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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: olo_floof   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2010, at 12:25 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: I get what Zimmer is trying to do. (theFUZZ008)
• Now Playing: Saviour Machine - The Covenant

> 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.

Another (hopefully) respectful disagreement:

I suppose I'm the odd one out here, but I've always found themes to be more like a lazy summary of a general concept, rather than an appropriate musical analysis of on-screen events. In many cases, the "excuse to be simple or stupid" you mention seems to be an accusation best directed at themes; an excuse to avoid doing a thorough analysis of on-screen events and accurately representing them musically, instead settling for a cursory musical nutshell.

As an example, I much prefer the avant-garde soundscapes of Goldsmith's Alien score (the film sessions, not the official album) over his melodic approach to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, not because I inherently prefer dissonance over harmony, but simply because one more accurately suits the film. And speaking of the Alien series, Goldenthal's Alien3 is a prime example of excellent on-screen event analysis, even going so far as to take advantage of spatial dimensions in his recording sessions, adjusting instrument distances to match far-away or up-close events. Those are levels of analytical finesse you won't find in a Williams recording, and while his theming approach can work for more frivolous material or films with a multitude of characters like Star Wars or Harry Potter 3, it's always a bummer to buy a 60+ minute Williams album like Schindler's List or Seven Years In Tibet or Munich and only get about 20 minutes worth of original music.

I agree that re-iterating musical concepts can be appropriate when dealing with re-iterated characters or events in a story, but must the musical concept always be a melody? I don't believe so.

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