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Comments about the soundtrack for Pirates of the Caribbean (Klaus Badelt and co.)

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Re: I guess I'm not educated enough
• Posted by: Sentinel
• Date: Thursday, October 2, 2003, at 2:30 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: I guess I'm not educated enough (B. Robert Tanner)

> I'm not defending the score, I'm defending the way it was recorded.

> Orchestras are becoming impractical.

> Yeah, of course samples don't sound as good as real orchestras now. But
> once the technology is fully explored, they will. Yeah, it seems like it
> will be too much work at the moment, but such is the way of progress.
> Besides, even if it would be a massive headache to deal with all those
> parameters, I'll take it. Simply because I can't afford an orchestra. How
> else do I get things done?

I think this one is more a particular case than a general rule. I mean, the director and the producers (Bruckheimer seems to like this style of music) were specifically looking for this typical MV sound, and that's the reason why they chose Badelt and his crew to make the score; but it doesn't mean EVERY single director will choose this sound in the future, not even now. It's not just the way of recording; the use of samples, the mixing methods, the rythms, the general mood of the themes... every aspect of the score obviously makes the whole thing what it is at the end, what it was intended to be, because everything goes in the same package. I must mention again H. G. Williams; he's known best for his collaborations with the MV team, but this summer his score to "Sinbad" was intended to have the typical orchestral flavour (although there's always some freedom to use non-orchestral sounds), the kind of orchestral sound needed for a movie about pirates. Two different approaches for two films about the same topic.

I think that orchestras will always (or at least for a veeeeeery long time) be an option, not only because there will always be the need of this sound, but also for the reasons I gave in my previous post: progress has its limits, and even if they are reached, the cost of achieving this goal will rise in harmony. The more complex a product (samples in this case) becomes, the more it costs to produce it (and to buy it), and the more time you will have to spend learning how to understand and handle it. As a composer myself, I probably would find this much more impractical.

In addition, for me, it's as if you said that in the future every movie released will be CG. Maybe you're right and the "progress" of the industry will finish with actors and musicians (I hope this won't happen), but sure you will not be able to call that "cinema" any more, just another product for consumption and for making money. Once this point is reached, performance is lost in every aspect (musically and on the screen), and the essence of this art that is cinema mostly disappears, as actors and musicians do. For me, that is not progress.

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