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Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...

Cesar
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Euphman
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Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, May 30, 2007 (3:48 p.m.) 

Second only to Death´s Man Chest of course... Just saw the movie. The most simplistic chord progressions (I-V- VI -I; I - VI- V; and that stuff...) and the same melodic lines that every student of composition could do in 2 minutes. This guy is an embrassement to music. I liked the movie though.


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Euphman
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, May 30, 2007 (5:03 p.m.) 

I dunno, you think it's worse than the first Pirates soundtrack? At least this one has SOME thematic development...and there are clear themes, even if they seem to contradict with other themes.

The first score was a nightmare on album as a whole. There was no unified style, just a mishmash of heavy bass poo.

Actually, there's one track from some movie that I heard one time. It was on a Live365 channel, and I can't remember the name of the film, track, or composer.

But it was torture. Imagine 15 minutes of one chord progression that was 3 chords long. And it repeated with no variation. For 15 minutes. At least Zimmer isn't like that. You can at least tune him into the background.

> Second only to Death´s Man Chest of course... Just saw the movie. The most
> simplistic chord progressions (I-V- VI -I; I - VI- V; and that stuff...)
> and the same melodic lines that every student of composition could do in 2
> minutes. This guy is an embrassement to music. I liked the movie though.
>



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Cesar
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Cloud
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Thursday, May 31, 2007 (1:41 a.m.) 

Zimmer´s thematic development is not particulary sophisticated. He just used the same themes again and again. And the themes itself are completely banal in their construction. Jack Sparrow´s theme is effective at least. Couldn´t he compose a theme with a german sixth or a VII 7 chord for example? Couldn´t he modulate once in a while? Oh yes, he modulates. To the dominant or to the relative of the key... give me a break... he´s the Meyerbeer of the 21th century...



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Cloud
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Thursday, May 31, 2007 (11:21 a.m.) 

> Zimmer´s thematic development is not particulary sophisticated. He just
> used the same themes again and again. And the themes itself are completely
> banal in their construction. Jack Sparrow´s theme is effective at least.
> Couldn´t he compose a theme with a german sixth or a VII 7 chord for
> example? Couldn´t he modulate once in a while? Oh yes, he modulates. To
> the dominant or to the relative of the key... give me a break... he´s the
> Meyerbeer of the 21th century...

Yeah sure, and you're the musical genius of our time. First build up a career like Zimmer and save comments like "embarrassment to music" for later, when you've accomplished something. Sure, I can say I don't like Graeme Revell. Does that make him an "embarrassment to music"? No.. sheesh, it's incredible how people get all emotional when it's about Zimmer.



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Cesar
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Lawrence
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (2:22 a.m.) 

First, you dont know much about music do you? You dont need to compose Bruckner´s 8th symphony to do the musical analysis of a piece and judge its merits.

Second, Zimmer built a career in the same way figures like Britney Spear and Shakira built careers (yes, I know they are even worst). Dont you dare say that career and sucess are synonyms of quality.


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Lawrence
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Cesar

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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (2:56 a.m.) 

> First, you dont know much about music do you? You dont need to compose
> Bruckner´s 8th symphony to do the musical analysis of a piece and judge
> its merits.

> Second, Zimmer built a career in the same way figures like Britney Spear
> and Shakira built careers (yes, I know they are even worst). Dont you dare
> say that career and sucess are synonyms of quality.

Well, in the end it doesn't matter, we love it, and you don't. But don't ever f****ng compare Zimmer, or Soundtracks for that part, to those Pop-mistakes like Britney and all.

Music for movies are totally different things, and though you will always have better and worse soundtracks, there are above that (to my mind, because I can't swallow most of modern-day music).
I like it because I find film music so complex, with all the layers, and now some of you are saying that Zimmer has no layers? Or few so that a kid can write it? I must say, I play all kinds of woodwinds, and I love to play along with soundtrack scores, preferably even Zimmer's (eg King Arthur, Last Samurai, Rangoon). But by playing I can tell you that it has great depth to it, because I can jump from one layer to the other, and while playing you find out how intertwined it is.

Besides, his melodies may be very shallow (to you), but add all the rest, the brass coming in, the drums in the back, the choir placed on it, all to make it match... well I must say, no simple kid nor student could do that without knowledge, experience ŕnd talent.

All I can conclude that there has come into being to great a hate towards Zimmer, because there are two camps who have found the fondness to bash on each other to show they are right. But I ask you, who don't like Zimmer's music, is it really that bad?, or is it just this score that bothers you?, or just his name, which has settles in your hate-part of your heart, while you know it's not worth it to hate him?


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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (3:55 a.m.) 

> Well, in the end it doesn't matter, we love it, and you don't. But don't
> ever f****ng compare Zimmer, or Soundtracks for that part, to those
> Pop-mistakes like Britney and all.

Did you read my post? Read it carefully.

> Music for movies are totally different things, and though you will always
> have better and worse soundtracks, there are above that

Fair enough.

> I like it because I find film music so complex, with all the layers, and
> now some of you are saying that Zimmer has no layers? Or few so that a kid
> can write it? I must say, I play all kinds of woodwinds, and I love to
> play along with soundtrack scores, preferably even Zimmer's (eg King
> Arthur, Last Samurai, Rangoon). But by playing I can tell you that it has
> great depth to it, because I can jump from one layer to the other, and
> while playing you find out how intertwined it is.

That´s great.

> Besides, his melodies may be very shallow (to you), but add all the rest,
> the brass coming in, the drums in the back, the choir placed on it, all to
> make it match... well I must say, no simple kid nor student could do that
> without knowledge, experience ŕnd talent.

Knowledge? Where did Zimmer studied? What´s the name of the last work he orchestrated? Why did he need so many ghost writers? A good student of composition has the knowledge to write things much more complex and diverse. Talent? Talent to write a tune like A B C, A B C?

> All I can conclude that there has come into being to great a hate towards
> Zimmer, because there are two camps who have found the fondness to bash on
> each other to show they are right. But I ask you, who don't like Zimmer's
> music, is it really that bad?, or is it just this score that bothers you?,
> or just his name, which has settles in your hate-part of your heart, while
> you know it's not worth it to hate him?

Spare me the silly victimizations. I have nothing against Zimmer in particular


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Cloud
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Cesar
G.K.
Amuro
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (5:00 a.m.) 

Oh ok, so you need to study music for years to be a good composer? You need to orchestrate stuff to be one? You obviously don't understand the concept of talent. Zimmer is not a classicaly trained composer and his style reflects that perfectly. And you obviously don't want to understand the idea behind Zimmer's studio either (don't worry, you're not alone). Ok, he likes to work with a lot of people arround him, so what. Why can't people just let go of all that "ghostwriter" crap and enjoy the music. All the composers for additional music are listed on the CD anyway, so nobody can say they don't get credit. Zimmer has reinvented the film music genre and a lot of oldschool fans just can't seem to get over it. He's fresh and instantly recognizable. And if you seriously say he's got no talent and is an embarassment to music, it's you who obviously has no idea about music.



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Cesar
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Lawrence
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (5:43 a.m.) 

> Oh ok, so you need to study music for years to be a good composer? You
> need to orchestrate stuff to be one? You obviously don't understand the
> concept of talent.

Read my post. I was answering to the concept of "knowledge" when I said that.

> Zimmer has reinvented the film music genre and a lot of oldschool fans just can't seem to get over it.

Zimmer reinvented nothing. Give me a break.

> He's fresh and instantly recognizable. And if you seriously say he's got
> no talent and is an embarassment to music, it's you who obviously has no
> idea about music.

God give me patience.


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Lawrence
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (5:51 a.m.) 

Let me ask you, what do you think of "The Fountain" score? From a totally different composer, but still a bit the style of Zimmer and company, but not related.

Or what about Vangelis and his Blade Runner and Conquest of Paradise (Alexander I'll leave out, because the cd left so many good cues out that were in the movie).



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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (2:09 a.m.) 

> Let me ask you, what do you think of "The Fountain" score? From
> a totally different composer, but still a bit the style of Zimmer and
> company, but not related.

Never heard or saw the Fountain. I´m sorry.

> Or what about Vangelis and his Blade Runner and Conquest of Paradise
> (Alexander I'll leave out, because the cd left so many good cues out that
> were in the movie).

Vangelis can create some interesting tunes (the duet for two sopranos in Mythodea is an example) but his harmonic writing is often banal and predictable, despite some interesting passagens in El Greco. He´s obviously no film composer.



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Sam
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Amuro
Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Monday, June 4, 2007 (8:21 p.m.) 

> Never heard or saw the Fountain. I´m sorry.

> Vangelis can create some interesting tunes (the duet for two sopranos in
> Mythodea is an example) but his harmonic writing is often banal and
> predictable, despite some interesting passagens in El Greco. He´s
> obviously no film composer.

Vangelis may not be to your liking as a film composer, but he single-handedly revolutionized electronic music and paved the way for all of the composers who are today classified as "New Age."

Also, I'm curious about what the people who find composers like Zimmer and Vangelis to be too simplistic think of the man who became most famous for musical minimalism, Philip Glass. Sometimes, less is more.


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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Monday, June 4, 2007 (9:47 p.m.) 

> Vangelis may not be to your liking as a film composer, but he
> single-handedly revolutionized electronic music and paved the way for all
> of the composers who are today classified as "New Age."

> Also, I'm curious about what the people who find composers like Zimmer and
> Vangelis to be too simplistic think of the man who became most famous for
> musical minimalism, Philip Glass. Sometimes, less is more.

The difference though, is that while Glass' music sounds incredibly simplistic, it isn't. There is so much detail and slight change throughout a piece that it stays interesting, its a lot of fun to find the slight variation. There is a lot of complexity in truly good minimalist music, Zimmer and co. lack the complexity, or interest. However, regardless of how you feel about it, both Zimmer and Glass are in a bit of a rut, both doing a lot of the same things over and over again (yes, every composer does, but its getting incredibly noticeable). However, there is still no question that Glass is the superior composer. Comparing the two really is not fair, they seek two different styles.



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Sam
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Tuesday, June 5, 2007 (8:20 p.m.) 

> Comparing the two really is not fair, they seek two different styles.

Which is precisely the point I'm making. Much of the condemnation of Zimmer that I'm seeing is based upon his seeking a different style from that of composers who've scored swashbuckling films in the past. It's one thing if he executes it badly, as his company did in COTBP. I will not try to defend that score. But because a faction of the music community categorically objects to the style Zimmer is seeking, they don't give him credit when he does it well.


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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, June 6, 2007 (2:05 a.m.) 

> Which is precisely the point I'm making. Much of the condemnation of
> Zimmer that I'm seeing is based upon his seeking a different style from
> that of composers who've scored swashbuckling films in the past. It's one
> thing if he executes it badly, as his company did in COTBP. I will not try
> to defend that score. But because a faction of the music community
> categorically objects to the style Zimmer is seeking, they don't give him
> credit when he does it well.

I´m not against a different style for swashbucking filmes. I´m against a style that is shamefully lazy and predictable.


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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, June 6, 2007 (9:20 p.m.) 

> I´m not against a different style for swashbucking filmes. I´m against a
> style that is shamefully lazy and predictable.

Even the late great Jerry Goldsmith was often predictable, as are John Williams, John Barry, James Horner, Patrick Doyle, etc. With the exception of true geniuses who push the envelope with works the likes of which no one, including them, had ever done before (examples: Wagner, Beetoven, Vangelis, Goldsmith on occasion) if a composer isn't predictible, it usually means he or she hasn't found an identity.

(Message edited on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, at 9:30 p.m.)


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Amuro
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, June 6, 2007 (10:39 p.m.) 

> Even the late great Jerry Goldsmith was often predictable, as are John
> Williams, John Barry, James Horner, Patrick Doyle, etc. With the exception
> of true geniuses who push the envelope with works the likes of which no
> one, including them, had ever done before (examples: Wagner, Beetoven,
> Vangelis, Goldsmith on occasion) if a composer isn't predictible, it
> usually means he or she hasn't found an identity.

Yes but while these composers are predictable at least they put an effort into it. It is one thing to be predictable, and quite another to be lazy. Sure, Williams is incredibly predictable, one can simply look at the project he is doing and know exactly what they are in for, but at least it has its differences from the similar projects he has already done. For example, "Munich" and "Schindler's List" are similar types of sounds in some respects, but they both maintain their own identity. The problem with Zimmer is that one can legitimately forget what score they are listening to when they hear his work... is this "Gladiator" or "Pirates," "Backdraft" or "Drop Zone?" Thats the difference - Williams and Horner* are predictable... but Zimmer is lazy.

*yes at times Horner gets lazy too, but every so often he does something marvelous and that keeps me believing in him! (The Four Feathers, The Legend of Zorro for example)



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Cesar
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Sam
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Thursday, June 7, 2007 (2:25 a.m.) 

> Even the late great Jerry Goldsmith was often predictable, as are John
> Williams, John Barry, James Horner, Patrick Doyle, etc. With the exception
> of true geniuses who push the envelope with works the likes of which no
> one, including them, had ever done before (examples: Wagner, Beetoven,
> Vangelis, Goldsmith on occasion) if a composer isn't predictible, it
> usually means he or she hasn't found an identity.

Predictable from a strictly musical point of view. Every composer has a style of their own, from Josquin to Debussy. You can identify them by listening to the music they made. Haydn or Bach have predictable styles. Yet, they can be profoundly original inside their own style. They can be fresh, complex and surprising. And they were constantly evolving .


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Sam
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Thursday, June 7, 2007 (7:55 p.m.) 

> Predictable from a strictly musical point of view. Every composer has a
> style of their own, from Josquin to Debussy. You can identify them by
> listening to the music they made. Haydn or Bach have predictable styles.
> Yet, they can be profoundly original inside their own style. They can be
> fresh, complex and surprising. And they were constantly evolving .

And Zimmer is no exception. He's also evolving, just not in a direction that some people like. Though there are similarities in his scores, there are also clear distinctions between the musical choices Zimmer makes in the 2000's and those he made in 1990's.

Many of the composers who evolved in the past did so to the ire of establishments that had supported their earlier, more conventional works. And only long after their deaths were their later works accepted by the "experts".

The most controversial of Zimmer's scores tend to be his biggest and most intense ones from the last several years. Being a Wagnerian, I'm partial to that style and recognize how Zimmer has been evolving his synthesizer-heavy variation of it. A lot of people are not, and, to them, it tends to sound the same, just as the music in genres that I don't care for tends to sound the same to me.

It's interesting that Zimmer has developed a crossover appeal both with people who like big orchestral and choral works and with people who like rock (which I don't with only rare exceptions). Normally, the two don't see eye to eye on anything.


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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Monday, June 11, 2007 (1:46 a.m.) 

> And Zimmer is no exception. He's also evolving, just not in a direction
> that some people like. Though there are similarities in his scores, there
> are also clear distinctions between the musical choices Zimmer makes in
> the 2000's and those he made in 1990's.

Just because they are different it doesn´t mean they are better.

> Many of the composers who evolved in the past did so to the ire of
> establishments that had supported their earlier, more conventional works.
> And only long after their deaths were their later works accepted by the
> "experts".

Dont expect any expert in the area of musical composition to praise Zimmer´s work.

> It's interesting that Zimmer has developed a crossover appeal both with
> people who like big orchestral and choral works and with people who like
> rock (which I don't with only rare exceptions). Normally, the two don't
> see eye to eye on anything.

That´s very debatable. "People who like big orchestral and choral works" is a vague definition.


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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Tuesday, June 5, 2007 (1:05 a.m.) 

> Vangelis may not be to your liking as a film composer, but he
> single-handedly revolutionized electronic music and paved the way for all
> of the composers who are today classified as "New Age."

I dont know what you are talking about. Vangelis didnt revolutionized electronic music. Shaeffer? Stochausen? Varčse? These are the men who revolutionized electronic music and put it on the musical map in the 50´s. Vangelis gave it a pop flavour in the 70´s if anything.



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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Tuesday, June 5, 2007 (8:37 p.m.) 

> I dont know what you are talking about. Vangelis didnt revolutionized
> electronic music. Shaeffer? Stochausen? Varčse? These are the men who
> revolutionized electronic music and put it on the musical map in the 50´s.
> Vangelis gave it a pop flavour in the 70´s if anything.

Listen to Vangelis 1975 breakthrough album "Heaven and Hell." The flavor alternates between classical and pop, yet at the same time it's unlike anything anyone had ever done before with electronics. It was the harbinger of New Age music.

I've heard some of the electronic music of the 1950's, and it sounded awful. ("Forbidden Planet" anyone?)


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Cesar
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Sam
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Wednesday, June 6, 2007 (2:01 a.m.) 

> Listen to Vangelis 1975 breakthrough album "Heaven and Hell."
> The flavor alternates between classical and pop, yet at the same time it's
> unlike anything anyone had ever done before with electronics. It was the
> harbinger of New Age music.

As I have said, he gave it a pop flavour and popularised electronic music, together with many other musicians. Very different from saying he single-handedly revolutionized electronic music.

> I've heard some of the electronic music of the 1950's, and it sounded
> awful. ("Forbidden Planet" anyone?)

I dont like it either.



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G.K.
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Cloud

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Lawrence
mikko
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (6:50 a.m.) 

> Oh ok, so you need to study music for years to be a good composer? You
> need to orchestrate stuff to be one?

Actually, yes.

> You obviously don't understand the
> concept of talent. Zimmer is not a classicaly trained composer and his
> style reflects that perfectly. And you obviously don't want to understand
> the idea behind Zimmer's studio either (don't worry, you're not alone).

I understand the concept of talent, but talent doesn't make you good. What counts is what you make of it. Does studying music make a difference? You bet it does! Why? Because you learn to fine-tune your music, how to use complex and detailed knowledge of composition intentionally, how to structure music. And you may know too little about music to realise this, you may not hear it, but don't brush over people who do have musical knowledge and do hear the painful simplicity in Hans Zimmer's work.

> Ok, he likes to work with a lot of people arround him, so what. Why can't
> people just let go of all that "ghostwriter" crap and enjoy the
> music. All the composers for additional music are listed on the CD anyway,
> so nobody can say they don't get credit.

Would they get an Oscar, or any other award for that matter, if Zimmer, heaven forbid, ever got another? Well, that's the point.

> Zimmer has reinvented the film
> music genre and a lot of oldschool fans just can't seem to get over it.
> He's fresh and instantly recognizable. And if you seriously say he's got
> no talent and is an embarassment to music, it's you who obviously has no
> idea about music.

Zimmer didn't reinvent anything. Using synths instead of an orchestra has nothing to do with musical, compositional choices. Miklos Rosza, Bernard Herrmann reinvented film music, John Williams revived film music, and all that was for the better. Hans Zimmer's impact (I don't doubt he has an impact, but it's not revolutionary) on the other side is a huge step backwards because it makes people forget what fine art movie music actually is.
David Arnold's work on Die Another Day is far more edgier than anything Zimmer conjured up until today. If anything, he's Vangelis II.

> Besides, his melodies may be very shallow (to you), but add all the rest, >the brass coming in, the drums in the back, the choir placed on it, all to >make it match... well I must say, no simple kid nor student could do that >without knowledge, experience ŕnd talent.

Oh please, don't insult any musician's intelligence! Letting a choir sing the complementary chords of a leading voice, and layer some drum rhythms on top of it doesn't require any more talent than a young ... very young student has.
Have you tried it? I doubt you have.

There are online universities where you can learn digital music production in about 2 years. Have a little talent, go through that, and you're coming as close to Hans Zimmer as you could wish for.


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Lawrence
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com.be)

  In Response to:
G.K.

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G.K.
Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (7:35 a.m.) 

> Zimmer didn't reinvent anything. Using synths instead of an orchestra has
> nothing to do with musical, compositional choices. Miklos Rosza, Bernard
> Herrmann reinvented film music, John Williams revived film music, and all
> that was for the better. Hans Zimmer's impact (I don't doubt he has an
> impact, but it's not revolutionary) on the other side is a huge step
> backwards because it makes people forget what fine art movie music
> actually is.
> David Arnold's work on Die Another Day is far more edgier than anything
> Zimmer conjured up until today. If anything, he's Vangelis II.

Are you saying Zimmer to be Vangelis II? So I take it you don't like him either.

> Oh please, don't insult any musician's intelligence! Letting a choir sing
> the complementary chords of a leading voice, and layer some drum rhythms
> on top of it doesn't require any more talent than a young ... very young
> student has.
> Have you tried it? I doubt you have.

The track Up is Down, I must say, I can't write that, but maybe that's my lack of talent.

> There are online universities where you can learn digital music production
> in about 2 years. Have a little talent, go through that, and you're coming
> as close to Hans Zimmer as you could wish for.

Than where are they, because Zimmer is earning quite some money, so wh don't they just step up... all right, I know what you'll say, than they'll have to make music like Zimmer, below par that is.



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G.K.
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Lawrence
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (10:44 a.m.) 

> Are you saying Zimmer to be Vangelis II? So I take it you don't like him
> either.

I merely pointed out that Zimmer did and does nothing that hasn't been done before by others. And yes, I find Vangelis a bit overrated.

> The track Up is Down, I must say, I can't write that, but maybe that's my
> lack of talent.

I rather not comment on that.

> Than where are they, because Zimmer is earning quite some money, so wh
> don't they just step up... all right, I know what you'll say, than they'll
> have to make music like Zimmer, below par that is.

Because not everyone has the luck to get connections to the big studios. And by the way, that comment, although it has truth to it, was meant to illustrate where Zimmer ranks, just considering the quality of the output.


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Cesar
(87-196-189-197.net.novis.pt)

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Lawrence

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Lawrence
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (2:12 a.m.) 

> The track Up is Down, I must say, I can't write that, but maybe that's my
> lack of talent.

Have you studied composition? I think you lack more than talent.

> Than where are they, because Zimmer is earning quite some money, so wh
> don't they just step up... all right, I know what you'll say, than they'll
> have to make music like Zimmer, below par that is.

No. They just need to have an opportunity. Luck and good fortune is more important than talent in our days.

(Message edited on Saturday, June 2, 2007, at 2:15 a.m.)


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Lawrence
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Cesar

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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (6:23 a.m.) 

> Have you studied composition? I think you lack more than talent.

Well, I'll be honest, I haven't studied composition or anything of that matter, so in fact I can't write anything down (I can't even read notes). I live by the feeling, and that's why I'm not so interested whether something is very complex. As long as it sounds good, it's okay.
Maybe for you, who are experts in these things, maybe you hear a calamity in every score of Zimmer, or other. Well, all I can tell it's no gift. I don't have this for music, but for other things, and all I can say, long live those without to many mind. But I think for film music this is something different, since the basic level of scoring is still far beyond the music you hear on the radio, and that's gives me enough satisfaction. Any score-lover should know this.


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Cesar
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Lawrence

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Jon Allen
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (7:56 a.m.) 

> Well, I'll be honest, I haven't studied composition or anything of that
> matter, so in fact I can't write anything down (I can't even read notes).
> I live by the feeling, and that's why I'm not so interested whether
> something is very complex. As long as it sounds good, it's okay.
> Maybe for you, who are experts in these things, maybe you hear a calamity
> in every score of Zimmer, or other. Well, all I can tell it's no gift. I
> don't have this for music, but for other things, and all I can say, long
> live those without to many mind.

Well said.

> But I think for film music this is something different, since the basic level
> of scoring is still far beyond the music you hear on the radio.

Not in the case of Zimmer. That´s exactly the problem you see. The technical facility of his music and the naivete of his methods can be repulsive even inside the film music industry. These facts are hidden besides all the orchestral grandeur. Try listening to the music of the Pirates played by a rock band. You will conclude that the difference between Zimmer´s music and pop music is not that big. The reviewer quickly understood this. Anyone with some musical background can see this.

(Message edited on Saturday, June 2, 2007, at 8:03 a.m.)


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Jon Allen
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Cesar

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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Sunday, June 3, 2007 (1:11 p.m.) 

> Not in the case of Zimmer. That´s exactly the problem you see. The
> technical facility of his music and the naivete of his methods can be
> repulsive even inside the film music industry. These facts are hidden
> besides all the orchestral grandeur. Try listening to the music of the
> Pirates played by a rock band. You will conclude that the difference
> between Zimmer´s music and pop music is not that big. The reviewer quickly
> understood this. Anyone with some musical background can see this.

Huh? Try telling my cousin that. She's a big fan of rockin roll and she looks heavily down on film music. In fact she calls it background music because thats all it amounts to her. Actually speaking of rock bands, I heard Metallica perform the Imperial March at some award show. And it actually sounded as if the Imperial March was an acutal rock song. In fact I hear many peices of classical music video game music and film music get translated by rock bands. You have to remember in the end...music is music. Let me also add that fans who listen to rock or rap do not consider their music to be pop! If I was to say somthing like that I would be slapped dead! So if you look at it, people who listen to pop music consider our music to be background music. And we who listen to film scores consider all of their music to be pop trash! But in the end, whatever your preference is, music is music.

Back to my cousin. If I was to let her listen to a Zimmer score (including the priate scores) she would most likely consider it to be nothing more than boring background music and pop in one of her rock cds. This is because a person like Jessica or the average Joe who listens to pop music would find Zimmer's music to be too complicated and uninteresting (my brother, my parents, my friends, people who listen to pop music in general, etc)! So in a way Zimmer is stuck in music limbo. The point is, there is a major difference between Zimmer's music and pop music. But at the same time it is possible for other forms of music to translate themes and music composed by both intelligent and simplistic composers.

But what makes music, music is not becuase of the acutal sound. It's becuase of the fans behind the music. Still...I can respect your opinion on Hans Zimmmer!



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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Sunday, June 3, 2007 (2:27 p.m.) 

> Huh? Try telling my cousin that. She's a big fan of rockin roll and she
> looks heavily down on film music. In fact she calls it background music
> because thats all it amounts to her. Actually speaking of rock bands, I
> heard Metallica perform the Imperial March at some award show. And it
> actually sounded as if the Imperial March was an acutal rock song. In fact
> I hear many peices of classical music video game music and film music get
> translated by rock bands. You have to remember in the end...music is
> music. Let me also add that fans who listen to rock or rap do not consider
> their music to be pop! If I was to say somthing like that I would be
> slapped dead! So if you look at it, people who listen to pop music
> consider our music to be background music. And we who listen to film
> scores consider all of their music to be pop trash! But in the end,
> whatever your preference is, music is music.

Dont tell me.

> Back to my cousin. If I was to let her listen to a Zimmer score (including
> the priate scores) she would most likely consider it to be nothing more
> than boring background music and pop in one of her rock cds. This is
> because a person like Jessica or the average Joe who listens to pop music
> would find Zimmer's music to be too complicated

For someone who just listen to pop music, Zimmer´s music can indeed sound a bit complicated. Example: for someone who just listen to this progressions: I -IV - V- I, a progression like this: I - II - IV - VII - VI, will obivously sound more complicated. But they are both extremely simple progressions.

> and uninteresting

I have no doubt.

> So in a way Zimmer is stuck in music limbo. The point is,
> there is a major difference between Zimmer's music and pop music.

The differences are not too many. Zimmer uses more instruments and probably more variety of chords, which is not difficult.

> But what makes music, music is not becuase of the acutal sound. It's
> becuase of the fans behind the music. Still...I can respect your opinion
> on Hans Zimmmer!

Thank you.

(Message edited on Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 2:31 p.m.)


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mikko
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  In Response to:
G.K.

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Lawrence
G.K.
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (8:22 a.m.) 

> David Arnold's work on Die Another Day is far more edgier than anything
> Zimmer conjured up until today. If anything, he's Vangelis II.

David Arnold? DAVID ARNOLD?

He's work doesn't even hold a candle to John Powells Bourne soundtracks and Powell is a Media Ventures guy. None of David Arnolds Bond scores are anything anyone would like to listen for pure enjoyment. Bah!



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Lawrence
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  In Response to:
mikko
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (8:38 a.m.) 

> David Arnold? DAVID ARNOLD?

> He's work doesn't even hold a candle to John Powells Bourne soundtracks
> and Powell is a Media Ventures guy. None of David Arnolds Bond scores are
> anything anyone would like to listen for pure enjoyment. Bah!

Your absolutely right, maybe if he said "Casino Royale" he would be more credable. That score was ingeniously put together, with faint hints to John Barry.


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G.K.
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Lawrence
Yes, DAVID ARNOLD!   Friday, June 1, 2007 (10:35 a.m.) 

> David Arnold? DAVID ARNOLD?

> He's work doesn't even hold a candle to John Powells Bourne soundtracks
> and Powell is a Media Ventures guy. None of David Arnolds Bond scores are
> anything anyone would like to listen for pure enjoyment. Bah!

Well, since it's obvious that you would prefer noise over intelligently integrated synths and a good dose of sophisticated writing, it won't have much sense going on.

Lawrence said Zimmer reinvented film scoring, to which I replied that David Arnold's manipulation of the orchestra goes far and beyond anything "revolutionary" Zimmer has ever done. I'm not forcing you to adore David Arnold, I'm just pointing a few things out.
Plus, Arnold is capable of composing (do you even grasp the full meaning of that term?) much more complex and intelligent music than Zimmer. Or John Powell, if you prefer. Although Powell impressed me with X3, he has yet to prove that he can constantly write on this niveau.
It's extremely hard to find enjoyment in a score that sounds like a gang of teenagers is fighting with a bunch of metal garbage cans (Bourne).



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Lawrence
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  In Response to:
G.K.

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G.K.
Re: Yes, DAVID ARNOLD!   Friday, June 1, 2007 (1:53 p.m.) 

> Lawrence said Zimmer reinvented film scoring, to which I replied that
> David Arnold's manipulation of the orchestra goes far and beyond anything
> "revolutionary" Zimmer has ever done. I'm not forcing you to
> adore David Arnold, I'm just pointing a few things out.
> Plus, Arnold is capable of composing (do you even grasp the full meaning
> of that term?) much more complex and intelligent music than Zimmer. Or
> John Powell, if you prefer. Although Powell impressed me with X3, he has
> yet to prove that he can constantly write on this niveau.
> It's extremely hard to find enjoyment in a score that sounds like a gang
> of teenagers is fighting with a bunch of metal garbage cans (Bourne).

Euhm, I did not say Zimmer reinvented things, that was "Cloud", though in my opinion he certainly tried something different.
I find myself blessed with today's movie scores, having all kinds of ranges, from the pianos and soft melodies of Thomas Newton to the other end of, like Zimmer.

You know, there is one score, which has this depth which you declare Zimmer has not, and that is Batman Begins. If this is not the case, tell me, than I know my music-feeling sucks. But I just love this score, off course also because I think it was together with Newton Howard that it turned out so good. Although eventually I think the style of the score did not appeal to many.

However, there is one value which I acknowledge in the opinions of many "cons" of Zimmer, being that Zimmer has turned to much to Hollywood (they said this even in a review for PotC, the greatest cast with the greatest composer of Hollywood). If I listen to all his soundtracks throughout his repertoire, it admit it has declined in value. But we can still be very thankful for what he has done. The man has done plenty of scores, which means the inspiration has to dry out eventually, which may be the case with him now (though that won't take away that AWE includes some mighty good tracks).

BTW, what about this review,http://www.soundtrack.net/albums/database/?id=4465&page=review
...also someone who doesn't know his stuff, or a proof that it's more about taste than talent.



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G.K.
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Lawrence

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Lawrence
Re: Yes, DAVID ARNOLD!   Friday, June 1, 2007 (4:00 p.m.) 

> You know, there is one score, which has this depth which you declare
> Zimmer has not, and that is Batman Begins. If this is not the case, tell
> me, than I know my music-feeling sucks. But I just love this score, off
> course also because I think it was together with Newton Howard that it
> turned out so good. Although eventually I think the style of the score did
> not appeal to many.

In how far does Batman Begins have depth? If you strip the score of Zimmer's random french horn fanfare and Newton Howard's usual string/piano cue, always played the same way, all you have left is a senseless heap of sound effects randomly put together.

For god's sake, some tracks sound like instead of score, they accidentally pressed the sound designer's work on disc, much to the agony of the listener.

There's one part of the score, I think when Christian Bale walks through Bruce Wayne's high-tech arsenal with Morgan Freeman, that sounds like a gangsta rap. I couldn't help but laugh at that.
I think in Batman Begins, I spotted more missed musical opportunities than in any other film I've seen for a long time.


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Lawrence
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  In Response to:
G.K.
Re: Yes, DAVID ARNOLD!   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (1:05 a.m.) 

> In how far does Batman Begins have depth? If you strip the score of
> Zimmer's random french horn fanfare and Newton Howard's usual string/piano
> cue, always played the same way, all you have left is a senseless heap of
> sound effects randomly put together.

> For god's sake, some tracks sound like instead of score, they accidentally
> pressed the sound designer's work on disc, much to the agony of the
> listener.

> There's one part of the score, I think when Christian Bale walks through
> Bruce Wayne's high-tech arsenal with Morgan Freeman, that sounds like a
> gangsta rap. I couldn't help but laugh at that.
> I think in Batman Begins, I spotted more missed musical opportunities than
> in any other film I've seen for a long time.

Than let's just say it worked for the movie .
But what is your view on other opinions of AWE...



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Amuro
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Cloud
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (10:58 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: The Shawshank Redemption  

> Oh ok, so you need to study music for years to be a good composer? You
> need to orchestrate stuff to be one? You obviously don't understand the
> concept of talent. Zimmer is not a classicaly trained composer and his
> style reflects that perfectly. And you obviously don't want to understand
> the idea behind Zimmer's studio either (don't worry, you're not alone).
> Ok, he likes to work with a lot of people arround him, so what. Why can't
> people just let go of all that "ghostwriter" crap and enjoy the
> music. All the composers for additional music are listed on the CD anyway,
> so nobody can say they don't get credit. Zimmer has reinvented the film
> music genre and a lot of oldschool fans just can't seem to get over it.
> He's fresh and instantly recognizable. And if you seriously say he's got
> no talent and is an embarassment to music, it's you who obviously has no
> idea about music.

Yes... yes you do have to study music for years to be a good composer, and yes a knowledge of orchestration is probably a must for being a great composer (I can think of one truly great composer who didn't do much orchestration and thats Mussorgsky)...

The concept of talent? What is talent then? Is talent the ability to write simplistic themes over boring chord progressions? I guess it could be, but only the dumbest composers keep doing that without studying in order to let their style grow. It doesn't matter the success which Zimmer recieves, at least in the sense of getting jobs and money, its about the musical experiences he builds for himself. The way Zimmer writes, I don't see how he makes music an experience. He lets other composers do his work for him, and he lets other orchestrators do his work for him. You're right, lots of people don't want to understand how Zimmer's studio works because we cannot comprehend taking all of the emotional elements of music out of the "creative" process... assuming that at this point the process is still "creative" which I really doubt that it is.

Is Zimmer talented? Yeah, probably a little... but he's a musical idiot because he doesn't do anything with his talent. Go ahead retort to this by saying that I "don't get it" or I'm being "elitist" whatever... but for me composition (which I have studied for several years) is about growing, each new musical step is like an adventure full of suprises and excitement... but Zimmer doesn't grow and that is why so many film score fans have a problem with him.



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mikko
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Cesar

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Cloud
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (8:13 a.m.) 

...
This place is totally ridiculous. I'll be going elsewhere from now on. Not that I was here often anyway.


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Cloud
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G.K.
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (3:04 p.m.) 

Haha, pointless Zimmer bashing at its best.



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G.K.
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Cloud
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Friday, June 1, 2007 (4:08 p.m.) 

> Haha, pointless Zimmer bashing at its best.

So far, your posts have been far more pointless than Cesar's.
You know, saying "Zimmer bashing is pointless" won't do as a Zimmer defense.


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Cloud
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (2:53 a.m.) 

> So far, your posts have been far more pointless than Cesar's.
> You know, saying "Zimmer bashing is pointless" won't do as a
> Zimmer defense.

Hey, you know I'm not here to defend Zimmer to the last breath. He doesn't need that. He's one of the most successful composers in the film scoring business, and it's not just luck or the majority's lack of good taste. But throwing insults at somebody who has accomplished so much in his life, whatever it is he's doing, is just ignorant and downright stupid. There are people out there, who are more or less able to objectively express an opinion on Zimmer scores. And then there's people who start burning Zimmer photos at their home altar every time a new score comes out. Needless to say stuff like "embarrassment to music" is not what I value as an objective opinion.



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Cesar
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QueenPatch
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Saturday, June 2, 2007 (3:36 a.m.) 

> Hey, you know I'm not here to defend Zimmer to the last breath. He doesn't
> need that. He's one of the most successful composers in the film scoring
> business, and it's not just luck or the majority's lack of good taste.

Why do you think Britney Spears is so successful in her business? Luck and majority´s lack of good taste. I repeat: sucess and quality are two different things.

> But throwing insults at somebody who has accomplished so much in his life,
> whatever it is he's doing, is just ignorant and downright stupid.

Because Zimmer didnt accomplished that much. You are overexagerating his importance.

> And then there's people who start burning Zimmer
> photos at their home altar every time a new score comes out.

Dont be absurd.

> Needless to say stuff like "embarrassment to music" is not what I value as
> an objective opinion.

I explained why this score has no musical merit. Read my posts. Care to explain your opinion now?


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QueenPatch
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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Sunday, June 3, 2007 (4:15 p.m.) 

Fascinating that everyone I've ever met who decides to attack someone in earnest uses that particular method of quote-and-flame.

Also fascinating is the blatant lack of respect for each other displayed by the majority of the general public. Everyone has their own style, and their own opinion on others' styles. You're both acting immature, although that last post was approaching worthiness of the term "infantility." Live and let live; one of you likes him and the other doesn't. Big deal.


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Cesar
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Sam
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Sunday, June 3, 2007 (5:36 p.m.) 

> Also fascinating is the blatant lack of respect for each other displayed
> by the majority of the general public. Everyone has their own style, and
> their own opinion on others' styles.

Right. And these threads are precisely created for people to give their opinion and debate about their own style and other´s styles.

> You're both acting immature, although that last post was approaching
> worthiness of the term "infantility."

Ok. Why exactly?

(Message edited on Sunday, June 3, 2007, at 5:37 p.m.)


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Sam
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Monday, June 4, 2007 (8:04 p.m.) 

> Right. And these threads are precisely created for people to give their
> opinion and debate about their own style and other´s styles.

> Ok. Why exactly?

People can give their opinions and debate musical styles without resorting to personal attacks and insults.


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STW
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Cesar

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Cesar
Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Thursday, June 7, 2007 (7:47 a.m.) 

> Why do you think Britney Spears is so successful in her business? Luck and
> majority´s lack of good taste. I repeat: sucess and quality are two
> different things.

please think about why is britney spears so succesful - mainly not because the music. She has other "talents" that attract the people. Zimmer has only his music



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Cesar
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Re: Probably the most simplistic score I ever heard...   Monday, June 11, 2007 (1:36 a.m.) 

> please think about why is britney spears so succesful - mainly not because
> the music. She has other "talents" that attract the people.
> Zimmer has only his music

What are you talking about? You think she´s so successful because she´s sexy?


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TUBA
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Cesar
This will suffice: It's entertaining and haven't you heard Santaollala? *NM*   Wednesday, June 13, 2007 (4:18 p.m.) 



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Cesar
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TUBA
No, it won´t.   Thursday, June 14, 2007 (12:30 a.m.) 

Lot of crap is entertaining.

Yes. I have heard some Santaollala. Point?


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TUBA
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Re: No, it won´t.   Thursday, June 14, 2007 (7:43 a.m.) 

> Lot of crap is entertaining.

Sigh...

The music is entertaining, meaning that your accusations of simplicity don't matter at the point where I like the score. (see movie music uk for an explanation of that)
Not to mention that it really isn't that simplistic. Yes, similar chord progressions to other Zimmer scores and a few takeoffs from King Arthur, but simplistic? Did you listen to Up is Down? Or I Don't Think Now is The Best Time? Come on, those alone should be enough to shatter your claim that this is the second most simple score of all time.

> Yes. I have heard some Santaollala. Point?

That you've listened to Santaollala and still think Dead Man's Chest is the most simplistic score ever makes me think your bias plays too much into this. Obviously those bold, epic, sweeping, and complex themes of Brokeback Mountain must really send that complexity-loving part of your brain spinning.


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Cesar
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Re: No, it won´t.   Thursday, June 14, 2007 (2:25 p.m.) 

> The music is entertaining, meaning that your accusations of simplicity
> don't matter at the point where I like the score.

Dont tell me. What´s the point of critic then?

> Not to mention that it really isn't that simplistic. Yes, similar chord
> progressions to other Zimmer scores and a few takeoffs from King Arthur,
> but simplistic? Did you listen to Up is Down? Or I Don't Think Now is The
> Best Time? Come on, those alone should be enough to shatter your claim
> that this is the second most simple score of all time.

Why exactly do you think those tracks contain a complex musical writing? I´m curious now.

> That you've listened to Santaollala and still think Dead Man's Chest is
> the most simplistic score ever makes me think your bias plays too much
> into this. Obviously those bold, epic, sweeping, and complex themes of
> Brokeback Mountain must really send that complexity-loving part of your
> brain spinning.

I was obviously exagerating. I´m not a film music connoisseur. I´m sure there are even more simplistic scores out there.



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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (4:52 a.m.) 

Listen to the second half of "I Don't Think Now is The Best Time" - the way so many separated themes are knitted together in brilliant symmetry. It's a storm of thematic transformations which I can't accept as simplistic.
But even if it was simplistic...

The "heart" and the most memorable melody in the "Ode to Joy" - Beethoven 9th Symphony is very simple combination of few tones. So what?...



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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (7:14 a.m.) 

> Listen to the second half of "I Don't Think Now is The Best
> Time" - the way so many separated themes are knitted together in
> brilliant symmetry. It's a storm of thematic transformations which I can't
> accept as simplistic.

"Transformations"? You don't hear ANY theme in there that isn't played EXACTLY the same way it was originally introduced.
As some reviewer mentioned, maybe it even was Clem, stacking a theme on top of another doesn't pass as thematic development.

The word here is "symmetry". Music, and orchestration especially I think, live from contrasts, and that's what Zimmer lacks completely. The music doesn't even try to be unpredictable and surprising.

By the way, could it be that the little box you have to check in order to post, the one that says "Mandatory, check this box to recognise that Filmtracks retains the right to delete this message", only appears in the discussions to Zimmer scores?


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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (9:46 a.m.) 

> "Transformations"? You don't hear ANY theme in there that isn't
> played EXACTLY the same way it was originally introduced.
> As some reviewer mentioned, maybe it even was Clem, stacking a theme on
> top of another doesn't pass as thematic development.

The following is a short quote from this site’s review of “Attack of the Clones”:

“Just before the end credit suite, Williams leaves us with two repetitions of the Imperial March which flow right into a monumentally bittersweet final performance of the love theme. It's the moment that fans of the score for The Empire Strikes Back have been waiting for over the past ten years.”

It was indeed an impressing passage from one theme to the other, just like the similar moment in the "End Credits" of "Empire Strikes Back".
Connecting themes together is not like stacking boxes on a pile. There could be magic in their transitions, which I think Zimmer is capable of achieving. My favourite example is again track 11, where he blends them into each other while maintaining the raging pace.

> The music doesn't even try to be unpredictable and surprising.

I wouldn’t bet that Zimmer has no ability to write a fugue, but as Cesar soberingly points the chord progression of Pirate’s themes (although effective in the movie and affecting emotionally) is simple and in the “popular” chords – I agree to that. Because of this all themes are easy for further developing, especially if it is to be done by their author. Zimmer merely chose not to do that (my opinion) defining the whole music style of the movie – we’ll have new themes, but the old established ones won’t be touched.
(I read his interview where he says he took “Jack Sparrow” theme and disassembled it completely for POTC III – something even I being his die hard fan can’t see clearly happening.)
My conclusion is that developing and unpredictability were never a goal, but gradually coloring the movie richness of new themes was a well achieved one, preventing the trilogy from watering down into other less effective style of scoring.



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G.K.
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That's not what I meant   Tuesday, June 19, 2007 (8:18 a.m.) 

> The following is a short quote from this site’s review of “Attack of the
> Clones”:

> “Just before the end credit suite, Williams leaves us with two repetitions
> of the Imperial March which flow right into a monumentally bittersweet
> final performance of the love theme. It's the moment that fans of the
> score for The Empire Strikes Back have been waiting for over the past ten
> years.”

> It was indeed an impressing passage from one theme to the other, just like
> the similar moment in the "End Credits" of "Empire Strikes
> Back".
> Connecting themes together is not like stacking boxes on a pile. There
> could be magic in their transitions, which I think Zimmer is capable of
> achieving. My favourite example is again track 11, where he blends them
> into each other while maintaining the raging pace.

I didn't mean to condemn Zimmer for playing theme *after* theme, I meant that playing two themes on top of each other, as counterpoint, doesn't pass as thematic development.
And Williams segueing the Imperial March into Across The Stars is as breathtaking as Zimmer will never be. That's the difference between a cleverly, thoroughly structured piece of music and a simplistic pile of "up the scale - down the scale".

> I wouldn’t bet that Zimmer has no ability to write a fugue, but as Cesar
> soberingly points the chord progression of Pirate’s themes (although
> effective in the movie and affecting emotionally) is simple and in the
> “popular” chords – I agree to that. Because of this all themes are easy
> for further developing, especially if it is to be done by their author.
> Zimmer merely chose not to do that (my opinion) defining the whole music
> style of the movie – we’ll have new themes, but the old established ones
> won’t be touched.

He chose not to do that? Well, then he chose not to do it in every score he has written in the past 10 years.

> (I read his interview where he says he took “Jack Sparrow” theme and
> disassembled it completely for POTC III – something even I being his die
> hard fan can’t see clearly happening.)

Yeah, because it doesn't happen.

> My conclusion is that developing and unpredictability were never a goal,
> but gradually coloring the movie richness of new themes was a well
> achieved one, preventing the trilogy from watering down into other less
> effective style of scoring.

Are you seriously saying not aiming for development and unpredictability is a good thing? That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard, like, ever.
"Less effective style of scoring" in this case would mean more complex harmonies (realise it or don't, but you can't get any less complex than Zimmer) and orchestrations.
Heaven forbid Hans Zimmer appeals to folks more musically perceptive and intelligent than the last lobotmised amoebae!


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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (7:25 p.m.) 

> "Transformations"? You don't hear ANY theme in there that isn't
> played EXACTLY the same way it was originally introduced.
> As some reviewer mentioned, maybe it even was Clem, stacking a theme on
> top of another doesn't pass as thematic development.

Actually, outside of the jack's action theme, past that point in the cue I'll contend that none of the theme are introduced exactly the same way. We go from the main theme weaving into the action theme from the first film (though certainly the best version this time, done in a different cadence and with a much fuller brass section) to the first variation on the Hoist the Colours theme that instead of fully rounding out plays the end of the main theme, then falls into the first film's action theme again before the love theme. These themes are certainly not "stacked"...in this track, they flow, and they flow wonderfully.

> The word here is "symmetry". Music, and orchestration especially
> I think, live from contrasts, and that's what Zimmer lacks completely. The
> music doesn't even try to be unpredictable and surprising.

Didn't the plethora of woodwinds kind of surprise you? I was not ready for an oboe solo.

> By the way, could it be that the little box you have to check in order to
> post, the one that says "Mandatory, check this box to recognise that
> Filmtracks retains the right to delete this message", only appears in
> the discussions to Zimmer scores?

Well, that's what happens when the moderator has an anti-zimmer cloud about him.


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G.K.
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Re: No, it won´t.   Saturday, June 16, 2007 (6:29 a.m.) 

> Actually, outside of the jack's action theme, past that point in the cue
> I'll contend that none of the theme are introduced exactly the same way.
> We go from the main theme weaving into the action theme from the first
> film (though certainly the best version this time, done in a different
> cadence and with a much fuller brass section) to the first variation on
> the Hoist the Colours theme that instead of fully rounding out plays the
> end of the main theme, then falls into the first film's action theme again
> before the love theme. These themes are certainly not
> "stacked"...in this track, they flow, and they flow wonderfully.

Of course they "flow wonderfully" because, as Cesar pointed out so fittingly in the post above, almost all the themes are based on the same harmonies and the same three notes. I'm not saying basing an entire arsenal of themes on three notes is per se bad, about a dozen or so themes of Howard Shore's LOTR are based on the same intervals, too. The thing is that Zimmer has zero ability to make this idea resonate or even remotely interesting.

> Didn't the plethora of woodwinds kind of surprise you? I was not ready for
> an oboe solo.

Yes, Zimmer writes an oboe solo (oboe/trumpet if you want to be precise), all bow to his versability! Come ON!
"Plethora of woodwinds"? My dear lad, woodwinds are an integral part to any fully orchestral work. The amount Zimmer incorporates here is average at best.

> Well, that's what happens when the moderator has an anti-zimmer cloud
> about him.

He has no anti Zimmer cloud, he's given Zimmer scores three and four stars often enough. Give me a break.


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Re: No, it won´t.   Saturday, June 16, 2007 (10:01 p.m.) 

> Of course they "flow wonderfully" because, as Cesar pointed out
> so fittingly in the post above, almost all the themes are based on the
> same harmonies and the same three notes. I'm not saying basing an entire
> arsenal of themes on three notes is per se bad, about a dozen or so themes
> of Howard Shore's LOTR are based on the same intervals, too. The thing is
> that Zimmer has zero ability to make this idea resonate or even remotely
> interesting.

I'll contend that Zimmer's ideas resonate quite well and were very memorable. I actually think "I Don't Think Now is the Best Time" is among Zimmer's finest, at least past the 6 minute mark. Turning the original action theme over to a full brass section and letting it play out differently gives the theme more pomp, more swashbuckle, and a totally more engaging feeling than just thinking, "Hey, we're at the fast action part now!"

And considering how I can find myself humming many of Zimmer's themes after seeing the films, particularly the main themes from crimson tide and gladiator and hoist the colours, though that one's a little easier since it's played over the end credits (very well, I might add). Zimmer's ideas do resonate well, and simply because his simplicity is not up to snuff with you does not mean he can't write engaging music.

Now, I'm not a massive Zimmer supporter, not by a long shot. The man has written plenty of misfires, say MI:2 or the DudVinci Code. But I think people are hammering Zimmer a little unfairly. Yes, every score I listen to that's his is bound to have a few similarities, like the pounding piano and brass motif from "Tribal war" in black hawk down becoming the undead pirate action riff in Pirates 1, but hey, that doesn't stop me from picking up James Horner music and thinking it's great.

> Yes, Zimmer writes an oboe solo (oboe/trumpet if you want to be precise),
> all bow to his versability! Come ON!

You're kidding, right. Your other post criticized Zimmer for either having overbearing romance or dramatic adventure. The theme in that variation falls under neither. It's romantic but in a far-off sense and shows that all Zimmer motifs do not have to ham up the emotion or blast the impending action. You're ignoring the effectiveness of it. And if that's not flexible enough for you, shouldn't you be listening to another composer?

> "Plethora of woodwinds"? My dear lad, woodwinds are an integral
> part to any fully orchestral work. The amount Zimmer incorporates here is
> average at best.

NO CRAP WOODWINDS ARE ESSENTIAL. You're obviously forgetting that Zimmer scores tend to have no woodwinds outside of the occasional duduk (I think that's a woodwind, but I am not a duduk expert). part of this is obviously due to Bruckheimer, who wants no girly-man instruments in his testosterone-infused beomoths. There's two reasons I applaud zimmer for putting in the woodwinds in this score...1) it's surprising, and anytime a composer surprises me, it's normally a good thing and 2) it's not average...adding them gives the action cue depth it would've lacked otherwise. I fail to see what's so average about depth.

> He has no anti Zimmer cloud, he's given Zimmer scores three and four stars
> often enough. Give me a break.

fair enough, and most of the reasons why he's not given higher ratings are justified, like King Arthur not being able to come out of the Zimmer sterotypes enough to become a classic. It's more I just don't think he's been willing to give the pirates sequel scores a chance given his absolute distaste for the first. even though zimmer really botched up by trying to rock out Dead Man's Chest, the score is still effective (guitar solos aside) and is much better when experienced as heard on film (again, the bootleg helps a lot, though obviously that is not reviewed on the site). Granted, the jack sparrow theme from pirates 2 is a bit of a letdown...but I still like the score. My star rating is irrelevant...1 star was uncalled for. And 2 stars for At World's End...well, it's questionable. I'm not saying take out clemenson...he's probably one of if not the fairest reviewers on the web and certainly maintains the best site, and his reviews are always welcome and usually correct. At least he wrote a lot so that we couldn't say his point of view isn't well supported.



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Cesar
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Re: No, it won´t.   Sunday, June 17, 2007 (3:33 a.m.) 

> I'll contend that Zimmer's ideas resonate quite well and were very
> memorable.

> And considering how I can find myself humming many of Zimmer's themes
> after seeing the films, particularly the main themes from crimson tide and
> gladiator and hoist the colours, though that one's a little easier since
> it's played over the end credits (very well, I might add). Zimmer's ideas
> do resonate well, and simply because his simplicity is not up to snuff
> with you does not mean he can't write engaging music.

Precisely. Why do you think they resonate so well? The chords he uses to support his themes are the most directly appealing to the human hear because they make the first part of the natural harmonic serie - C1,C2,G2,C3,E3,G3,B flat3,C4, D4.... (C,E,G - I) (G/B/D - V). Therefore a melodic sequence only based on I and V will always sound automatically appealing to the ear. It´s natural. It´s a natural game of tension/distension/tension. It´s perfectly effective (but extremely simple). That´s why tonality is the most natural musical system. Of course if a composer like J.Williams uses atonal passages, polyrhythmia, modes and stuff like that, the music will not be very entertaning or hummable. Yet is a much more effective and interesting music. Zimmer´s music on the other hand is so homophonic, chordal and consonant that his simplicity is immediately noticiable even for a non-musician. Is a linear repetion of rhythmic and melodic structures (extremely simple structures) based on the same damn bass.

> that doesn't stop me
> from picking up James Horner music and thinking it's great.

James Horner is a musician. He knows everything Zimmer doesnt know. He´s just an idiot when he steals from other composers.

> There's two reasons I applaud zimmer for
> putting in the woodwinds in this score...1) it's surprising, and anytime a
> composer surprises me, it's normally a good thing

It´s surprising to use woodwinds? You must be kidding me. Just because Zimmer doesnt use them it doesnt make it more surprising. Every composer uses woodwinds.

2) it's not
> average...adding them gives the action cue depth it would've lacked
> otherwise. I fail to see what's so average about depth.

Because there is no depth. There´s a bass and a melodic line above it. The other instruments simply duplicate one or the other. It´s a lazy process.


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Cesar
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huntress
For the last time...   Sunday, June 17, 2007 (3:36 a.m.) 

I´m sorry for the double post. I cant delete it.

> I'll contend that Zimmer's ideas resonate quite well and were very
> memorable.

> And considering how I can find myself humming many of Zimmer's themes
> after seeing the films, particularly the main themes from crimson tide and
> gladiator and hoist the colours, though that one's a little easier since
> it's played over the end credits (very well, I might add). Zimmer's ideas
> do resonate well, and simply because his simplicity is not up to snuff
> with you does not mean he can't write engaging music.

Precisely. Why do you think they resonate so well? The chords he uses to support his themes are the most directly appealing to the human hear because they make the first part of the natural harmonic serie - C1,C2,G2,C3,E3,G3,B flat3,C4, D4.... (C,E,G - I) (G/B/D - V). Therefore a melodic sequence only based on I and V will always sound automatically appealing to the ear. It´s natural. It´s a natural game of tension/distension/tension. It´s perfectly effective (but extremely simple). That´s why tonality is the most natural musical system. Of course if a composer like J.Williams uses atonal passages, polyrhythmia, modes and stuff like that, the music will not be very entertaning or hummable. Yet is a much more effective and interesting music. Zimmer´s music on the other hand is so homophonic, chordal and consonant that his simplicity is immediately noticiable even for a non-musician. Is a linear repetion of rhythmic and melodic structures (extremely simple structures) based on the same damn bass.

> that doesn't stop me
> from picking up James Horner music and thinking it's great.

James Horner is a musician. He knows everything Zimmer doesnt know. He´s just an idiot when he steals from other composers.

> There's two reasons I applaud zimmer for
> putting in the woodwinds in this score...1) it's surprising, and anytime a
> composer surprises me, it's normally a good thing

It´s surprising to use woodwinds? You must be kidding me. Just because Zimmer doesnt use them it doesnt make it more surprising. Every composer uses woodwinds.

2) it's not
> average...adding them gives the action cue depth it would've lacked
> otherwise. I fail to see what's so average about depth.

Because there is no depth. There´s a bass and a melodic line above it. The other instruments simply duplicate one or the other. It´s a lazy process.

(Message edited on Sunday, June 17, 2007, at 3:37 a.m.)


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Re: For the last time...   Sunday, June 17, 2007 (7:36 p.m.) 

> I´m sorry for the double post. I cant delete it.

No offense taken.

> Precisely. Why do you think they resonate so well? The chords he uses to
> support his themes are the most directly appealing to the human hear
> because they make the first part of the natural harmonic serie -
> C1,C2,G2,C3,E3,G3,B flat3,C4, D4.... (C,E,G - I) (G/B/D - V). Therefore a
> melodic sequence only based on I and V will always sound automatically
> appealing to the ear. It´s natural. It´s a natural game of
> tension/distension/tension. It´s perfectly effective (but extremely
> simple). That´s why tonality is the most natural musical system. Of course
> if a composer like J.Williams uses atonal passages, polyrhythmia, modes
> and stuff like that, the music will not be very entertaning or hummable.
> Yet is a much more effective and interesting music. Zimmer´s music on the
> other hand is so homophonic, chordal and consonant that his simplicity is
> immediately noticiable even for a non-musician. Is a linear repetion of
> rhythmic and melodic structures (extremely simple structures) based on the
> same damn bass.

Well, I'm not saying Pirates 3 is up there with John Williams classics. i love intricate, dense, and strongly varied works and normally prefer effective and interesting music over simply pure entertainment. I felt this Zimmer score was less homophonic than many of his others...yes, it still went back to those tendencies, but it was still enjoyable and interesting enough that I liked it. No, I'm not giving this score a five-star rating cuz it's nowhere close, but the score was effective and infectious for me.

And I'm not even going to bother talking about all those chords, cuz I'm sure you're absolutely right. Why can't more people be better at criticizing composers as opposed to "This guy sucks" commenters?

> James Horner is a musician. He knows everything Zimmer doesnt know. He´s
> just an idiot when he steals from other composers.

Amen on the stealing. Though I don't think Hans Zimmer isn't a musican. Yes, James Horner is more accomplished and, let's face it, just better, but that doesn't take away from Hans' ability to write music. And Horner doesn't know everything Hans doesn't...if he did, he would learn that ripping of yourself is occasionally an annoying trend and would've stopped it a while ago.

> It´s surprising to use woodwinds? You must be kidding me. Just because
> Zimmer doesnt use them it doesnt make it more surprising. Every composer
> uses woodwinds.

1. It's surprising for most Zimmer music, at least in the way they were used. 2. NO DUH EVERY COMPOSER USES WOODWINDS. I own...a lot (don't remember the number) of scores and have figured out (gee, it took a while) that there is a musical section called the woodwinds. I'm not saying that simply because Hans used woodwinds he's a genius. But it did add a better dimension to the piece, which is why I feel it's one of the better cues Hans has written in quite a while, sort of like how I think this is the best Zimmer score since King Arthur.

> Because there is no depth. There´s a bass and a melodic line above it. The
> other instruments simply duplicate one or the other. It´s a lazy process.

OMG! You found the word I was looking for! (I'm not being sarcastic) I think it's absolutely stupid for people to criticize Hans for being a bad composer because he isn't...even in all his simplicity and self-repitition, he's still amazingly effective and infrequently great. But lazy is exactly the word that describes him; he never seems to want to take his music to the next level, always settling for second best or "hey, this sounds good, so I won't put anymore thought into it". Sometimes that second-best can still be really good...and sometimes you can go, "wait, I'm not listening to King Arthur". At World's End represents Zimmer being less lazy than usual, and for me (obviously not everyone), the result of that extra effort was a much better score than previous pirates installments. Maybe if Zimmer put in the extra effort all the time I'd be ranking King Arthur and the Last Samurai up there with Gladiator and Crimson Tide...pity.

As for Up Is Down, I think there's depth. It's not immense and it's certainly not superb, but it beats a solitary bass line. And the cue's fun, which is really the reason I liked it..."fun" never really comes to mind in a Zimmer score.

Once again, the stop zimmer fanboys box is clicked


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Re: For the last time...   Monday, June 18, 2007 (3:57 p.m.) 

> Amen on the stealing. Though I don't think Hans Zimmer isn't a musican.
> Yes, James Horner is more accomplished and, let's face it, just better,
> but that doesn't take away from Hans' ability to write music. And Horner
> doesn't know everything Hans doesn't...if he did, he would learn that
> ripping of yourself is occasionally an annoying trend and would've stopped
> it a while ago.

Well, then Horner obivously learned from Zimmer. Hans steals as much from himself as Horner steals from others (and himself). Anyway, Cesar's point was of a purely musical nature. As a composer (in the traditional sense), Horner *is* better than Zimmer. I'm sorry. I know people don't want to hear this, but diversity and complexity in music isn't a matter of personal taste.

And "ability to write music" is a very very ... very flexible term. Even I can write music, and I sucked at music in school, and five years ago didn't even know whether a # meant a half step up or a half step down.
Zimmer doesn't even "write" music in that sense.

> 1. It's surprising for most Zimmer music, at least in the way they were
> used. 2. NO DUH EVERY COMPOSER USES WOODWINDS. I own...a lot (don't
> remember the number) of scores and have figured out (gee, it took a while)
> that there is a musical section called the woodwinds. I'm not saying that
> simply because Hans used woodwinds he's a genius. But it did add a better
> dimension to the piece, which is why I feel it's one of the better cues
> Hans has written in quite a while, sort of like how I think this is the
> best Zimmer score since King Arthur.

I would go as far and say this is the best Zimmer score since Lion King (King Arthur I find kind of, what's the word, atrocious). But, hold on, that doesn't make it good.
People just have to separate Zimmer's personal accomplishments with those of film scoring, or music, in general. Hans Zimmer using woodwinds on a regular basis in a score may be revolutionary for him (which I personally find a little pathetic), but it's still a big step until he reaches the level of quality that trained musician's have.

I find people like Zimmer, who think outside the usual box refreshing, but his music is just dull as hell.



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Re: For the last time...   Monday, June 18, 2007 (3:39 a.m.) 

> Precisely. Why do you think they resonate so well? The chords he uses to
> support his themes are the most directly appealing to the human hear
> because they make the first part of the natural harmonic serie -
> C1,C2,G2,C3,E3,G3,B flat3,C4, D4.... (C,E,G - I) (G/B/D - V). Therefore a
> melodic sequence only based on I and V will always sound automatically
> appealing to the ear. It´s natural. It´s a natural game of
> tension/distension/tension. It´s perfectly effective (but extremely
> simple). That´s why tonality is the most natural musical system. Of course
> if a composer like J.Williams uses atonal passages, polyrhythmia, modes
> and stuff like that, the music will not be very entertaning or hummable.
> Yet is a much more effective and interesting music. Zimmer´s music on the
> other hand is so homophonic, chordal and consonant that his simplicity is
> immediately noticiable even for a non-musician. Is a linear repetion of
> rhythmic and melodic structures (extremely simple structures) based on the
> same damn bass.

Thankyou for putting it so eloquent. I don't study music I just listen to it and I could have never put it as well as you did. This is EXACTLY why I don't like Hans Zimmer music. The harmonies are cheap and the overall quality of the music is better described as contemporary pop soundtrack. Popular but nothing that will last the ages and will be remembered as a great entry in music history.

> James Horner is a musician. He knows everything Zimmer doesnt know. He´s
> just an idiot when he steals from other composers.

:grins: Yeah. Horner is a lazy bastard with loads of talent. I could whack him everytime when he decides to steal again from his old themes instead of creating new ones. Everytime the man sits down for real and creates something new it is brilliant. Zimmer never sits down to compose - he leaves that up to the plethora of ghost writers he has.

> It´s surprising to use woodwinds? You must be kidding me. Just because
> Zimmer doesnt use them it doesnt make it more surprising. Every composer
> uses woodwinds.

Thank you for such an intelligent post!



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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (7:26 a.m.) 

> Listen to the second half of "I Don't Think Now is The Best
> Time" - the way so many separated themes are knitted together in
> brilliant symmetry. It's a storm of thematic transformations which I can't
> accept as simplistic.

You are easily impressed. The point is that the themes of the Pirates are so simple and are all supported by the same damn chords - I, V and VI mainly - that is a very easy task to join them wihout much trouble. Its basic counterpoint. 4 or 5 of the themes even begun with the same three notes - A, B, C. Any student of composition could write a four-part fugue based in two or more themes of the Pirates. Zimmer has no ability to do that. He states the themes again and again, sometimes he expands them rhythmically, sometimes he give us a more short version. Brilliant? I think not.

> The "heart" and the most memorable melody in the "Ode to
> Joy" - Beethoven 9th Symphony is very simple combination of few
> tones. So what?...

The point is that Beethoven doesn´t simply repeat it in the same form again and again. He writes a fugue based on the melody, he transforms it harmonically, melodically and rhythmically, he uses it motivically throughout the whole movement, he creates other themes based on parts of the melody, the whole coda is based on the melody... Is a far more sophisticated treatment.



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Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (7:20 p.m.) 

> You are easily impressed. The point is that the themes of the Pirates are
> so simple and are all supported by the same damn chords - I, V and VI
> mainly - that is a very easy task to join them wihout much trouble. Its
> basic counterpoint. 4 or 5 of the themes even begun with the same three
> notes - A, B, C. Any student of composition could write a four-part fugue
> based in two or more themes of the Pirates. Zimmer has no ability to do
> that. He states the themes again and again, sometimes he expands them
> rhythmically, sometimes he give us a more short version. Brilliant? I
> think not.

Some of Zimmer's themes do have zero flexibility, though I'll contend the new main theme of At World's End can be quite flexible, varying from brassy swashbuckle to calling romanticism. He's proven adept enough at making sure that you're still entertained by the music.

Also, maybe anyone could write the music just out of the blue, but do you really think they could come up with music like that after watching a film that has no score and then having to make it up on their own. At World's End has a score that matches up quite well with what's going on the screen. Tell me one part that doesn't (I'm sure you're right, I'm just curious)



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Re: No, it won´t.   Saturday, June 16, 2007 (6:49 a.m.) 

> Some of Zimmer's themes do have zero flexibility, though I'll contend the
> new main theme of At World's End can be quite flexible, varying from
> brassy swashbuckle to calling romanticism. He's proven adept enough at
> making sure that you're still entertained by the music.

Using a theme in two different setting isn't "quite flexible", it's standard.

> Also, maybe anyone could write the music just out of the blue, but do you
> really think they could come up with music like that after watching a film
> that has no score and then having to make it up on their own. At World's
> End has a score that matches up quite well with what's going on the
> screen. Tell me one part that doesn't (I'm sure you're right, I'm just
> curious)

No, they wouldn't come up with music like that, thank god.
Alright, I'll tell you one part of the film that marks the difference between a serious film composer and Hans Zimmer.
Remember the scene in which Barbossa, Jack and Elizabeth meet Beckett, Davy Jones and Will on that small island to negotiate? A good film composer would watch this scene and recognise its importance. If I had to score not only this scene, but the film, I would realise that this is a key scene, and look for a way to make it stand out and resonate with the viewer. I would write a short, but poignant motif, maybe some kind of "fate" motif, that I could work with. That way I could play or hint at this theme earlier in the film, and musically lead up that moment on the island.
Maybe I could even make that motif part of another theme, a B phrase or something?

Hans Zimmer just uses this scene to incorporate a parodic Ennio Morricone hommage.

Such a film usually strcutures the music for you if you choose a leitmotivic approach like Zimmer does. What matter is how you put that on paper and where you put your emphasis.

But Zimmer doesn't emphasise anything. Davy Jones' theme is as bombastic as the love theme, Hoist The Colours or Beckett's Theme.
Zimmer can vary between exactly two settings: overboarding romance and dramatic adventure. In between is absolutely nothing but noise and the most obvious comedy scoring.


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Re: No, it won´t.   Saturday, June 16, 2007 (9:41 p.m.) 

> No, they wouldn't come up with music like that, thank god.
> Alright, I'll tell you one part of the film that marks the difference
> between a serious film composer and Hans Zimmer.
> Remember the scene in which Barbossa, Jack and Elizabeth meet Beckett,
> Davy Jones and Will on that small island to negotiate? A good film
> composer would watch this scene and recognise its importance. If I had to
> score not only this scene, but the film, I would realise that this is a
> key scene, and look for a way to make it stand out and resonate with the
> viewer. I would write a short, but poignant motif, maybe some kind of
> "fate" motif, that I could work with. That way I could play or
> hint at this theme earlier in the film, and musically lead up that moment
> on the island.
> Maybe I could even make that motif part of another theme, a B phrase or
> something?

> Hans Zimmer just uses this scene to incorporate a parodic Ennio Morricone
> hommage.

You're missing the point entirely. Zimmer recognizes this is a key sequence and gives it a western showdown twist. Yes, it's a morricone homage, but it's not parodic (i do not find myself laughing at any point) and it trumps up the showdown to come. I thought it worked quite well in the film, and is probably the only point where electric guitar was appropriate in the trilogy (curse that overlong Kraken cue on Dead Man's Chest)

> Such a film usually strcutures the music for you if you choose a
> leitmotivic approach like Zimmer does. What matter is how you put that on
> paper and where you put your emphasis.

> But Zimmer doesn't emphasise anything. Davy Jones' theme is as bombastic
> as the love theme, Hoist The Colours or Beckett's Theme.

No, the love theme is not bombastic...it's sweeping, and effective in the score. As for Hoist the Colours, it's supposed to be bombastic! It's a pirate anthem! People criticize Zimmer for writing power anthems, except hoist the colours IS SUPPOSED TO BE A POWER ANTHEM. And Beckett's theme? Supposed to be loud with brass, at least the one introduced in Pirates 3. I'll contend that Beckett's theme from Pirates 2 (played only once on the album) is not bombastic at all, even if that's one of the weaker parts of the trilogy. And are we forgetting the very flexible main theme for At World's End. You get your romantic versions, your quiet versions, your oboe solo, some bombast (but it's fun bombast!), and, in Drink Up Me Hearties, some swashbuckling. And Davy Jones' theme...umm, okay, someone forgot to listen to the music box stuff or the organ, plus there's actually some good variations that weren't included on the commerical release of dead man's chest (see bootleg, which only has mild sounds effects on a few tracks, for some good brass versions and one for dark chorus).

> Zimmer can vary between exactly two settings: overboarding romance and
> dramatic adventure. In between is absolutely nothing but noise and the
> most obvious comedy scoring.

If you think Zimmer = noise, maybe the action genre isn't for you. I'll contend that Gladiator (especially the last three tracks), Crimson Tide, Pirates 3, King Arthur, and the Last Samurai all prove that Zimmer is pretty good at creating similar yet entertaining themes and engaging action music. Yes, power anthems exist throughout almost all his films. The romantic music in Gladiator is not overboarding and the action stuff is great. yeah, there's weighty drama too, but so what?!?!?!?! It's good music. Crimson Tide...well, if you loathe an almost entirely synth-produced score, maybe this isn't for you, but, again, great theme, great action stuff, and if you aren't roused, you must have your speaker system on mute. Pirates 3...well, already covered taht. King Arthur...this is probably where your criticism is closest in that Zimmer amps up those two elements the most, but you cannot deny their effectiveness nor the power of the grand themes or the dense action music. And Last Samurai...actually, none of those elements really exist here, as this proves a much more softer and peaceful score than Zimmer had done in a while. If you think that score was overbearing in the softer parts...well, maybe you should stay away from soundtracks.

Oh, and here's the big thing that proves your statement wrong : THE THIN RED LINE. Nuff said. I'm tired anyways.

Once again I check off the box that I will now refer to as the "Stop Zimmer Fanboys" box


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Re: No, it won´t.   Tuesday, June 19, 2007 (8:11 p.m.) 

> You're missing the point entirely. Zimmer recognizes this is a key
> sequence and gives it a western showdown twist. Yes, it's a morricone
> homage, but it's not parodic (i do not find myself laughing at any point)
> and it trumps up the showdown to come. I thought it worked quite well in
> the film, and is probably the only point where electric guitar was
> appropriate in the trilogy (curse that overlong Kraken cue on Dead Man's
> Chest)

I'm not missing the point. "Parodic" may actually be the wrong word that I used. On top of the other usual Zimmer fare, this moment manifests the score's unclear focus and failure at creating a distinct tone that the movie needed so badly. You underestimate the flexibility of film scoring (a term that almost seems pointless to bring up in a Zimmer discussion) and the influence it has on a film. You could score any given scene in numerous ways, from different perspectives, and of course the Western tune kind of works in that scene. But it isn't the only way to go, not by a long shot, and from numerous possibilities, Zimmer chose one of the silliest.

Dramatic film scoring is all about choosing a character's perspective and put that down on paper, and one of my main complaints about Zimmer is that he rarely does that. And it's because of that why so much of his music comes of as flat and emotionally detached from the film. He's not scoring to the emotions of the characters (if he intends that, then he's obviously not capable to do it), and rarely to the audience; he's scoring to the very surface of the film, and he stays as superficial as possible. Instead of either scoring Will's or Elizabeth's feelings, he simply scores "love".

That moment on the island is, simply put, completely inappropriate. It scores aka tells the audience, nothing. It neither captures pride, nor desparation, nor Beckett's feelings of triumph, nor Will or Elizabeth's feelings, nor Jack's plotting. If anything, it conveys a feeling of determination, but that is neither relevant to the storytelling, nor surprising or effective on the audience.
It takes this moment from a pirate film, and throws it into a pure western setting - and that's parodic. You don't have to laugh, although you certainly could.

Realising it's a key scene and scoring it that way are two very different things.

> No, the love theme is not bombastic...it's sweeping, and effective in the
> score. As for Hoist the Colours, it's supposed to be bombastic! It's a
> pirate anthem! People criticize Zimmer for writing power anthems, except
> hoist the colours IS SUPPOSED TO BE A POWER ANTHEM. And Beckett's theme?
> Supposed to be loud with brass, at least the one introduced in Pirates 3.
> I'll contend that Beckett's theme from Pirates 2 (played only once on the
> album) is not bombastic at all, even if that's one of the weaker parts of
> the trilogy. And are we forgetting the very flexible main theme for At
> World's End. You get your romantic versions, your quiet versions, your
> oboe solo, some bombast (but it's fun bombast!), and, in Drink Up Me
> Hearties, some swashbuckling.

Yes, the problem is that Hoist The Colours is one power anthem amongst many power anthems for PotC. Or any other Zimmer score for that matter. And people are getting tired, not to say sick, of it.
And even if something doesn't start as a power anthem, it will be one by the end of the album. No matter how much personality Zimmer gives a theme, its final development will always be the same brass/orchestral clashes power anthem.
I defy you to give me track numbers and timings of that "very flexible main theme". And while we're at it, don't call Pirates 3 swashbuckling because it isn't.

> If you think Zimmer = noise, maybe the action genre isn't for you.

Oh, come on! Zimmer's idea of action has always been the same, and I suppose that will never change. Big percussion with 20 horns playing an overly simplistic motif always in the same register, with marcato strings chopping mindlessly along, playing the complementary chords to the motif without any hint at atonality or chromatic changes. Please. It's the same in Gladiator, Batman Begins, King Arthur, Last Samurai or Pirates 1-3 for that matter. In the end, Zimmer's action music is nothing but noise. Maybe shiny and thematic, but still noise. There's absolutely zero dynamic range in his action writing. Everything is padding along with overbearing percussion hits, and the orchestra "varies" between f and fff.
That he barely changes keys doesn't help either.

> I'll
> contend that Gladiator (especially the last three tracks), Crimson Tide,
> Pirates 3, King Arthur, and the Last Samurai all prove that Zimmer is
> pretty good at creating similar yet entertaining themes and engaging
> action music. Yes, power anthems exist throughout almost all his films.

No kidding? But all joking aside, I found King Arthur to be one of the most atrocious listening experiences I've ever had.
As Cesar pointed out numerous times now, even the most horrible garbage can be entertaining. You may not be used to more varied music, but I find Zimmer's action music not engaging, but tiresome and aggravating because you constantly want to shout "DO something!"

> The romantic music in Gladiator is not overboarding and the action stuff
> is great. yeah, there's weighty drama too, but so what?!?!?!?! It's good
> music.

Well, no, it isn't. You may not want to hear that, nobody would want to hear that, but creativity, complexity, and variability in music isn't a matter of personal taste.
Scores like Pirates 1-3 are musical garbage compared to other scores, and they will always be that. They are printed on paper, and you can compare them to other works whenever you want.
You and many other may be entertained by this garbage, and that's fine, but the scores still remain garbage. And it should be allowed to point that out.

> Crimson Tide...well, if you loathe an almost entirely
> synth-produced score, maybe this isn't for you, but, again, great theme,
> great action stuff, and if you aren't roused, you must have your speaker
> system on mute.

Nah, I've just listened to too many real composers to find Zimmer's music even remotely rousing.

> Pirates 3...well, already covered taht. King Arthur...this
> is probably where your criticism is closest in that Zimmer amps up those
> two elements the most, but you cannot deny their effectiveness nor the
> power of the grand themes or the dense action music. And Last
> Samurai...actually, none of those elements really exist here, as this
> proves a much more softer and peaceful score than Zimmer had done in a
> while. If you think that score was overbearing in the softer parts...well,
> maybe you should stay away from soundtracks.

*I* should stay away from soundtracks? My dear boy, Zimmer's music is just one step above a Britney Spears song, so maybe you should direct that advice to yourself.
Get some musical knowledge and analyse some conductor's scores before you spout off such ridiculous BS, then I might be able to take such pathetic crap more seriously.

By all means, Hans Zimmer doesn't represent the art of film scoring that everybody but himself practises.

> Oh, and here's the big thing that proves your statement wrong : THE THIN
> RED LINE. Nuff said. I'm tired anyways.

One decent effort has over a dozen horrible ones standing against it. One decent effort is supposed to be Zimmer's saving grace? Give me a break.


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Re: No, it won´t.   Thursday, June 21, 2007 (8:42 p.m.) 

> I'm not missing the point. "Parodic" may actually be the wrong
> word that I used. On top of the other usual Zimmer fare, this moment
> manifests the score's unclear focus and failure at creating a distinct
> tone that the movie needed so badly. You underestimate the flexibility of
> film scoring (a term that almost seems pointless to bring up in a Zimmer
> discussion) and the influence it has on a film. You could score any given
> scene in numerous ways, from different perspectives, and of course the
> Western tune kind of works in that scene. But it isn't the only way to go,
> not by a long shot, and from numerous possibilities, Zimmer chose one of
> the silliest.

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

> Dramatic film scoring is all about choosing a character's perspective and
> put that down on paper, and one of my main complaints about Zimmer is that
> he rarely does that. And it's because of that why so much of his music
> comes of as flat and emotionally detached from the film. He's not scoring
> to the emotions of the characters (if he intends that, then he's obviously
> not capable to do it), and rarely to the audience; he's scoring to the
> very surface of the film, and he stays as superficial as possible. Instead
> of either scoring Will's or Elizabeth's feelings, he simply scores
> "love".

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. 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 theme...it shows up in various scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with love.

> That moment on the island is, simply put, completely inappropriate. It
> scores aka tells the audience, nothing. It neither captures pride, nor
> desparation, nor Beckett's feelings of triumph, nor Will or Elizabeth's
> feelings, nor Jack's plotting. If anything, it conveys a feeling of
> determination, but that is neither relevant to the storytelling, nor
> surprising or effective on the audience.
> It takes this moment from a pirate film, and throws it into a pure western
> setting - and that's parodic. You don't have to laugh, although you
> certainly could.

I actually did laugh at one point during the scene when you see Davy Jones standing in a bucket, but anyways...it 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.

> Yes, the problem is that Hoist The Colours is one power anthem amongst
> many power anthems for PotC. Or any other Zimmer score for that matter.
> And people are getting tired, not to say sick, of it.

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.

> And even if something doesn't start as a power anthem, it will be one by
> the end of the album. No matter how much personality Zimmer gives a theme,
> its final development will always be the same brass/orchestral clashes
> power anthem.

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 defy you to give me track numbers and timings of that "very
> flexible main theme". And while we're at it, don't call Pirates 3
> swashbuckling because it isn't.

I’m talking about the main theme, the one that everyone keeps calling the love theme. And I thought it gained a little swashbuckling flair in track 13. I’m not calling this a swashbuckling score, not in the least…it can’t hold a candle to cutthroat island.

> Oh, come on! Zimmer's idea of action has always been the same, and I
> suppose that will never change. Big percussion with 20 horns playing an
> overly simplistic motif always in the same register, with marcato strings
> chopping mindlessly along, playing the complementary chords to the motif
> without any hint at atonality or chromatic changes. Please. It's the same
> in Gladiator, Batman Begins, King Arthur, Last Samurai or Pirates 1-3 for
> that matter. In the end, Zimmer's action music is nothing but noise. Maybe
> shiny and thematic, but still noise. There's absolutely zero dynamic range
> in his action writing. Everything is padding along with overbearing
> percussion hits, and the orchestra "varies" between f and fff.
> That he barely changes keys doesn't help either.
I don’t think it’s mindless. It’s occasionally unimaginative, but it’s still entertaining. I happen to think King Arthur’s action music is pretty good…I like the complete version of the Ice Battle track (again, I’m citing a bootleg). Yes, it didn’t achieve the complex grandeur of, say, David Arnold (god, I haven’t listened to him in a while), but I still like it.

But you’re dead-on about Batman Begins. SUCH A WASTED OPPURTUNITY.

> No kidding? But all joking aside, I found King Arthur to be one of the
> most atrocious listening experiences I've ever had.

Bummer for you then.

> As Cesar pointed out numerous times now, even the most horrible garbage
> can be entertaining. You may not be used to more varied music, but I find
> Zimmer's action music not engaging, but tiresome and aggravating because
> you constantly want to shout "DO something!"
> Well, no, it isn't. You may not want to hear that, nobody would want to
> hear that, but creativity, complexity, and variability in music isn't a
> matter of personal taste.

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.

> Scores like Pirates 1-3 are musical garbage compared to other scores, and
> they will always be that.

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.

>They are printed on paper, and you can compare them to other works whenever you >want.

Huh?

> You and many other may be entertained by this garbage, and that's fine,
> but the scores still remain garbage. And it should be allowed to point
> that out.

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.

> Nah, I've just listened to too many real composers to find Zimmer's music
> even remotely rousing.

I’ve listened to plenty of other composers too…just because I’ve heard more diverse music doesn’t take away from Zimmer’s ability to create strong, rousing stuff. I think the main themes for Gladiator helped amp up the cheering. I think Crimson Tide gives the movie some gusto while making it a little more regal.

> *I* should stay away from soundtracks? My dear boy, Zimmer's music is just
> one step above a Britney Spears song, so maybe you should direct that
> advice to yourself.
> Get some musical knowledge and analyse some conductor's scores before you
> spout off such ridiculous BS, then I might be able to take such pathetic
> crap more seriously.

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). 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. 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.

> By all means, Hans Zimmer doesn't represent the art of film scoring that
> everybody but himself practices.

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.

> One decent effort has over a dozen horrible ones standing against it. One
> decent effort is supposed to be Zimmer's saving grace? Give me a break.

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



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Re: No, it won´t.   Monday, June 25, 2007 (10:47 a.m.) 

> 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 theme...it
> 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 anyways...it 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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TUBA
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G.K.
Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, July 6, 2007 (5:36 p.m.) 

> 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.

agreed. zimmer's themes do tend to not always tie into to the depth of the story (see every score he's written). I was just bringing up the whole character-based themes

> 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.

agreed...you do get sick of the duduk and the steel cello after a while. I think At World's End represents a better use of the ensemble than zimmer has done in a while, but it still pales to most everyone else in terms of depth. Nevertheless, I'm still entertained by his music, though I do appreciate Gladiator a little less now than I used to.

> 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 think Zimmer's themes have purpose. True, they trend towards power anthems and heavy basslines, but they still are rousing and effective. Hoist the Colours certainly spoke to a lot of people...i wasn't the only person humming it out of the theater. I found black hawk's down main theme to "talk" of patriotism. True, sometimes the simplicity makes the themes hollow to you, like most renditions of the davy jones theme.

> 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.

My bad, felt like you were criticizing the scene. but we aren't even dealing with the separate characters in this track...the guitar riff only plays over the impending conflict and the scene doesn't focus in on individual characters until a minute later...there seems no reason to focus on, say, beckett's determination when every character is being focused on. In that case, the main theme is appropriate.

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

It’s not insane…power anthems for zimmer are the gladiator main theme, the crimson tide main theme, at least three king Arthur themes, the themes that pound the bass line and simplistic choir…the main theme hear does not fall into that

will respond to rest later



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G.K.
Re: No, it won´t.   Thursday, July 12, 2007 (10:24 a.m.) 

> As it was pointed out ad nauseam now, entertainment has as much to do with
> quality as Al Bundy has to do with feminism.

Perhaps entertaining isn't necessarily the right word (Spidey 3 and Transformers were entertaining movies, though I wish I could say the same for the latter's BORING score, but certainly not quality). Enjoyability is probably a better word, at least for me.

> Creativity, complexity, variability, these three things are absent from
> AWE. But that doesn't mean you can't find it entertaining.

Exactly. Even if Zimmer doesn't achieve perfection on those three levels, I can still enjoy his music. I just spent the last two weeks plowing through my entire collection and even though zimmer hasn't created any classics, he's still made quite a few scores that may not be vastly complex but are still driving, enjoyable, and engaging for the most part.

> ANd I have a serious problem with people who proclaim Zimmer as the
> creative genius based on them loving his music.

I think people do that because a) they haven't listened to that much zimmer (I felt the same way when the only scores I had were fellowship and gladiator) and b) they haven't listened to that much film music. You can proclaim anything to be genius if you haven't heard anything else. I by no means think Zimmer is a creative genius because he has yet to show us he can be diverse and consistantly original. But I still like his scores.

> 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.

I think the problem with this is that Hans uses ghostwriters and thinks he doesn't need orchestrators. I have problems with the end credits for Pirates 2 because it sounds like the whole orchestra is playing unison. But I don't think how music is written on sheets should be my criteria for how enjoyable music is.

> 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.

I think that's where we differ on how we view scores. I listen to all kinds of music (well, almost all, can't stand screaming rock music and I'm not THAT into rap, but otherwise...) for enjoyability, and probably the reason soundtracks hold my interest is the way the orchestra can carry you through the film's journey, taking you (hopefully) on a complex and engaging thematic journey. Obviously I trend towards scores that are more complex and diverse, but I don't need sheet music to define how much I like certain music.

> 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.

Similar chord progressions are nothing new to music. What do you think James Horner and Thomas Newman have been doing during that time span? But they can still make good music out of it...I just recently listened to The Missing for the first time in a while and found that, despite its inherent similarities to all other things Horner, it was still very good music. In regard to orchestration, you're right...Zimmer has yet to REALLY go out of his comfort zone, but he still makes good music. If his music was atrocious, then yes, he should be ashamed.

> But Zimmer's success amongst the average public says more about them than
> it says about him.

Yeah, all those rabid zimmer fans who post here are a nuisance. I still look back at that high school drum major girl.

> 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.

No denying that.

> 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.

Nor that

> And by the way, you don't need to scrutinise Zimmer's music to get annoyed
> by the 2476 th french horn theme.

True, but I think that's more a characteristic of Media Ventures/Remote Control than Zimmer. Zimmer's themes, for me at least, are most engaging, entertaining, and enjoyable, regardless of intstrumentation (most of the time, anyways). But when composers like Steve Jablonsky try that out, the music is boring because it doesn't have any identity (again with me ranting about Transformers...seriously, the music was the worst thing about that movie)

> 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'm not saying having more musical knowledge makes you a snob. But that doesn't mean you have to be arrogant about it. Coming up and saying, "Hey, I've seen the sheet music, i'm the only person qualified to judge this, the rest of you are just average and childish" is completely different from offering your take on orchestration. Zimmer's music can still be engaging at times. It's not your knowledge I'm criticizing...it's the way you apply it. You're saying you can never appreciate pirates 3 because you feel like punishing zimmer...that's not a way to look at music. I though pirates 3 was going to be more of the same like pirates 2 in terms of inappropriate guitars showing up in half the tracks...but I was wrong and I enjoy it.

> 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).

It's not about avoidance. It's about refusing to appreciate.

> 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.

Amen to that...his score for Edward Scissorhands MADE that movie.

> 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.

Yes, Zimmer's lazy, but even when he's on autopilot he can still give us good music.


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Cesar

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Cesar
Re: No, it won´t.   Friday, June 15, 2007 (7:16 p.m.) 

> Dont tell me. What´s the point of critic then?

Okay, poorly worded on my part. Your accusations of simplicity are correct in that zimmer does tend to follow the same chord path quite often, but so what? i still like the music. Even though I do lower how I feel about the score because of some very striking similarities, it doesn't take away from me feeling that At World's End is a very strong score.

I'm not throwing out critiques entirely, but simply because zimmer cannot write as complex a work as, for example, David Arnold paired with Nicholas Dodd does not mean his score is a waste.

> Why exactly do you think those tracks contain a complex musical writing?
> I´m curious now.

Starting around the six minute mark of I don't think now is the best time, you actually get multiple parts in the orchestra that work effectively. Didn't you notice the Goldenthalian horn trills?

And I think you're completely missing the point of music. Not all of it has to be maddeningly complex. hey, I love a good complex score, take cutthroat island, ID4, LOTF for example, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the simpler side of life. Schindler's list is "simple" in that there aren't multiple parts bouncing ar

> I was obviously exagerating. I´m not a film music connoisseur. I´m sure
> there are even more simplistic scores out there.

Then don't make sweeping statements like "most simplistic score ever". did you really think you were going to get applause?


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Cesar
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  In Response to:
TUBA
Re: No, it won´t.   Saturday, June 16, 2007 (1:18 a.m.) 

> Starting around the six minute mark of I don't think now is the best time,
> you actually get multiple parts in the orchestra that work effectively.

Effectively how?

> Didn't you notice the Goldenthalian horn trills?

That´s great. Horn trill. Point?

> And I think you're completely missing the point of music. Not all of it
> has to be maddeningly complex. hey, I love a good complex score, take
> cutthroat island, ID4, LOTF for example, but that doesn't mean I can't
> appreciate the simpler side of life. Schindler's list is
> "simple" in that there aren't multiple parts bouncing ar

You really dont want to compare Schindler´s list with Pirates.

> Then don't make sweeping statements like "most simplistic score
> ever". did you really think you were going to get applause?

I was not being literal. I was trying to make a point. It was obvious. But if you want to continue discussing words that´s fine.


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