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Re: No, it won´t.
• Posted by: G.K.
• Date: Monday, June 25, 2007, at 10:47 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: No, it won´t. (TUBA)

> I don't underestimate flexibility at all...I love it. I felt the main
> theme for Pirates 3 was pretty flexible and I felt the western showdown
> wasn't silly. I didn't start laughing...I thought it gave the scene some
> coolness

Yes, and that's my point. I find it rather horrible that Zimmer never goes beyond "coolness" or the obvious surface of the film.

> Plenty of other composers don't base their themes around characters'
> feelings. Very few of the lord of the rings motifs are character-based,
> just as an example.

Again, give examples. Do you even know all the themes and motifs? Come on, you know what I meant. Even if some themes aren't based on characters, then they are based on ideas, things in the story that can't be shown on screen, or places and cultures and their ideas. The seduction theme of the ring isn't character-based, and yet, who would deny its brilliant qualities in the storytelling?
Such things go far beyond writing a couple of generally applicable themes for a film.

> Yes, Zimmer is not the most imaginative of composers,
> but he manages to charge up the emotions inside the film, even if they
> sometimes are ripe with testosterone. The emotion in that scene is
> showdown. When the guitar riff comes in, all the main characters are
> meeting up on the island. Is Zimmer supposed to throw six motifs into
> about 30 seconds of music? NO...that's what main themes are for. Let's
> remember that the theme you are referring to is NOT the love
> shows up in various scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with love.

I was referring to a specific theme? I wasn't aware of that. I was just pointing out the atmosphere Zimmer creates with that music. It's not about packing 30 seconds of music with loads of themes, it's about writing imaginative and quality music. And knowing the qualities of all instruments in different registers. I've never heard Zimmer using an instrument in a way that he hasn't used it in for 10 years.
Yes, I know, Zimmer sometimes employs unusual techniques, like expanding the range of the voices or the strings beyond their usual range. He did that on Da Vinci Code. But before you go ahead and expand the capabilities of your ensemble, you should have some knowledge about the basic abilities of your orchestral apparatus.
Do you think Zimmer knows the fundamental difference between a note (the same note) being played on the C- string of the viola instead of the G- string? Do you think he could consciously use that to an effect similar to the one in Romeo And Juliet?
I doubt that. That's why his scores sound all the same.

Writing a plethora of themes doesn't mean anything. It's the way they talk to you, it's what they do that counts, if they have purpose and meaning.

> I actually did laugh at one point during the scene when you see Davy Jones
> standing in a bucket, but was supposed to be a parlay, and
> Beckett certainly seemed triumphant. Do you really expect someone to show
> desperation in a showdown? THAT'S NOT WHAT A SHOWDOWN IS! You hold your
> ground and you show determination. The scene was completely relevant in
> that it set the stage and also provided a way to get will and jack on the
> opposite ships.

I didn't deny the relevance of the scene itself, where did you get that from? I wasn't criticising the scene, I was criticising the music, obviously. That scene means what the musac (lol, that's a typo I'm glad not to correct) makes it seem like. And all the facettes of it aren't even scratched on in Zimmer's music.

> No, "people" is a bad term to use. Yes, some people are getting
> sick of how derivative Hans Zimmer has been, but in this case, it's still
> a very entertaining score for me. Outside of wanting to throw the disk
> into the sun every time track 12 starts and noticing the similar three
> note descending brass part in the last few minutes of track 3, I can
> listen to it without nitpicking over how similar it is because really, it
> isn't. As opposed to Pirates 1, where the ghost pirate theme is exactly
> ripped from the combat theme from Tribal War in Black Hawk Down.

Well, you're one of the VERY lucky persons that aren't bothered by anything but the beginning of track 12.
I, myself, wondered whether I had accidentally clicked on At Wit's End instead of I See Dead People In Boats.

> I really don't think so. The main theme for this film gets louder and
> raucous, but it never turns into the bass-heavy, choir laden anthems that
> have characterized Zimmer’s career.

I'll just overlook this, seemingly insane, statement.

> Bummer for you then.

There's far worse.

> Agreed…I love creativity, complexity, and variability (I have to own close
> to 100 by now), which is why, if I made a list, Zimmer probably couldn’t
> even crack my top 30. And while those three components almost required,
> the way we interpret those are a matter of personal taste. I guess you
> just can’t get engaged by Zimmer and I can…bummer for you I guess.

As it was pointed out ad nauseam now, entertainment has as much to do with quality as Al Bundy has to do with feminism.
Creativity, complexity, variability, these three things are absent from AWE. But that doesn't mean you can't find it entertaining.
These are two separate issues, and it's perfectly legitimate to point out both.
ANd I have a serious problem with people who proclaim Zimmer as the creative genius based on them loving his music.

> There are a lot of scores worse than Pirates 1-3, like…hey, I get to
> mention Batman Begins again! At least At World’s End was engaging,
> entertaining, and very good in the film.

... for you.

> Huh?

Sheet music for PotC is publically available, and it takes little more than a glance to see that it ranks way, way, way below other scores.
What I'm saying is: orchestration and composition are very complex webs. And Hans Zimmer's music is little more than a basic framework.

> Simply because the score does not achieve greatness does not make it
> garbage. I don’t give every score that doesn’t receive a 5-star rating
> 1-star.

Meaning what?

> First off, don’t start saying “this is pathetic crap” or other things like
> that if you want people to take your arguments seriously. Second, you
> think reading conductor’s scores makes you more enlightened? Come on! It’s
> how we hear the music…I guess every other musical reviewer is far less
> superior than you because they don’t read scores when they listen to the
> music. It’s like Andy Trudeau says, “they don’t give us the scores when we
> review these” (this was in response to someone asking him if a harp was
> used in a certain munich cue…and I’m paraphrasing him by the way).

First of all, it's not about whether a harp is used or not, it's what and how it plays. I don't look at this from a listener's point of view, but a composer's.
How can any composer that considers himself a little more professional be content with writing basically the same themes and chord progressions, with the same orchestrations over and over for almost 10 years? I couldn't even look into the face of my colleagues anymore.
But Zimmer's success amongst the average public says more about them than it says about him.

Secondly, having some knowledge about orchestration and composition may be a disadvantage to you because then the brutal lack of skills of some composers comes into broad daylight, but it helps to differentiate, and make the good scores even more enjoyable.
I can dig a little deeper, and understand the composer's ideas about unique orchestrations for certain themes (characters, places). I find that extremely desirable.
And by the way, you don't need to scrutinise Zimmer's music to get annoyed by the 2476 th french horn theme.

> Third,
> one step above a Britney Spears song? You obviously didn’t go into this
> soundtrack with an open mind…I think your bias is getting in the way of
> you enjoying music.

Look above. I can't keep an open mind when I'm constantly aurally pummeled with such shallow ideas.
If having an open mind means that I have to just accept the crap I'm hearing, then I'm gladly being referred to as "being extremely biased".
It's weird that having more musical knowledge than others makes one a snob, biased, or whatever else minority one gets pushed in.
If one is extremely biased because one doesn't accept the simplistic, loud, monorhythmic and thematically pale stuff that passes as complex music to the innocent amongst us, then I'll gladly wear that label.

I say: god bless those who have a critical eye, so that people always keep an eye on where they're coming from.

> Fourth, get some musical knowledge? Don’t throw around
> generic condescending advice like that. I’ve had lots of years of
> understanding music…and anyways, this is about me listening to the music,
> not me having a masters degree. Fifth, my dear boy? HOW OLD ARE YOU? (If
> you don’t mind me asking, that is) Sixth, a prerequisite for being
> objective in reviewing music requires you to leave your bias at the door.
> You should at least avoid commenting on Zimmer because you’ve made it
> quite clear that you will never give him the chance to write good music.

If I was like that, I would have never listened to Pirates 3 in the first place, since after Pirates 2 it was pretty clear that Zimmer had failed (again).

> There’s some group of everyone else that is film scoring? Please, everyone
> has a different style. And you’re telling me people like Gustavo equal
> film music? Oh dear.

Gustavo would barely pass as sound designer. But the point is, there are those people that write quality music, and those who don't.

> Wow…that statement really hurts what you’re trying to say. You’re letting
> your anger at Zimmer over, in your mind, previous failures prevent you
> from liking this score. You’re saying that even if Zimmer does a good job,
> you’re still going to punish him for other efforts.

Well, actually, that's the fundament for being unbiased, evaluating each score individually, isn't it?
A nice score is a nice score, and a turkey is a turkey. The thing is, Zimmer's turkey - winner quote is like 20 - 2.

> Okay, since Mission
> Impossible was a weak score, all danny elfman scores now suck! Does that
> sound right? No.

Don't be ridiculous. Not all Elfman scores sound like M:I. Not only does each Elfman score have an individual charme, he's also capable of writing good and inventive music. And there's a general tone of inventiveness throughout his work.
Zimmer's scores on the other hand sound very much the same and have a general tone of lazyness throughout, that's why a generalisation to some degree is actually possible.

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