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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 12:26 pm
by MonkeyM666
Lady Sheridan wrote:The DaVinci Code had some really interesting choral pieces though, Kyrie for the Magdalene was quite good. Much better than the movie deserved!

That's true, the score was better then the film... it was just predictable. I mean they could have been a little bit inventive other then the whole choir mythic thing. Maybe I’m asking to much, or I was completely jaded by Ron. Actually…. I was jaded…. Very jaded…. Stupid Richie… you were flying high with Arrested Development…. If he gets Angels & Demons I’ll be pissed . That’s a much better book…

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2007 1:29 pm
by The Vicar
Don't be bitter, amigo.

Quentin Tarantino

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 12:11 am
by Maui
I always thought Tarantino picks some great, new, interesting stuff for his flicks: Resevoir Dogs, Kill Bill 1 and 2.

Orchestral soundtracks are very powerful & memorable, like Platoon, Out of Africa, The English Patient.

My 2 cents.

- Wowie

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 4:33 am
by MonkeyM666
The Vicar wrote:Don't be bitter, amigo.

But I am Vic...

I can't help it...

Even thouhg the book was just alright I still don't understand how it can be so easily buggered. The damn thing is written like a movie!

Let our savour, Michael Bay, direct ir... he can do anything.... :wink:

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 11:50 am
by LaDracul
Would you consider the soundtrack to "Xanadu" a score? I guess I'm biased because I'm an ELO fan...

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 11:53 am
by thebostonlocksmith
LaDracul wrote:Would you consider the soundtrack to "Xanadu" a score? I guess I'm biased because I'm an ELO fan...

I think there may be a little confusion here... I think it says 'BEST score' at the top... i hope that clarifys things...

... I'm only kidding... :wink:

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 11:59 am
by havocSchultz
thebostonlocksmith wrote:
LaDracul wrote:Would you consider the soundtrack to "Xanadu" a score? I guess I'm biased because I'm an ELO fan...

I think there may be a little confusion here... I think it says 'BEST score' at the top... i hope that clarifys things...

... I'm only kidding... :wink:


PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 1:20 pm
by The Vicar

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:19 pm
by TheButcher
From Variety:
Busy composer tunes tentpoles - Giacchino keeps scores of musicians employed
Jon Burlingame wrote:It's a Thursday morning at the Newman Scoring Stage on the Fox lot. Steven Spielberg has stopped by to listen to a 104-piece orchestra play Michael Giacchino's score for "Super 8," the J.J. Abrams thriller he's exec producing.

He stands with Giacchino and Abrams behind the massive console where veteran mixer Danny Wallin is monitoring levels and, after hearing two emotion-filled cues, pronounces Giacchino's score "your best since 'Ratatouille' " -- one of three Pixar films the composer has done, although not the one for which he won an Oscar ("Up").

Spielberg exits the booth to share the good news with the musicians. "The great thing about Michael and J.J. is, they believe in orchestras," he tells them. "Thanks to this new generation, you're all going to be employed for many years to come." Wild applause, naturally, follows.

The "Super 8" sessions marked the second time in a month that a roomful of Hollywood musicians was performing a Giacchino score. Just three weeks earlier, over at the Warner Bros. Eastwood stage, 88 musicians were playing very different music for "Cars 2," Giacchino's other big summer movie (his fourth for Pixar).

As on "Super 8," there was nary a synthesizer in sight. The score can best be described as "surf guitar meets orchestra," with Fender Telecasters and Hammond B3 organs prominently featured throughout the soundtrack of the animated pic. Or, as Giacchino puts it, "real people playing real stuff."

The composer is among a handful who prefer to score movies the old-fashioned way -- with an orchestra, whether the style is symphonic (as in "Star Trek"), jazzy ("Ratatouille") or both ("The Incredibles").

Along with top American composers like John Williams and prominent Europeans Alexandre Desplat ("The Tree of Life") and Dario Marianelli ("Atonement"), Giacchino believes that trained musicians performing on time-honored instruments are still the most effective way to elicit an emotional response from moviegoers.

And he tends to work with filmmakers who agree with him. Abrams, writer and director of "Super 8," discovered Giacchino in the late 1990s when he was scoring videogames like "Medal of Honor." Their work on TV's "Alias" and "Lost" led to collaborations on "Mission: Impossible III" and the rebooted "Star Trek."

Abrams, who plays keyboards himself and who owns a collection of vintage synthesizers, puts it this way: "Nothing can grab you by the throat, or heart, or soul, like an orchestra. It's undeniably the most engaging and exciting way to bring a score to life."

Pixar boss John Lasseter, director of "Cars 2," seemed to be having the time of his life at the scoring session. Variety managed to corner him after he had his picture taken donning cool '60s-era sunglasses and pretending to play the organ.

"These recording sessions are some of the most fun things I do on a movie," he says. "I am in absolute awe of the talent of these musicians, (who) have never seen this music before and yet they play it perfectly, with feeling and interpretation. They're not just reading notes."

Lasseter goes back into the booth and happily points to various directions Giacchino has written into the score to help get the musicians into the right mood: "kick-ass total '60s TV show action"; "sad and post-apocalyptic feel"; "sneaking bad guys."

As much fun as it is for the filmmakers, it's still precise and pressure-filled work for the composer and the orchestra. Seventy-two minutes of music for "Cars 2," another 82 for "Super 8," all written since the end of January for two highly anticipated summer releases ("Super 8" is due out June 10, "Cars 2" June 24).

Two more big assignments await Giacchino this year: "Mission: Impossible IV," produced by Abrams and directed by his "Ratatouille" colleague Brad Bird; and "John Carter of Mars," the sci-fi epic being directed by another Pixar colleague, Andrew Stanton, slated for next year but which Giacchino will begin before the end of 2011.

But having Spielberg show up at the scoring session for "Super 8" was a "wow" moment for the composer.

"He was our first teacher," Giacchino says. "We grew up at a time when he was making these films and John Williams was scoring the hell out of them. That's what I want to continue, that great tradition of filmmaking."

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:58 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:14 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:22 pm
by Leckomaniac
I have to say that I adore the Clint Mansell THE FOUNTAIN score. I find myself listening to it all the time.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:25 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:22 pm
by TheButcher
From BC:
One U-Turn Later, Hans Zimmer Latest Batman Alum To Join Man Of Steel
Brendon Connelly wrote:Hans Zimmer once made it totally clear that he wouldn’t be scoring Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. He said:
John Williams, the greatest living composer – full stop. And that happens to be one of his greatest themes. So no. And I’m not thinking of rewriting Beethoven’s ninth either. It just sounds like a thankless task, you know? So that’s unequivocally a no.

But now, Variety are reporting that, in something of a u-turn, Zimmer has now signed on to the project. It will be the first of Zack Snyder’s pictures to not be scored by Tyler Bates. It will be the fourth superhero film to be produced by Chris Nolan to be scored by Zimmer. Who’s holding the reins tightest here, I wonder?

I guess the news may be coming out in the open now as tracks are being laid down for the scenes we’ll see at Comic-Con? Or perhaps the timing is just a coincidence.

Snyder intends for his Superman film to completely ignore the cinematic legacy of the character, and start all over. I think it’s a healthy response to some thirty years in the same groove. Perhaps this rip-it-up-and-start-again ethos was part of the appeal for Zimmer. Perhaps he saw some footage and fell in love?

Here’s Zimmer’s thoughts on reinventing the hero theme wheel, from an old NBC interview:
You are allowed to reinvent, but you have to try to be as good or at least as iconic and it has to resonate and it has to become a part of the zeitgeist. That’s the job. On ‘Gladiator‘ I remember people always talking about ‘Spartacus‘ and I kept telling them, ‘When you saw “Spartacus” and how it affected it you, that’s how I want a modern audience to be affected by what we do now.’ So I think ultimately you’re supposed to reinvent.

So I don’t think we should go into Man of Steel expecting the old Dah-Dahdah-Dee-Dah. How about a bit of Braaaaaaaaaaaaaam instead?

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:14 pm
by The Vicar
Leckomaniac wrote:I have to say that I adore the Clint Mansell THE FOUNTAIN score. I find myself listening to it all the time.

It's a great score, it really is. Good stuff.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:15 am
by Al Shut
And while I see this thread bumped I'm listening to the Nausicaa soundtrack.

Hisaishi really did some outstanding work for Miyazaki.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:48 am
by TheButcher
Complete 'Star Trek' music set warps in
Fifteen-CD collection contains every note from original series
Jon Burlingame wrote:By now, 46 years after the original series' September 1966 debut, one might imagine that every conceivable aspect of "Star Trek" lore and memorabilia has been mined and merchandised.

Not quite. Next week, Burbank-based film-music label La-La Land Records will release a 15-CD boxed set of music from the original "Star Trek" series: every note that was written and recorded for the sci-fi drama, more than 17 hours of music in all and retailing for $225.

Although music for the daytime soap "Dark Shadows" got a similarly deluxe treatment in 2004, this is perhaps the first time that the score for a classic, primetime network series has received such a lavish (and complete) presentation.

"This is a rare case where the collectors' market is big enough that it could finance a proper restoration," says album producer Lukas Kendall, who oversaw the project and brought several parties to the table including CBS, which controls all things "Star Trek," and GNP Crescendo, the label that had previously released several "Trek" albums.

"I think I speak for a lot of 'Star Trek' fans and film-music fans when I say we just wanted to hear every note of music," Kendall adds.

Once the deal was struck, GNP Crescendo relinquished control of the original "Trek" tapes -- mostly on quarter-inch tape, some dating back to 1965 -- and digital transfers began.

Kendall, meanwhile, consulted all the handwritten original scores by composers including Alexander Courage (who penned the familiar fanfare and theme), Fred Steiner ("Perry Mason"), Sol Kaplan ("The Spy Who Came in From the Cold"), George Duning ("Picnic") and Gerald Fried ("Roots").

Luckily, CBS retained extensive paperwork from original producing studios Desilu and Paramount, notes fellow producer and "Trek" aficionado Neil S. Bulk, who waded through all of the many recording sessions to assemble the various scores in proper order.

And, Bulk adds, the music survives in remarkably good sound. "You're hearing detail you've never heard before. Better clarity, better dynamics. The difference (from earlier LPs and CDs) is stunning."

Also consulting throughout the four-month editing and assembly process was Jeff Bond, author of the book "The Music of 'Star Trek,'" who penned the extensive notes that accompany the set.

It's a very different style of scoring than exists today, Bond says. "Music had to give a sense that you were really out in space on this giant ship with these heroic characters. The music played an integral part in convincing the audience that all this was happening." It was all done with orchestras averaging just 25 players.

And, because only 34 of the 79 episodes sported original scores and the remainder were "tracked" with music from earlier episodes, the repetition meant that fans were especially aware of the music. "More than any other show," says Bond, "this music not only recalls specific moments or action, it recalls even lines of dialogue, it's so ingrained in our subconscious. You re-experience the show by listening to this music."

La-La Land will unveil the new box Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Bond will moderate a discussion with "Star Trek" writer David Gerrold ("The Trouble With Tribbles") and composer Fried. Classic episodes "Amok Time" and "Mirror, Mirror" will be screened.

Fried, 84, is the only survivor among the original "Trek" composers and still plays oboe. At the event, he will perform a suite for oboe and piano based on eight themes he wrote for the series.

Fried's Vulcan combat music from "Amok Time" is often parodied on shows like "Futurama." Asked about his "Trek" fame, he says from his home in Santa Fe: "I love it. Andy Warhol said 15 minutes of fame is a good deal, and here I'm getting worldwide attention. What's to complain?"


PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:49 pm
by TheButcher
From Intrada:
Label: Intrada MAF 7123
Date: 1982
Tracks: 53
Time = 187:17

At last! Complete soundtrack by Basil Poledouris to John Milius epic with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, James Earl Jones as Thulsa Doom, Sandahl Bergman as Valeria. Legendary music needs little introduction but long journey to 3-CD set warrants spotlight.

Thought missing for decades, even by composer, Universal vaults reveal recently discovered 2" 24-track & 1/2" 3-track stereo session masters in mint condition for entire project, right down to rehearsal takes! (Assorted extra tracks on earlier Varese Sarabande release were made from composer's own incomplete 1/4" two-track copy.)

Having complete multi-track session elements allows Intrada to newly mix and master everything, finding cool extras in the process! All of them are here! Poledouris originally scores main title with high trumpets joining horns on primary theme plus dynamic horn counter-melody playing in mid-section. Only one raw take is made before re-writes on podium create familiar final version.

Other previously unreleased cues include rich version of "The Awakening" with lengthy never-before-heard woodwind bridge section dropped from final film version plus haunting early versions of "Orphans Of Doom", one scored for orchestra plus solo mezzo-soprano, one scored for chorus with harp alone. Three versions of opening prologue, alternate version of "Battle Of The Mounds Part II" add more fun! Original Poledouris music for snake sequence, savage "Pit Fights" are more highlights. Poledouris didn't write music for kitchen battle sequence as scene was scored editorially from other cues. For Conan purists, we have recreated entire sequence (including awkward edits) for this segment as well as for closing "End Credits", also created editorially in picture itself.

Many of composer's unique percussion sequences were created through experimentation right at sessions, including size and pitch of tunable drums, volume of tam tams, density of rhythmic figures, so forth. It's all here! Poledouris was fond of his own 48-minute distillation of highlights from massive score so we have licensed that original 1982 MCA album from UMG as well, newly mastered from original album tapes.

Two final extras: opening prologue with Mako narration plus actual mono tape master for film version of snake sequence preferred by director Milius. Fascinating, personalized notes by Nick Redman plus musical coverage by Douglass Fake give listener something to read, exciting graphic design by Joe Sikoryak featuring Schwarzenegger and other cast give listener something to look at. Primal intensity and crisp, vibrant details of original performances are without equal. Basil Poledouris conducts. MAF series 3-disc release!

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:38 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:18 pm
by Al Shut
Al Shut wrote:And while I see this thread bumped I'm listening to the Nausicaa soundtrack.

Hisaishi really did some outstanding work for Miyazaki.

Doubled after watching Ponyo

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:26 pm
by TheButcher
Inside Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion' Trailer - Director Joseph Kosinski speaks exclusively with MTV News about his sci-fi feature.
Amy Wilkinson wrote:On The Score
"The composer is Anthony Gonzales, also known as M83, who's working in conjunction with Joe Trapanese, who was my orchestrator on 'Tron' and worked with Daft Punk. We've done a score for this film that I am as excited about as I was for the 'Tron: Legacy' score. It's just spectacular, I'm really psyched. And we will be recording that in January.".

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:08 am
by SilentBobX
Just got Howard Shore's soundtrack to the Hobbit, and it is wonderful. I can just listen to this all the way through, a cup of coffee in hand, watching clouds roll by, and be at peace(until the more upbeat tempo music comes on).


Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:22 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:29 am
by TheButcher
'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops
When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

"I actually moved down to New Orleans, where they were shooting the movie," says Johnson, "and just spent a month wandering around the city, walking around the sets, gathering anything that struck my ear."

That could include the sound of fingers drumming on railings, or the beep and hum of a microwave oven. Johnson gathered his sounds in the field, then used software to turn them into playable instruments. He says one fun challenge of the process was thinking of all the sounds a given object could produce.

"One afternoon I brought Noah Segan, the actor who plays Kid Blue, into the studio," Johnson says. "We recorded all the sounds of his gat gun from the movie — so not just the firing of the gun, but the actual cocking mechanism, the way the barrel spun around, all these little clicks and pops."

Johnson says he wanted the film's score to feel like an organic and inextricable part of its world.

"I'm really drawn to imperfection in music," he says. "So I took the same approach when I was gathering these sounds, rather than using a library where everything has been sampled perfectly and recorded in the studio. Part of it was just to get our own stamp on it so that the world of Looper, auditorily, felt really unique."

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:55 pm
by TheButcher
Michael Giacchino’s Snarky Scifi Soundtracks
Alison "Boom" Baumgartner wrote:Michael Giacchino is not a name that is typically in the minds of science fiction fans, and this is despite his almost career-long partnership with JJ Abrams. Still, I don’t bring him up today because of his record of writing music for both Disney and Pixar (including The Incredibles), the fact that he composed the soundtrack for five Medal of Honor series, or because he just recently agreed to compose the music for Star Trek Into Darkness.

No. This article is not about fangasming over his amazing compositions, but rather his brilliant song titles, which sort of run like a MST3K commentary to the movies and TV series he sets music to.

For example, for the scene in Lost (some first series spoilers ahead) where there is a plane crash, and everyone is running around desperately trying to save one another, one would think there would a suitably dramatic name for the music, like “Survival” or something. For Giacchino, it’s simply the “World’s Worst Beach Party”, and let’s face it, he’s pretty much spot on right there.

Though, this tends to be a running gag for most of his songs throughout his career. He picks an odd element to the scene, and then declares it “World’s Worst”. In Mission Impossible III, it’s “World’s Worst Valet”, and “World’s Worst Field Trip” in Super 8.

An even snarkier song is just a few tracks down, entitled “Just Die Already”, which is a slow and emotionally moving piece that is played when the marshal dies. For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s important to note it takes about three episodes for him to kick it. The song title is probably echoing a comment Shannon made during this about how she wished he would just “die already”, but it’s still so deliciously ironic I had to bring it up. The song, by the way, is only two minutes long. How impatient is that?

Honestly, I could write forty pages about song titles in all six seasons of Lost, so I’m going to try and keep this short. “Hollywood and Vines” is the famous hiking song that is used anytime people are journeying through the jungle and aren’t being molested. For those molested times, “Run like, um… hell?” is typically used (I assume this is a Pink Floyd reference, seeing as Giacchino has referenced other Pink Floyd songs in his works). The song “Booneral” is played during Boone’s funeral, and when Shanon gets into some shenanigans, the song is aptly titled “Shannonigans”. His word play, and comments on what’s happening in the show via his song titles is almost meta, and I love it.

But let’s move on to some of his other works, and focus on the Star Trek reboot for a second. That emotional scene from the first fifteen minutes that made the entire audience cry when the Kelvin exploded? In a fit of decorum, I imagine, he entitled that song “Nailin’ the Kelvin”.

His other ingeniously titled tracks from the film are “Nero Fiddles, Narada Burns” and “Does It Still Mcfly?”, an obvious reference to another time traveling movie, Back to the Future.

Even John Carter (which I originally mistakenly thought was going to be a movie about John Carter from ER traveling to Mars to help orphans or something), has fantastic word play. “A Thern For the Worst” and “The Thark Side of Barsoom” are among my favorites, though I think I like “The Second Biggest Apes I’ve Seen This Month” the most.

However, not all of his song titles reflect this sense of humor. His video game OSTs, such as Medal of Honor, have fairly banal names for their tracks. It seems that the pattern emerged when he starting working JJ Abrams on Alias, where after his song titles got increasingly snarkier, and coincidentally when I started to appreciate him more as a composer (though that was a high bar to go over).

So treat Mr. Giacchino’s works as sort of special Easter Egg for the movies and shows you like, but also, enjoy his music because I guarantee you he’s going to surpass the likes of Hans Zimmer very soon, and have you smiling while he does it.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:15 pm
by Al Shut
Speaking of favorite scores

I also have to think of this everytime I watch Lord of the Rings and a bunch of Orcs are running through the countryside.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:40 am
by Nachokoolaid
Howard Shore's LORD OF THE RINGS stuff is my fave, hands down.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:50 pm
by TheButcher
'Man of Steel': Not the familiar Superman (fan)fare
Jennifer Vineyard wrote:(CNN) -- The secrecy surrounding "Man of Steel," due June 14, is pretty extraordinary, but composer Hans Zimmer was able to give CNN a glimpse of what to expect when we caught up with him this week regarding the score he did for "The Bible."

Asked if the two projects had anything in common, since both involve a savior figure (Jesus, Kal-el) sent by his father to Earth, Zimmer laughed and said, "Yes. Yes is the answer. Once you see Superman, you'll see how close you are with your question."

"Both stories are passions," Zimmer continued, "about a struggle to do the right thing. For Superman, it was a really simple question for me. What does it take to become a good man? To be good? And what does that mean in our more and more complex society? Do any of these values still resonate with us?"

Zimmer said he came to this understanding about director Zack Snyder's take on Superman (which reboots the series, instead of coming in at a later point a la "Superman Returns") because he was questioning how he would score the film and not remind audiences of John Williams' iconic fanfare theme. "Look, that was daunting," Zimmer confessed. "Seriously. He's the greatest film composer out there, without a doubt, and it happens to be one of his iconic pieces of music, so I spent three months just procrastinating and not even getting a start on the thing, because I was so intimidated: 'Oh my God, I'm following in John Williams' footsteps.'"

His way around this, he said, was to look at the Superman story in a "very different way." "I kept thinking of the story as, What if you are extraordinary, and your entire ambition is to join humanity? To become human? What does it mean to become human? What does it mean to be an outsider who really wants to join the human race?"

"Man of Steel," which replaces Brandon Routh with Henry Cavill, is the origin story of Superman, starting with a young Clark Kent discovering that he has extraordinary powers and is not from planet Earth. As he grows up, he learns where he came from and what he was sent to this planet to do, as he becomes a symbol of hope for humanity. The film also stars Russell Crowe as Jor-el (Kal-el's birth father on Krypton), Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent (his adoptive parents), Michael Shannon as General Zod (so expect some trouble there), Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White, and Amy Adams as reporter/love interest Lois Lane. ("She's fun and sassy, in control, getting into trouble, and always looking for a headline!" Adams enthused earlier). While it remains to be confirmed, the latest rumor is that Mackenzie Gray is playing Lex Luthor, although he doesn't appear in the trailer.

Coming off three Dark Knight films directed by Christopher Nolan ("Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight," and "The Dark Knight Rises"), Zimmer also didn't want to do "another really dark" superhero movie. "Everything's tinged with irony and sarcasm and bitterness and darkness these days," he said. But this Superman is something lighter, he said, "celebrating everything that was good and fine about America," such as small towns "where people don't lock their doors, neighbors get together, and families are families."

"What was important for Superman was the simple fact that none of us pay much attention to the Midwest," Zimmer said. "I know America mainly by the big cities, but if you go into the Midwest, there is a people there and there is a country there. And I thought it was important that the decent folk, simple folk be the heart of the story, and a character who is guileless, who isn't complicated in the sort of flawed way our Dark Knight is, and isn't political in any way. He's just striving to become a better part of humanity."

This perspective on Superman, the German-born composer said, is something that he came by in part because he's a foreigner. "I think partly what we foreigners are good at is looking at America, not in a judgmental way, but wide-eyed, and seeing the things you take for granted and presenting them in a new way," he added. "Like for 'Thelma and Louise' and the Grand Canyon, most American kids wouldn't want to go there for their holiday, but to us it's a magical, magnificent place."

Sonically, this treatment of America comes across via a grouping of pedal steel guitars (instead of the usual string section), banging titanium and steel sculptures, and organizing "a who's who of drummers" in a 12-member drum circle, including Jason Bonham, Sheila E. and Pharrell Williams. "The great thing about Superman is that everybody loves Superman," Zimmer said with a laugh. "It's very easy making the call and saying, 'Hey, can you come?' I remember phoning Pharrell and him saying, 'I'm right in the middle of producing the Beyonce album in Miami.' 'Jason Bonham's in Miami, and he's getting on a plane!' Next morning, there's Pharrell, looking a little bleary-eyed."

As a producer on "Man of Steel," Nolan, who also collaborated on the story, initially acted as a sounding board for some of Zimmer's ideas ("getting rid of my demons," as he put it) but soon stepped aside so he wouldn't be "a mistress in the mix" between Zimmer and director Zack Snyder, especially since Zimmer's involvement in the whole project stemmed from a misunderstanding in the first place.

"A journalist asked me (at an 'Inception' party) if I was going to do Superman, and I hadn't even heard of it, so I went, 'Absolutely no way,'" Zimmer said. "Somehow in the noise of that party, that got misconstrued as 'Absolutely Hans is doing it.' It was all over the Internet that I was doing Superman, and I'd never even met Zack! So I phoned him up, 'I'm really sorry, this wasn't my doing, this is a misunderstanding.' And he said, 'Oh! It's great that you phoned. Maybe we should meet and talk.'"

So they did, and Nolan urged Zimmer to sign up. "I remember him going, 'Of course you can do it. What's the big deal? I did Batman.' And I said, 'Excuse me, you went to Warner Bros. with an idea of how you were going to do Batman, and you're saying I'm supposed to do Superman, but I don't have the idea in my head.' I have to sneak up on it!" And with Snyder, now he has.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:51 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:43 pm
by TheButcher
The Changing Soundscape of Superhero Movies
With the Man of Steel, Iron Man and Wolverine waiting in the wings, composers stray from tradition while maintaining the genre’s spirit
Jon Burlingame wrote:You’ve known them for years, maybe all your life: the great comicbook movie and TV themes. John Williams’ soaring brass flourishes for Superman, Danny Elfman’s brooding Gothic fanfare for “Batman,” even the silly Spider-Man title song from the TV series that was so catchy it wound up in the first three Spidey movies.

Once upon a time, superhero movies demanded big orchestras and heroic musical signatures. The concept dates back to the Max Fleischer “Superman” cartoons of the 1940s, carried on in the “Adventures of Superman” series of the ’50s.

But in the 21st century, do big-budget comicbook movies still require the same treatment? More to the point, do audiences demand it? Is it a risky strategy to depart from the decades-old musical traditions of DC and Marvel heroes?

“The risk is to do the same thing again,” says Hans Zimmer, composer of “Man of Steel,” one of three superhero movies in the pipeline for spring and summer. “You take far less risk by trying something new. You still stay in the confines of certain storytelling: Yes, heroic things happen. Yes, you have to find a human element and a sense of awe. Yes, you’re gonna have a bad guy. In that respect, you know what to write.”

Zimmer had already been down the comicbook road with three “Batman” movies, but those required a dark, minimalist musical style that reflected the complex psychology of the “Dark Knight” and the villains (Joker, Two-Face, Bane) he battled. This one — a reboot of the venerable Superman franchise, directed by Zack Snyder of “300″ and “Watchmen” fame — was different.

“If Batman is the way the world sees America, Superman is the way America sees itself,” Zimmer says. The score, he thought, should “celebrate everything that is good about America,” and he began to focus on the heartland where Clark Kent grew up, searching for a sound palette that might be the basis for a fresh approach.

He came up with eight pedal-steel guitar players and a 12-person drum circle. “I wanted to create a tone that wasn’t necessarily what you expected,” says Zimmer in what may be the understatement of the year. “I was lacking notes, but I wasn’t lacking ideas about the sonic landscape.”

As usual with Zimmer, conceiving that “sonic landscape” was only the foundation. Musical experiments, sampling, and layering the various sections of the orchestra followed, all of it recorded in L.A. (“If you want to write about America, it’s only fair that you record it here”) He even had a bass pedal-steel guitar designed and built for the sessions.

There’s no real country twang in the music — at least in the excerpts previewed for Variety — but Zimmer believes he’s found an authentic American sound that’s far from Aaron Copland yet will still resonate with the mythology of the Midwestern Smallville.

Brian Tyler, on the other hand, went a more traditional route for “Iron Man 3.” The composer of “Fast and Furious” and “The Expendables” is the third maestro to tackle the “Iron Man” series. Early discussions with producer Kevin Feige and director Shane Black resulted in a plan, Tyler says, “to do something that is classic, along the lines of “Superman” or “Star Wars,” a theme that’s really singable but is done orchestrally with a lot of brass.”

Earlier “Iron Man” scores added electric guitar to suggest the brashness of Tony Stark, but “he’s now come into his own. He has a lot on his shoulders, especially after The Avengers; there is a heroism in him. But he also has this personality, like a little boy; he’s a wisecracker. It was a tall order,” Tyler says.

And, because all agreed that “really identifiable leitmotifs for characters” were necessary, there are secondary themes for villains Mandarin and Killian and even choir (with different tones depending on whether the scenes involve heroes or villains). “There’s a modern edge to the vibe,” Tyler adds, “but at its heart is a classic sound.”

To recapture the score’s bright, bold ambiance, Tyler recorded at Abbey Road with the 84-piece London Philharmonic (even tracking down the microphones that Williams used on the original “Star Wars” sessions there).

As for Marco Beltrami, who is just starting to write music for “The Wolverine” — the fifth cinema outing for Hugh Jackman as the mysterious, long-clawed “X-Men” character — he says “there are definitely expectations, just with the nature of the project. But it’s fun to play with those expectations.”

Even though the story takes place in Japan, “musically, it’s not going to be overtly Japanese because it could easily fall into cliche,” Beltrami says. He does plan on using traditional Japanese instruments (including the koto and massive taiko drums) but “in a non-traditional way,” he adds.

Director James Mangold (with whom Beltrami worked on “3:10 to Yuma,” which earned the composer his first Oscar nomination) “has made a real original movie here, so there is room for a less traditional score, less of a cookie-cutter musical orientation.” He will record in L.A. at the end of May.

“It’s a tricky business,” admits Paul Broucek, president of music for Warner Bros., which will release “Man of Steel” June 14. “You have to cleverly reinvent the genre. You have to give the audience enough so that it doesn’t feel that you’ve abandoned the whole thing — just done a fresh take on it. If it feels like something they expect, then they’ll trust you and allow you to take them someplace else they wouldn’t normally go.”

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 4:59 am
by TheButcher
The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 1970s
The sounds of mods, galaxies far, far away, Satanic children, zombies and a certain shark...

Harold Faltermeyer On The Making Of The Beverly Hills Cop Soundtrack
On creating Axel Foley's theme

Danny Elfman On The Making Of Batman
The legendary composer on how the iconic movie score came about

The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 1980s
Time-travelling skateboarders, homesick aliens, fighter jets, big boulders and a little dirty dancing...

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:05 pm
by TheButcher
Come Out To Play With La-La Land Records’ THE WARRIORS
ScoreKeeper reviews La-La Land Records' new soundtrack release for THE WARRIORS featuring music by Barry DeVorzon.
ScoreKeeper wrote:For the past three years La-La Land Records has received the International Film Music Critics Association award for best soundtrack label. With coveted titles like The Fury (1978), Rosewood (1997), Patriot Games (1992), a 3-CD set of Wyatt Earp (1994), and their latest jaw-dropper The Warriors (1979) released in 2013, La-La Land Records may have already assured themselves a fourth.

The Walter Hill-directed The Warriors, featuring music composed by Barry DeVorzon (Limited Edition of 3000 units) has to be one of my favorite soundtracks released so far this year. It's a welcome throwback to a time oft forgotten where the blossoming technology of the day helped define a unique musical style that audiences are unlikely to experience again except through homage or parody.

In the liner notes, co-author Tim Greiving claims that Walter Hill wanted "a genuine rock & roll score for his youth-oriented gang movie" and called upon Barry DeVorzon to deliver it. What DeVorzon (Night of the Creeps, Mr. Mom) created is a blissful amalgam of synthesizer-heavy rock music that perfectly captures the spirit, tone and serious playfulness of the film. While similar scores were all the rage in the late 1970s, DeVorzon's music possesses a bizarre sophistication that you may not expect from a film like The Warriors. I've even seen the film several times and was shocked to realize how creatively evolved the music plays on its own considering how simply its constructed.

There are the ubiquitous buzzing synthesizers of the day (likely performed live), heaps of wah-wah pedaled guitar, funky organs, piano, sultry saxophone solos and plenty of rhythm section. It's the fusion of this hip urban ensemble with these once high-tech synthesizers that helps create an exceptional score worthy of attention especially if you're a disciple of the film. I find myself continually calling for it in my day-to-day listening.

This pristine-sounding CD is presented in two ways. The first ten tracks comprise the original A&M Records album released in the United States in 1979 which also include songs from the film including "Nowhere to Run" by Arnold McCuller and "In The City" by Joe Walsh. The remaining eleven tracks constitute the most complete assembly of DeVorzon's immortal score to date. Several years ago, La-La Land solved the debate between the pure archivists' who preferred that every note of each cue be released versus those that opted for an edited "album" version, by releasing both together.

According to album producer Dan Goldwasser, The score was primarily sourced from a set of ½" reels containing the rhythm, synth, and guitar tracks. The score was mixed for the film in mono so no stereo mixes have existed prior to this release. Mixer extraordinaire Mike Matessino created brand new stereo mixes exclusively for this album. There's even a nice easter egg at the end of the last track that is sure to make you smile.

It's difficult to single out a particular title from La-La Land these days because everything they release is worthy of acquiring; however, The Warriors specifically deserves attention as a coveted rare score that benefits from the loving care and attention that La-La Land so often puts into their titles.

For more information including a track listing and audio samples, check out the La-La Land Records web site.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:50 am
by TheButcher
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross to score David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'
Oliver Gettell wrote:Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and English musician Atticus Ross will put their knack for chilly, moody soundscapes to use once again in director David Fincher's upcoming thriller "Gone Girl," an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel about a man whose wife disappears on their fifth anniversary and leaves him as the prime suspect.

Reznor and Ross have worked together on a number of NIN albums and also crafted the scores for two previous Fincher films: "The Social Network" (2010) and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2011). The former film won the Oscar for best original score, and the latter won the Grammy for best score soundtrack for visual media.

Reznor confirmed the trio's latest collaboration on Twitter, writing, "and yes, Atticus and I are scoring David Fincher’s upcoming Gone Girl!"

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:08 pm
by TheButcher
A Minute With: Composer Alexandre Desplat on the art of scoring film
Eric Kelsey wrote:LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As a teenage cineaste and budding musician Alexandre Desplat had a habit of devouring as many movies as he could in a week around his regimen of schoolwork and flute practice.

But it was not until the French composer, who earned his sixth Oscar nomination last month for the film "Philomena," began discovering the music in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut and Francis Ford Coppola did he consider film scoring a real job to which he could aspire.

Now Desplat, 52, is one of the most in-demand composers in the film industry, scoring movies as diverse as mega-blockbusters in the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series to dramas like "The King's Speech" and Wes Anderson's comedies.

The composer's work will also be featured in Anderson's oddball murder-mystery "The Grand Budapest Hotel" that will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday and George Clooney's World War Two drama "The Monuments Men," which gets its North American release on Friday.

Desplat, who typically splits his time between Los Angeles and Paris, spoke to Reuters about composing a score for a film that can stand on its own, how Judi Dench helped guide one of his compositions and getting inside of Anderson's head.

Q: What's the first thing you do when you sit down to compose?

A: I don't sit down. Sometimes I just walk, like I'm doing now. Sometimes I'm on a plane or on a train or on my Vespa in Paris. I always tend to think that composing is not playing an instrument, composing is having something in your head that's steaming and it has to go out. It has to become sounds and be written. It's an emotion that you can't repress.

Q: Do you start working with the script or the early cuts of the film you are given?

A: The script is a good guide because it gives you the subject. You can say it resonates with you or it has a story that you've never scored before but it's still paper and ink. It's not yet images. ... I have to wait until the movie has some sort of shape. That's when my imagination starts to be struck by moving images because only the image can show you what the music can add to what is already on screen.

Q: What was your focus scoring "Philomena," a story about an Irish woman searching for the son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years earlier?

A: If I had just composed the script I might have written a very tragic, dark, extremely sad music. But when I saw the cut and the intensity that Judi Dench brings to the character, and the way she has this restrained pain, sense of loss and forgiveness, the music has to shine as much as she shines. Otherwise, the music would drag her down. So this absolutely enlightened performance, when you look at all the close-ups of Judi Dench, the music has to emphasize that and respect that in a way that the script would not have given me.

Q: How do you approach writing music for films as idiosyncratic as Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel"?

A: Wes' movies are of another world. They come from Wes' world, which is a very specific and special work of his own. ... Musically we enter in another dimension, a fifth dimension. So I use my imagination in the same way that he does and try and create first an instrumentarium - a bunch of instruments that would be toys that we play together - and then we decide together if it's a dark melody, a happy melody, no melody ... but again it's very much the picture we work with because Wes' directing is very precise, very detailed. And the music has to be as precise as the picture.

Q: How has film composing changed in the past decade?

A: It seems sometimes that after more than 600 years of sophisticated, extremely scientific and incredible music, there's a kind of a laziness in what I hear in many movies now. Don't get me wrong. It doesn't have to be a big score. It can be very minimal. ... But it's just a matter of sophistication and craft. I would say for the last 10 years it's lost that a bit. There's always a wave like this. When synthesizers appeared everyone was a composer suddenly ... It kind of went away but now it's coming back because of (computer programs) Garage Band and Logic. And so now anyone can be a composer because you can buy a keyboard and a computer and just put things together. But putting things together doesn't give you a mind and a storyline and something that's interesting.

Q: Do you believe film scores can stand on their own as art without the movie as an accompaniment?

A: Of course! That's what I've dreamed of since I wanted to do that job. I wanted to be a film composer because I heard scores that could stand alone, from "Vertigo" to "Star Wars" to "La Dolce Vita," because this music has so much history. They're weighed with the history of music. They come from somewhere, they have a past.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:26 am
by TheButcher
Meet Alexandre Desplat, Hollywood’s Master Composer
Andrew Romano wrote:Alexandre Desplat is having a bit of a moment, having scored Philomena, Monuments Men, and The Grand Budapest Hotel in quick succession. No other composer today has worked so consistently on such good, smart movies. How does he do it?

“I listen with my eyes and I look with my ears,” says Alexandre Desplat.

The film composer and I are perched on stools in front of a black Steinway grand piano in Studio A—the hallowed, cavernous room at the base of the famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood, Calif. where Frank Sinatra (among other immortal artists) recorded “Come Fly with Me” (among other immortal tracks). Cymbals are arrayed on the floor to our left; a drum kit rests on a red Oriental rug; boom mikes wait patiently, like bony sentinels, while we speak. Desplat is wearing a black Maison Martin Margiela sport coat, a white v-neck t-shirt, black drainpipe jeans, discotheque sneakers, and a gossamery purple scarf. His black hair sweeps back from the crest of his high forehead and laps at the nape of his neck; his lips are pursed. Occasionally his fluent, French-accented sentences will conclude with a conspiratorial giggle. He looks like a Gallic Andy Garcia.

I’ve come to Capitol Records to ask Desplat, 52, how he does what he does—which is how we got into the subject of aural vision and ocular hearing.

Desplat doesn’t technically have synesthesia. But as a Hollywood music man, his job, in a sense, is to simulate it. He is very good at his job. A dozen years ago, Desplat was a respected but little-known composer for French-language films. But in 2002, he was hired to score Girl with a Pearl Earring (starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth), for which he received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations—and Hollywood has not stopped calling since. Syriana, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Julie & Julia, Twilight: New Moon, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Tree of Life, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty. Over the last decade, Desplat has become the composer of choice for some of the finest directors in the business: Stephen Frears (The Queen, Cheri, Tamara Drewe), George Clooney (The Ides of March), Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom). In recent months he has reunited with all three.

In short, Desplat is having a bit of a moment. In November, Frears’s Philomena arrived in theaters, earning Desplat his sixth Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. Clooney’s The Monuments Men followed in February. And the latest Anderson-Desplat collaboration, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is slated for March. There may be no other 21st-century Hollywood composer who has worked so consistently on such good, smart movies—and scored them so memorably, with such sensitivity and verve.

Earlier this month, I asked Desplat to take me inside his creative process—How do you match music to images? How do you convert emotions into melodies?—and he graciously agreed. Now, in Studio A, the composer is cueing up a scene from Philomena on a borrowed laptop and explaining how he joined the project. Step one was receiving a call from Frears.

“He just said, ‘I’ve got a film to show you. Come to London,’” Desplat remembers. “So I sat in the editing room. I watched the film. And I barely kept my eyes dry; I’m glad that I was on my own.” He laughs. “And then I said, ‘I’m so moved that I’m going back home to find the music.’“

By “the music,” Desplat means Philomena’s theme—a recurring melodic motif designed to accompany the aging Irishwoman (played by Judi Dench) as she embarks on a journey to find the out-of-wedlock son who was snatched from her at age 3 and sold to an America couple by the local nuns. “It really is a mental thing,” Desplat tells me. “It’s a combination of intuition and intellect. Analyze what the movie is calling for—not requiring, calling for. And Philomena was a killer on that level. It was very complicated to make it work.”

Desplat knew immediately that he wanted to introduce Philomena’s theme during the movie’s opening scene, which shows the young Philomena meeting and eventually sleeping with a young stranger at a carnival in Limerick. ”In the fairground, I thought, ‘If you have this melody playing from a carousel in the distance, subliminally you will inject the spirit of the music and flavor of the melody to the audience,’” he says.

The video starts, and as it unfolds on screen—the stranger and Philomena stare into a fun-house mirror; when they kiss, her candy apple falls to the ground—Desplat plays ringlets of melody on the piano.

When you say you “found” the music, what does that mean?, I ask. Was it in your head? Was it at the piano? Where did it come from?

“It was in my head first,” Desplat tells me. “I was trying to figure out something extremely simple, because it’s a very simple story and she’s a very simple lady. She’s not a sophisticated bourgeoisie or aristocracy. She’s a nurse. And I thought I should try to find that. Also, you know, the words of somebody who has hidden a secret for many years—usually they’re very tempered. They’re very precise. There aren’t many of them. When you have a secret to tell, you don’t start babbling.”

Desplat’s fingers run over three white keys, arranging and rearranging the sequence. He watches the computer screen for a few seconds, then continues. “You say very few words,” he says. “And very specific. And I thought that the music should reflect that—it should reflect her kindness, and the memory of her child.”

Suddenly, the figure that Desplat is playing on the piano—a new combination of those same three notes—begins to mirror the carousel music emanating from the laptop’s tiny speakers. “I think I was in my studio, and I think I heard...” He plays the first line of Philomena’s theme: a lovely, lilting three-note melody. “I just heard ... something. The ambitus should be very tight. On a very small portion of the keyboard.” He flattens his hand on the piano, covering four keys. “Something on the spectrum of a lullaby.”

Desplat begins to play again—a melody that sounds exactly like the concept he was just describing, but translated into another, more primal language.

That just came to you in its entirety? I ask.

“Yes,” he says. “It just flowed.”


Desplat’s Greek mother and French father met and married while studying abroad at the University of California, Berkeley. At age 5, Desplat began to play the piano; his attention eventually turned to flute. “I remember my sisters, they loved a movie called The Naked Island,” he explains. “And the flute was actually playing the main theme.” He whistles it flawlessly. “A Japanese movie. A beautiful movie from 1961. I remember hearing this music with a flute many, many times a day at home.”

Desplat was, as he puts it, “a rather good flautist—like Henry Mancini was, actually.” But the cinema beckoned. “My parents had a lot of movie soundtracks that they brought back from the States,” he says. “So very early on I heard film music at home. And then, when I was 12, I went to Ireland. It was a very rainy summer—the summer Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon against Jimmy Connors, which I watched in the pub. The weather was so bad that we had to stay inside. There, I found a big box of vinyls, and in that box there were some movie soundtracks and some songs, like Marilyn Monroe’s ‘You’d Be Surprised,’ or [Doris Day’s] ‘Que Sera, Sera.’ And I realized they were from movies. They were not just songs; they were tailored to films. The music belonged to another object, which was this thing that I could go and see in a theater. I found that very fascinating.”

As he entered his teens, Desplat began to collect Bernard Herrmann’s legendary Alfred Hitchcock soundtracks. But it wasn’t until he saw Star Wars in 1977 that he finally accepted his fate. “I thought, ‘This man has heard Stravinsky! Prokofiev! Ravel! Debussy! All the Americana: Copland, Ives, and jazz, of course,’’’ Desplat says. “But he has created a sound of his own that comes and plays with the film. I bought the vinyl and thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ It was written on the front of the sleeve—‘Composed and conducted by John Williams.’”

Desplat was a talented, classically trained musician, but he had never studied orchestration. So he decided to teach himself. “Video did not exist, so I would go and watch movies in the theater over and over to understand how the music worked,” he says. “And very early on I started reading pocket scores, too. ‘Why does this combination of instruments playing these notes sound like this?’ By reading the score I could figure it out. To this day, I still travel with scores. Every time I’m on a plane—it could be Stravinsky or Mozart or Ravel.”

All that was left was for Desplat to discover his voice. The French New Wave triggered an epiphany of sorts. “At the time, most film composers would just follow what was on screen,” he explains. “The guy is running, the music is running. The guy slows down, the music slows down. The girl is sad, the music is sad. But with the Nouvelle Vague, composers like Georges Delerue inhaled the film and created a music that had all the essence of the story. Francois Truffaut’s The Soft Skin starts with a very mundane scene of a family and a man driving to the airport. Yet the music is like a thriller, and you don’t understand why. It’s not until later that you learn it’s because the movie is a thriller.

“Right at the beginning, Truffaut and Delerue set the tone,” Desplat continues. “They were capturing the soul of the film. And I guess you could say that’s what I do, too. I’m a soul capturer.”


2014 is shaping up to be the most delightful and diverse year of Desplat’s career. Next on the docket is The Grand Budapest Hotel, Desplat’s fourth collaboration with Wes Anderson. Back in Studio A, I ask what it’s like to work with the Rushmore auteur. His movies, I note, are nothing like Philomena.

“Wes’s movies are Wes’s world,” Desplat says. “Wes’s world is very special. It’s one of its own. His genius is to have invented his own vision, his own sounds, his own frames—the way he frames a shot is absolutely captivating and special. And he loves music in movies. He definitely has a recurring taste for some instruments and melodies that we really enjoy sharing together.”

I ask Desplat how he would describe Anderson’s “taste.”

“One could say that Nino Rota’s music is the same in every one of his movies,” he says. “Yeah, somehow. But no. You can tell that there’s continuity between Moonrise Kingdom, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Budapest Hotel. It’s the same composer, the same director, and the same type of film world, because Wes has a strong point of view, like Fellini had. But each time, we change the instrumentation very drastically.

“On Mr. Fox, at first there was talk about using a symphonic orchestra,” he continues. “I said ‘No, we should not. You’ve created little puppets and we will have a huge orchestra? It will be ridiculous.’ So I suggested that we have only a miniature orchestra. The strings? Only one of each: one bass, one cello, like a string quintet. The brass? Only one of each. And all the other instruments? Only toy instruments, small instruments: mandolins, banjos, glockenspiel. Everything should be little. Ukulele. Piccolo. The score belonged to the world of the film.”

Desplat's strategy for Moonrise Kingdom was similarly bespoke. “Wes brought in this idea about Benjamin Britton and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, which teaches children about symphonies,” Desplat says. “So we assembled the orchestra in a way that every layer became a piece of the pyramid—an inverted pyramid that builds, slowly but surely. One guitar, two guitars, three guitars. One harp, two harps, three harps.” The goal was to capture the feeling of children learning and growing, moment by moment—"and also the excitement and the wildness of these two kids who want to go away.”

Desplat's concept for The Grand Budapest Hotel was more geographic than psychological—or so it seems at first. "The idea came from trying to capture the sound of an imagined Mitteleuropa," he explains. "To us, it goes from the Alpine horn of Switzerland and Austria and Bavaria to the cymbal or the zantur of Turkey, and everything in between. This land full of instruments and rhythms. We tried to squeeze it all into a ball”—Desplat clamps his hands together like he’s wadding a piece of newspaper—“that we sent rolling in the film. That’s the sound of Budapest Hotel.”

After The Grand Budapest Hotel, Desplat will change course yet again, upping the wattage for Warner Bros.’ $160 million Godzilla reboot. He’s currently in the middle of writing the score. At first, Desplat "wasn't sure" about the Godzilla gig. "The monster movies, I’ve never been really into that," he admits. “But when I saw Gareth Edwards’s first film, Monsters, I was hooked. It was very character-driven. So yes, Godzilla is another story than Philomena, because it’s nonstop fortissimo, with lots of brass, Japanese drums, and electric violin. But I still try to find the soul the film.”

It’s that “extra-sensitivity to pictures and storytelling,” as Desplat puts it, that ties all of his work together. The composer has another date at noon, so we stand and shake hands. “I don’t know how other composers do it, but I spend a lot of time trying to find this vibration between the music and the picture,” he tells me as we slip out of Studio A. "It’s got to be doing something. It’s not just a piece of music that’s like, ‘Oh yeah. It works. It follows what we see on screen.'Until the music and the movie are vibrating, I’m still trying to find it." He laughs. "And not sleeping much.”

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:46 pm
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:36 am
by TheButcher
Music in Film: Man Of Steel soundtrack review
Hans Zimmer brought together a symphony of drums and a hint of John Williams for his Man Of Steel soundtrack. Ivan has a listen...

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:41 am
by TheButcher
Music in Film: Man Of Steel soundtrack review
Hans Zimmer brought together a symphony of drums and a hint of John Williams for his Man Of Steel soundtrack. Ivan has a listen...

Composer Hans Zimmer On ‘Man Of Steel’ Music: ‘Hope And No Cynicism’ [Audio]

Junkie XL: From Gaming to The Dark Knight
Junkie XL talks with IGN about his new album, games music and working with Hans Zimmer on The Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel.

Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar Featured on 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Soundtrack
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Soundtrack - S 2014
Out April 22, the soundtrack also features new music from the Neighbourhood and Pharrell Williams, plus a score by Hans Zimmer with the Magnificent Six.

Hans Zimmer Talks Scoring THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2; Says the Film Is “Driven by Charm, Love, and Sparkling Dialogue”

Hans Zimmer And The Magnificent Six's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Soundtrack Goes On Sale April 22nd

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:53 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:28 pm
by Spandau Belly
Saw this movie on Friday, can't get the theme music out of my head.

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:12 pm
by TheButcher
Wendy Carlos’ original Tron soundtrack gets vinyl reissue
Wendy Carlos’ groundbreaking original score for Disney’s 1982 sci-fi classic Tron is to see a vinyl reissue on Audio Fidelity Records.

Wendy Carlos's TRON Soundtrack Coming As Double 180g Vinyl LP From Audio Fidelity

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:19 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:37 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:11 pm
by Al Shut
Right now I'm absolutely mesmerized by the Paprika soundtrack

Although I couldn't possible find words to explain why

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:02 pm
by Spandau Belly
I saw THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY and ordered the brilliant score.

I'll have to also get the smelltrack so that I can get the same perfume sequencing they had in the film.

Re: Paprika

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:44 am
by TheButcher
Al Shut wrote:Right now I'm absolutely mesmerized by the Paprika soundtrack

Although I couldn't possible find words to explain why

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:44 am
by TheButcher

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:14 am
by TheButcher
Michael Giacchino wrote:Almost done! I reversed the Zootopia score and added reverb and VIOLA! Star Trek Beyond!

Re: Favorite Scores, Film Composers, Soundtracks...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:07 am
by TheButcher
The Legend Of Ennio Morricone And Dice-Master Quentin Tarantino