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Comments about the soundtrack for Inception (Hans Zimmer)

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Re: I get what Zimmer is trying to do.
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• Posted by: theFUZZ008
• Date: Friday, July 16, 2010, at 8:06 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: I get what Zimmer is trying to do. (Fraley)
Message Edited: Friday, July 16, 2010, at 8:08 p.m.

> Zimmer's more atmospheric/brooding scores I don't think are ever likely to
> appeal to more traditional score collectors, but I do believe I understand
> what he is attempting to accomplish with scores like The Dark Knight and
> Inception. Essentially, Zimmer is intentionally avoiding the traditional
> approach of obvious themes and intellectual concepts such as thematic
> development, and instead is attempting to develop sounds and chord
> progressions that elicit an intended emotional response subconsciously
> rather than consciously. If you attempt to sit down and listen to
> Inception and analyze it in the same fashion you would John Powell's
> outstanding "How To Train Your Dragon", you would like grow
> bored quickly, as Inception doesn't lend itself to intellectual
> dissection. On the other hand, if you wait till late at night, or are
> otherwise in that half asleep/half awake state where your conscious and
> subconscious can almost connect, and listen to Inception, the music makes
> total sense. Considering the context of the film, that seems very
> interesting. I think the trick to appreciating a score such as The Dark
> Knight or Inception is actually to not think about it at all -- don't
> listen for the themes, don't try to pick out compositional techniques,
> just let it wash over you feel what it wants you to feel. Now, whether or
> not Zimmer has been successful as this approach, or whether or not the
> film could have been better served by a different approach or score, is
> certainly debatable.

You stated everything eloquently, but I have to respectfully disagree with you. Avoiding themes is bad in my book, but i know some people love atmospheric scores so I can't fault him there. But abandoning intellectual concepts is just sounds to me like an excuse to be simple or stupid. The chord progressions aren't serving the score, they serve the composer's comfort zone and stock set of skills. The score really doesn't evoke an emotional response. I kind of wish he had been allowed to write the romance he had initially intended. The film is very complex and interesting, but the score is not. I think you're right in questioning if it was successful. It served the film fine, it is just not very interesting.

Please don't take anything I said as an attack on you or something like that. I mean no disrespect. Zimmer is a frustrating composer for me, and it is disappointing when such good, high profile films get served with his same shtick and praised for it, especially in reviews.

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