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Comments about the soundtrack for Conan the Barbarian (Tyler Bates/Various)

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Re: An inconvenient truth!!!
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• Posted by: Flo   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, September 3, 2011, at 10:09 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: An inconvenient truth!!! (A true Filmscoring Fan)

> I have to complete what you said about this score:

> 1) It is tremendously boring!!!(which does not occur with the beautiful
> and functional score written by Poledouris)

I think the main problem of this score is, that it doesn't really take the setting into account. Basil Poledouris actually avoided some chords to give the score this ancient feeling. Tyler Bates writes music for a movie made in 2011, not something that is timeless. Maybe the movie didn't call for it, but the original also didn't need to have a classic, but it got one, because there were people involved, who loved what they did. The talent is not what is lacking today, more the courage to lean out of the window. Everything must be a commercial success, from the artbook to the soundtrack to the score. With that attitude, it becomes difficult to produce something truly engaging, since you can only go so far as to what is acceptable today.

> 2) After seeing the movie and listen these poor score, I find that I can
> not remember anything I heard,: I just listen poor chord progressions,
> textures, percussion loops, ostinatos, sound effects, clichés, clichés,
> clichés (...) I do not know the real work of Tyler, but these mass of
> poverty is the result of stupid directors and producers think that
> understand film music (which is not new, because Hollywood is a garden of
> stupidity, now more than ever).

Well it is a 2011 score to a 2011 movie. 2012 will see something slightly different. Tyler Bates score could be applied to any kind of genre, it doesn't adress the setting nor the time in any way. I was surprised he didn't use the way too overused "Dies Irae" and "Kyrie" chanting, which is always the easy way of telling something has a religious aspect, without doing any research. I read he was told by the director to do a new kind of score, since thematic music is old-fashioned. Which is something I find totally stupid. A theme doesn't have to be a melody, it can be anything that reminds of the character, setting and so on. Well, with that kind of rules he could have gone anywhere. Maybe do something with just percussion or whatever. The possibilities to create a dynamic score without "themes" are endless, but he went the easy way.

> Overall, It is pure sound design... it's like to listening any PC game
> soundtrack in the Movie theater... It just pays to hear it in the Movie
> theater!!!

I don't think that statement is true. Gamemusic is becoming more and more interesting, going so far as to dynamically build itself from certain rules, to go along with the game play. And it's not only drumloops and boring ostinati, there is some great quality stuff (just listen to Jason Graves Dead Space score).

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