh wait, no that was by far too much..." Haha, good one!
This is a phenomenon in the audio world.
#101
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #101
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Zimmer has got good hearing. Got first hand account of that - hearing distortions etc. I reckon it's that he pays attention and works with meticulous detail ( he can be bothered where many go - fek it. Mind you he's being paid more than most haha) But he doesn't have the frequency response of a 20 year old - or rather his hearing test wouldn't tell him that. Audiologists test to up to around 8khz. I had mine tell me the same thing.

Thing is - you don't need 18, 19k etc... there isn't much in music up there anyway - and even those youngsters who HAVE that range aren't able to do anything with it other than detect it. You can't identify tone or much in the way of dynamic shape at that register. It's a fairly useless ability!!

HZs ability to write whats needed is incredible BUT his great scores don't work well on little telly's !!Batman sounds ace on my home system and at the cinema - didn't sound big at all on the little telly in the kitchen a few weeks ago!! hahah
#102
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #102
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Well he mixes at a low level, then builds up alot of volume only when he needs it. He even stated, if it's not loud enough for you...turn it up. Guy has made some incredible pieces and some not so great stuff...but at the rate he cranks out stuff you can get burnt out.
#103
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #103
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I enjoyed the read, but what was the Francis Lai statement in reference to?
Tui
#104
28th October 2012
Old 28th October 2012
  #104
Tui
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To my ears, it's all ****. I couldn't possibly imagine putting on an album by any of these Hollywood types.

Tchaikovsky has been mentioned, and Ravel... OMG. Those guys are lucky they're not around today. As someone said, they'd probably wind up as taxi drivers, or worse still, fiddle around with DAWs all day.

Technology has been a pervasive, ruthless killer of refined art.

You would have to go back in time a bit. Ennio Morricone - now here's a film composer I can look up to.

Once Upon a Time in the West - Claudia Cardinale - YouTube
#105
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #105
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These sorts of threads are interesting to me...especially the replies that are critical of those who are highly successful in our field.

Reminds me of something I heard years ago. "The level of pontification is generally in inverse proportion to the level of qualification."
#106
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #106
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Naw, I think it's cool.

Except that the people that don't like it feel compelled to compare it to genres that are not related: that's honest-to-god ********. I don't like classical, but I've bought a number of movie scores. They're not the same thing. At all. It's like comparing 1920s delta blues to modern folk because the instruments are sometimes kinda the same.

Like baroque? Cool. Like Classical? All cool, bro. But there's no reason to shit on someone else's house because you're not into it. It's not about you.
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#107
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #107
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IMHO, far too many have short attention spans to appreciate film scores outside of a film. Many moons ago, I remember spending hours listening to the score of Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Probably because I was nuts about the movie.

I have enjoyed HZ's music as well as many other contemporary film composers.

Just today I was watching the Legend of Bagger Vance and was loving the work of Rachel Portman.

I don't know what to say except there really is something magical about music and often it's a film score than reminds me of this feeling.
#108
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #108
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For me, listening to something like Ravel, with all these busy instruments competing in the same range, makes me feel like I have a congested nose. HZ doesn't feel congested to me... his works seem open.
#109
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #109
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
To my ears, it's all ****. I couldn't possibly imagine putting on an album by any of these Hollywood types.

Tchaikovsky has been mentioned, and Ravel... OMG. Those guys are lucky they're not around today. As someone said, they'd probably wind up as taxi drivers, or worse still, fiddle around with DAWs all day.

Technology has been a pervasive, ruthless killer of refined art.

You would have to go back in time a bit. Ennio Morricone - now here's a film composer I can look up to.

Once Upon a Time in the West - Claudia Cardinale - YouTube
Morricone has done some terrible shite though!!' check B movies like Humanoid. Terrible music!! Or that mars flick from the 90s?

Love the westerns he did though.

Film score is a different thing to classical music. Classical music somewhat fails when used in film because it's often too directional. Look at 2001. That's a big fail in music terms especially if you got to hear some of the score that was abandoned. Film score is supportive; Ravel is music itself- very different and a very different skill.
#110
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #110
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Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Look at 2001. That's a big fail in music terms
You're so wrong. This is by far the best movie versus music epiphany on earth. But if you like Zimmer, you can't figure what i'm talking about, for sure.
#111
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freudes View Post
You're so wrong. This is by far the best movie versus music epiphany on earth. But if you like Zimmer, you can't figure what i'm talking about, for sure.
You read me wrong sir (as well as displaying unnecessary arrogance with that last line - I can't see why someone couldn't like Zimmer, Strauss and North. ).

Not a Zimmer fan though (although respect him for sure).

The music in 2001 is a huge fail. I've heard the original score and it is FAR better. This is a great example of a director pushing his composer aside in favour of what he thought was right. He was wrong - big time. Artistically, aesthetically and tonally. The ONLY reason Strauss et al was put on the movie was because it was the temp score and Kubrick preferred it (he would - he temped it). Alex Norths score was vastly superior in terms of tone an placement. The used music was merely a case of "demo-itus". He was used to it. The same happened in two scenes of Alien. Goldsmiths current score was replaced for some temp score by the editor. The arrogance!!!

It has since BECOME noted and commented on as a genius move. I look beyond and see it for what it really is - an artistically lazy move an attempt at repeating his brilliant move in Clockwork Orange. You like it? That's cool. But are you sure you like it because it was a good move or because you're used to it and can't see it any other way?

Don't get me wrong - it's GREAT music; but it's not great filmscore. It fails because it turns the artistic message of those segments of 2001 into a music video. It fails because it doesn't fit the tone of what Kubrick himself said he was trying to achieve (watch the making of for example - he even says , as its during production, that the temp music doesn't work and he;s excited about working with North). It fails because it draws attention to itself. Norths score was very subtle. Silence would have been even better.
#112
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #112
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I MUCH prefer 2001 as is. Perfect for the film IMHO and Kubrick got it spot on.
I also like Zimmer.
There we are.
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#113
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #113
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
I MUCH prefer 2001 as is. Perfect for the film IMHO and Kubrick got it spot on.
I also like Zimmer.
There we are.

See? People CAN like both!!

My main issues where knowing those pieces before I saw the film. Just seemed like a cheap shot to me!! (I'll add that I didn't see 2001 until '88)
#114
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
You read me wrong sir (as well as displaying unnecessary arrogance with that last line - I can't see why someone couldn't like Zimmer, Strauss and North. ).

Not a Zimmer fan though (although respect him for sure).

The music in 2001 is a huge fail. I've heard the original score and it is FAR better. This is a great example of a director pushing his composer aside in favour of what he thought was right. He was wrong - big time. Artistically, aesthetically and tonally. The ONLY reason Strauss et al was put on the movie was because it was the temp score and Kubrick preferred it (he would - he temped it). Alex Norths score was vastly superior in terms of tone an placement. The used music was merely a case of "demo-itus". He was used to it. The same happened in two scenes of Alien. Goldsmiths current score was replaced for some temp score by the editor. The arrogance!!!

It has since BECOME noted and commented on as a genius move. I look beyond and see it for what it really is - an artistically lazy move an attempt at repeating his brilliant move in Clockwork Orange. You like it? That's cool. But are you sure you like it because it was a good move or because you're used to it and can't see it any other way?

Don't get me wrong - it's GREAT music; but it's not great filmscore. It fails because it turns the artistic message of those segments of 2001 into a music video. It fails because it doesn't fit the tone of what Kubrick himself said he was trying to achieve (watch the making of for example - he even says , as its during production, that the temp music doesn't work and he;s excited about working with North). It fails because it draws attention to itself. Norths score was very subtle. Silence would have been even better.
Personal opinions aside or as a clever person once said 'There's no point in arguing about taste." It's not always about how good a film score is (theoretically or musically) but sometimes it's about a notion or a concept, some idea the director wants to convey by juxtaposing the visuals and the music. In 2001 Strauss's music works because it's a popular theme known by many that represents the quantum spring that we see visually. I'm sure the Alex North score works well as a composition but probably not as well conceptually, and that's probably why Kubrick decided to go with Strauss. Kubrick is known for his perfectionism and I find it hard to imagine him as a lazy thinker when making a decision as important as what music to use for a scene as pivotal as the one in question. And as far as that particular scene goes it's impossible to imagine any other music, it works so well and is much loved by cineasts because of the music. Kubrick did the same thing in 'Clockwork Orange' with the 'Thieving Magpie'. And once again that scene was lauded by critics because of the concept and the use of juxtaposition.
Hans Zimmer covers an incredibly broad spectrum as a composer and he's gone through all kinds of changes and from Driving Miss Daisy to the Dark Knight he's shown us what being a great film composer (his kind of composer) is all about. Ennio Morricone's style and methodology is so different from HZ's that comparisons are moot.
All artists have their off moments even Morricone who has composed some real stinkers in his time...
#115
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #115
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Of course, yes - all personal opinion.

As I mentioned above - I knew the pieces well before I saw the film. For me it was a cheap shot. Then having heard what North did - well, that was very good. I know it's gone down in history but I'm not sure if thats just because of "how it is". The film hasn't been seen any other way and I'm afraid I subscribe to nostalgia as being the winner here.

Clockwork Range is indeed brilliant in its use and execution of music - not least because its story hinges on a piece of Beethoven.
#116
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Of course, yes - all personal opinion.

As I mentioned above - I knew the pieces well before I saw the film. For me it was a cheap shot. Then having heard what North did - well, that was very good. I know it's gone down in history but I'm not sure if thats just because of "how it is". The film hasn't been seen any other way and I'm afraid I subscribe to nostalgia as being the winner here.

Clockwork Range is indeed brilliant in its use and execution of music - not least because its story hinges on a piece of Beethoven.
No nostalgia for me!

I saw 2001 when I was 7 with my parents in 1972 I believe.
I had no idea what the hell was going on BUT the whole atmosphere grabbed me and I am pretty sure the music was a big part of that.
Still my favorite film (now that is nostalgia!)
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#117
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
The music in 2001 is a huge fail. I've heard the original score and it is FAR better. This is a great example of a director pushing his composer aside in favour of what he thought was right. He was wrong - big time. Artistically, aesthetically and tonally.



Quote:
It has since BECOME noted and commented on as a genius move. I look beyond and see it for what it really is - an artistically lazy move an attempt at repeating his brilliant move in Clockwork Orange.
Clockwork Orange was made AFTER 2001.


Quote:
It fails because it draws attention to itself. Norths score was very subtle. Silence would have been even better.
So what ? Who says music in film should never draw attention to itself ? That's a very conservative hollywoodian view of what film should be or should be not. There's no rules when it comes to that, and whatever rules there are, are made to be broken if the result justify it. In the case of 2001 it's totally justified. The end justify the means ( in art, at least )

( and yes , i like some Zimmer stuff as well :-) )
#118
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #118
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2001 Seen it at least 35 times. Music kills me every time especially the Strauss (whose music I dislike) and Ligetti moments.
Once Upon A Time In America Seen it at least 20 times. The Pan Flute scene. One of the best musical moments in a film.
Driving Miss Daisy Seen it a few times. Love the way the music gives the film a certain auditory ID.

All these films are made better by the use of music wether it's HZ, EM or Dick or ligetti

Guess it's time for me to revisit those three films again
#119
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
Clockwork Orange was made AFTER 2001.
So it was!!! . Well - it works in CO. Love that film

Love 2001 too, but the music grinds...
#120
29th October 2012
Old 29th October 2012
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvyn View Post
2001 Seen it at least 35 times. Music kills me every time especially the Strauss (whose music I dislike) and Ligetti moments.
Once Upon A Time In America Seen it at least 20 times. The Pan Flute scene. One of the best musical moments in a film.
Driving Miss Daisy Seen it a few times. Love the way the music gives the film a certain auditory ID.

All these films are made better by the use of music wether it's HZ, EM or Dick or ligetti

Guess it's time for me to revisit those three films again
haha.. Indeed it is

Watched 2001 last week actually. Still a great film.
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