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 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 10:27 PM   
 By:   TheSeeker   (Member)

What turnin110 said. Every single word.

 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:32 PM   
 By:   Adventures of Jarre Jarre   (Member)

As an aside, did anyone else notice that the media player volume level goes up to 11?

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 12:40 AM   
 By:   ian642002   (Member)

Can I do your hat for you, sir?

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 12:40 AM   
 By:   ian642002   (Member)

Double post.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 1:36 AM   
 By:   Luc Van der Eeken   (Member)

I have to say that Yared's closing thoughts were just on point. A lack of ethic in the emotional process and the oncoming death of classical music are really tied into what is going on in film music. If you notice, no one wants to feel as a result of their films anymore (unless that feeling is some very extreme emotion). Is it indicative of our society now that we are incapable of feeling subtle emotions?

I also, as always, appreciated Horner's candor. His discussion of where Man of Steel is inadequate is spot on. His thought on modern music are clear and correct (it does lead me to wonder how many more scores Horner has left in him as he sounds depressed and disillusioned through this interview, especially considering both his 2013 projects were beached). I also found it interesting that Horner could explain the Zimmer/RC musical construct better than either Balfe or Zimmer could!

I love the discussion of 300 and the legalese in there. Bates' statement was hysterically evasive!

Finally, I just have to comment on Lorne Balfe. Balfe seemed like a very nasty person and listening to him was painful. He seemed so sneering of the interviewer and dismissive of anyone--be them composers or filmmakers--with legitimate, academic musical knowledge. Balfe seemed absolutely arrogant about his utter lack of education, very much "Hey look at me! I'm modern and I'm 100% right and you're stupid for knowing these terms." Balfe seemed bewildered anyone would know musical terminology, and I was horrified when he said he'd need to Google it! His interview stood in stark contrast to Zimmer, who as always was humble about his lack of knowledge but demonstrated a craving to learn the musical language. Perfect? No, but I give him a lot of props.

One missed opportunity was the time spent with Elfman. One could (and really should) bring up that Elfman, like Zimmer, is not classically trained and came out of the rock world. But yet, Elfman still uses big orchestras, themes, style, etc. So Zimmer/Balfe saying that's why they write like they do could be easily demonstrated to be an excuse (I'm not trying to degrade Zimmer, just pointing out how is logic doesn't quite work).

Like Christian, I second your opinion. I was 'baffled' by what Balfe said. It's downright frightening the way he describes his 'composing' process. I'm still recovering from his words.
And Horner sounds like he's on the edge of quitting the business alltogether...Insightful but depressing nonetheless.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 3:58 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

The bit about the Tyler Bates rip-off of Goldenthal's score is revealing. There is NO way Bates could ever come up with GOOD music all by himself. And Warner Brothers had to publicly apologize for it.

Lorne Balfe: "I'm not classically trained".


And then they played "Video killed the radio star". Really, that says it all.

And, no matter what his own failures have been, you got to credit James Horner with being frank.

Oh, and MAN OF STEEL is truly and utterly awful.

BTW, Gabriel Yared's English is stunningly good.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 5:21 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

Anybody want to synopsize the 300 section for those of us who can't listen to the player at work?

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

The FSM cynicism strikes again, I see!

Well, I listened to the program. It was pretty much as I expected -- age-old, trite arguments of plagiarism, temp tracks, homogenization and what-have you -- topics that we've discussed about a gazillion times on the board, and that will probably never wither away. Nothing new, in other words.

On the plus side, it's always interesting to hear guys like Horner, Elfman and Zimmer talk about stuff, and I'm glad that BBC has a focus on film music. But that's where the 'plus' stops for me, at least for this program.

The program was so skewed, journalistically, it was almost funny. That's his right as critical journalist, of course, I just wish he'd found more original arguments. Then again, this is aimed at a mainstream audience, and for them many of these issues might be new.

My issue with the actual arguments presented is not necessarily that they aren't true -- there are at least grains of truth in all of them, although they lack of nuance -- my problem is that he completely overlooks the versatility that actually exists today. It's SO easy to list, say, 10 composers off the top of my head who could counter the argument of homogenization.

He also walks straight into the ubiqitous trap of equating "film music today" with what is -- in essence -- just "Hollywood action film music".

IMO, it's possible to have two thoughts in one's head at the same time -- acknowledging the problems and challenges of the current climate (including temp tracks and homogenization) -- while also applauding the extreme versatility that exists across genres and styles. But of course, a nuanced program like that would probably not be as 'tabloid' as this one.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

"It's SO easy to list, say, 10 composers off the top of my head who could counter the argument of homogenization."

Do it.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Not counting the Horner/Elfman/Zimmer generation who are all still active and very versatile:

Dario Marianelli, Johnny Greenwood, Gustavo Santaolalla, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Murray Gold, Clint Mansell, Cliff Martinez, Johan Söderqvist, Abel Korzeniowski. Just 10 random, famous names that run across the whole gamut, stylistically.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 7:49 AM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

Now I know I know why I don't listen to new film music. Thanks for clearing that up.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 8:08 AM   
 By:   orion_mk3   (Member)

Just finished listening--quite the food for thought!

I really enjoyed Horner's candor, though it explains why he has been so unproductive of late--it was really sad to hear him sound so depressed and disillusioned. I wouldn't be surprised if he soon enters semi-retirement a la John Williams, which would be a tragedy. He's certainly not immune to criticism for having one score sound like another, but I wonder when was the last time a director asked for that "Horner sound" from someone else (which always struck me as odd considering he has scored the top two moneymakers of all time).

For all the hate, Zimmer seemed to have a rather sharp grasp on what had made him successful--the ability to do synth mockups, to craft a score quickly, and to tailor the music to the filmmakers' expectations. In a way, when he talks about being "diluted by imitators," it sounds like he is almost a prisoner of his own success. Stakeholders want the Zimmer power anthem, and he wants to give them what they want.

And, yeah, Balfe's section of the interview was awful. He came off like a self-satisfied twat--it was almost like he personified peoples' negative impressions about Remote Control in a way that veteran RCers Zimmer and HGW did not.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 8:58 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I thought Balfe came off as a pragmatic and clever guy, the consummate professional. While he obviously doesn't have the "arty" aspirations of a guy like Elliot Goldenthal, I think there's room for both type of composers in the industry. I love Goldenthal like few others, but if there had only been complex orchestral music of his type, the film music scene would be just as be boring as if there had just been the ostinato-based style inspired by Zimmer. We need both.

Fortunately, neither are true and we as listeners are able to REJOICE in the beautiful VERSATILITY of the current scene -- whether inside or outside Hollywood. There's something for everyone, and we can leave trends that we don't appreciate by the side, if we want to.


 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 9:36 AM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

I was 11 years old when I saw STAR WARS. I remember clearly the feeling I had hearing the fanfare at the start of the film and the rest of the score that followed. I had seen films that had symphonic scores before like KING KONG, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE WIZARD OF OZ, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, BEN-HUR, LAWRENCE OR ARABIA etc. but it was STAR WARS that made me a film music fan. It was the first film with a score that made me tingle with excitement. I told my mom I had to have it and I got my wish (on 8-track no less!)

Soon, other films gave me that same feeling. Scores like SUPERMAN, the very next year by this mysterious sorcerer named Williams was one—but then other magicians started to ensnare me with their magic. Men named Goldsmith Barry, Bernstein, Poledouris. Some kid named Horner. Older films I had seen suddenly were made more lustrous by men named Korngold, Herrmann and Rózsa. New films were elevated by Elfman, Silvestri, Broughton and Kamen.

What I'm trying to say is that the music stood out. It was memorable. Distinctive. No one could mistake one composers' work for another. This happened ALL THE TIME. And the feeling I got from that first viewing of STAR WARS was still there. As soon as the movie was over I had to have the album.

Now, this almost never happens. Goldmith, Barry, Bernstein and Poledouris are dead. The films I see now are worthless as far as their scores are concerned. The music is dull. Boring. Gone are the hummable melodies, the lush orchestrations and harmonies. Zimmer has poisoned everything.

I remember the first time I heard his music. It was for BACKDRAFT. I remember thinking at the time that here was yet another distinctive voice in the world of film music. But then, slowly, perniciously, he began to destroy everything that I loved about film music. Now all I hear are simple pop music chord progressions under either wailing women, walls of low brass, simple string ostinatos or thundering percussion. It's everywhere. And where it isn't its effects are STILL felt. Giacchino's score for MEDAL OF HONOR was glorious. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, not so much. Do I blame Michael? Hell, no. When he's allowed to, he can still write great music. I get the feeling that him and others like him (Desplat and McCreary) would LOVE to compose music like their idols but aren't allowed to in the current climate.

Hans Zimmer is successful because he knows how to bullshit his directors into thinking that what he's doing is cutting edge awesome. Oh, listen to this Nolan, it's called a minor third! Or, it's nine hours of a guy playing a single note on a cello! Won't it be great for the Joker? Fuck you, Hans. Fuck you. We had John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra. Now, we've got you and Sheila E. Go fuck yourself.

But no, here's Thor Haga to tell me that all is well, you're just imagining it all. Guys like James Horner, Danny Elfman, Richard Kraft and Jon Burlingame don't know what the fuck they're talking about. Film music is alive and well! Rejoice!

Bull. Shit.

The last time I took notice of the music in a film was Brian Tyler's "Can You Dig It" from IRON MAN 3 and only because it reminded me very much of Barry Gray's main title for UFO. I can't remember the time before that.


 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 10:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yikes, why don't you tell us what you REALLY feel? wink

Seriously, though, that's fine. You revel in your misery about current times and in the "superior scores of yesteryear", and I'll continue to enjoy the great film music from both past AND present.

To each their own, as they say.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 10:43 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I was 11 years old when I saw STAR WARS....

I think that plays at the larger issue - you grew up with and were familiar with a certain style. And that's great - that's the music that you like, and you are free to think that music different than that is tosh. I'm with you - I love Star Wars (although I have been known to enjoy a Zimmer score every so often). The thing is, there are tons of kids, teens, and even adults that connect with Zimmer's music and such. They know the main themes from Pirates of the Caribbean and they hum them while they play. Bits of his Batman trilogy, Inception, and Man of Steel are recognized by them. The music is played at baseball games. It's a cultural thing for a reason - not just because it appeases directors, but because it connects with people. Many feel the same way at 11, 13, 15, about Zimmer that you migh have felt about Star Wars, Superman, etc. On the other end of the coin, I've seen some ornery coots around here that will claim that Williams' Star Wars was a turning point for the worse. wink In a lot of ways, what you like ties in directly with what moved you in your formative days - things that are drastically different will irk you.

Not making a value statement of one style vs. the other (if this can be watered down to only two styles), just pointing out that the Zimmer music that you despise is somebody's Star Wars.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

double post

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

But is that REALLY the answer? In that podcast, Horner, Elfman, Kraft and Burlingame all come to the same conclusion. We're not all the same age. We all didn't have the same formative experiences.

Yared makes the point at the end that film music is the classic music of this age since it's heard by so many more people than go to the concert hall. That film composers have a duty to their best work because of this. He calls it his "ethic."

I understand that some people like Zimmer but is he the true heir of the great composers of yesteryear or is he just another blip in the history of film music just waiting to be overthrown? We've had these periods before. All it takes is one great score attached to a hit movie (like STAR WARS) to be rid of him and his ilk.

I just hope I live to see it.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I don't mean to imply that all film scores should be symphonic in nature. BLADE RUNNER and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK were just as good to me as E.T. was in '82. In fact, I've come to appreciate the two former more than the latter in the thirty years since.

SECOND EDIT: You know, Thor, I wasn't going to reply to your passive-agressive bullshit but then I got to thinking… many times I've seen you bemoan the state of this board and how there are a dearth of serious film music discussion threads.

Have you ever stopped to think that maybe replies like yours are part of the problem? I can tell you that, for me at least, this is one of the reasons that I don't participate more on this board.

"You revel in your misery about current times and in the 'superior scores of yesteryear', and I'll continue to enjoy the great film music from both past AND present."

Really, sir. I protest. I protest most strongly.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

I have to say, I was very surprised by the deliberate wall that Lorne Balfe put up when asked about how a Zimmer score is divided up among all the composers at RCP. You could just feel him squirming in his chair.

This surprised me because Hans has always been forthcoming about giving credit, and the people that hire him (directors/producers) know the working methods at RCP.

So I have to ask then, what is the big secret?

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)


That whole diatribe is so unhinged, but it's pretty great. Haha

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