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Comments about the soundtrack for Brave (Patrick Doyle)

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Re: Background Music
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• Posted by: Edmund Meinerts   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2012, at 11:39 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Background Music (Hyun21K)

> I've noticed that many Mr. Clemmensen's reviews but the background cues as
> "unfortunate" parts of music.

> Isn't background music forced onto the composer? When nothing is happening
> or too much is happening in the film, does the composer have any choice
> but to provide a muted accompaniment?

> Likewise, isn't it the structure of the plot that determines which themes
> will be heard? Also, film composers have to write a lot of music, on
> average an hour per film. Most film composers are not at the liberty to
> endlessly revise their scores, but instead have to meet the demands of the
> production schedule, including rehearsal and recording times.

The above is all valid, of course. There are certain films (and genres) that are simply more music-friendly than others, and scenes within those films that simply can't receive more than a subdued musical accompaniment. But Clemmensen's job is to review the product at hand, and if the cues aren't interesting to listen to apart from the film, he has to point that out. It may not be the composer's fault (though you could argue that it's possible to write interesting muted accompaniment, which Doyle completely failed to do in "Merida Rides Away" and "Show Us the Way"). And as far as I can tell, there was nothing stopping him from more clearly enunciating his themes earlier in Brave, even if he would have had to do so in quieter forms. The score really erupts in the last four cues, but it's sadly average on its journey to that point.

If a composer is so severely shackled by time constraints, the film itself, its directors, producers or whoever that the resulting product is substandard - which we've seen time and time again, most recently Battleship and the Total Recall remake, a pair of crap scores from composers who we all know can deliver - we can't give the composer a high rating anyway and say "oh, I'm sure it wasn't his fault". As a reviewer myself, I focus entirely on the product before me. If it's not an interesting or enjoyable CD to listen to, it gets a low rating, end of story. It may not be the composer's fault and it may work brilliantly in the film, which I'll mention it in the review, but that doesn't change the fact that it's still lacking as a standalone album.

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Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • Background Music  (2537 views)
       Hyun21K - Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 12:31 p.m.
    •      Re: Background Music  (2271 views)    We're Here
         Edmund Meinerts - Wednesday, August 29, 2012, at 11:39 p.m.

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