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Comments about the soundtrack for Gladiator (Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard)

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Re: It must be hebrew
• Posted by: MarkSmi
• Date: Friday, February 24, 2006, at 12:13 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: It must be hebrew (Illarane)

I would agree that it is very influenced in its word pronounciation and tone by Celtic styles, and if she does speak Breton (which is one of the Brythonic Celtic languages (the others being Welsh, Manx, Cornish and Cumbrian)) then that may explain its sound.

But it is evidently quite clear that the lyrics are not from one specific language, but have flavours from many - and all the languages she seems to be using as inspiration here are from the ancient world of around the time the movie is set (Latin, Hebrew, Greek, Celtic). (Though of course, for purists, she would have to be using the old forms of those languages not the modern forms, but as its more a matter of inspiration I don't think it matters as much).

After all, it is a beautiful pice of music.

> [SNIP]

> Nail, head, hammer.

> This song isn't in any particular language. The closest language in terms
> of actual sound is Gaelic, however it isn't Gaelic, modern or not. This
> song is sung from the heart with the meaning coming from the sounds of the
> words and not the words themselves. I compose a lot of music and have used
> this to my advantage a lot (in soundtracks and title sequences, for
> example). It drives people crazy trying to translate it, because it's
> impossible. One thing I do notice, when I go back and read my scores, is
> that the lyrics do seem to follow similar patterns to natural languages,
> for example, when I want something to imply peace or similar I'll use one
> set of sounds, when I want it to sound cold and callous or foreboding I'll
> use others. Melismatic singing, as Lisa calls it, is a very powerful tool
> that's employed by many composers.

> So yeah; not Hebrew, not Gaelic, not anything, just sounds. But preety.
> This song twigs at the back of my neck when I hear it, hehehe.

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