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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Film Music Is Dead by Kjell Neckebroeck
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

If you think film music is dead, what you're really saying is "my personal and narrow focus of a genre is outdated and I refuse to look elsewhere".

Thank you. I will try to be more concise in the future. wink

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Senn555   (Member)

If you think film music is dead, what you're really saying is "my personal and narrow focus of a genre is outdated and I refuse to look elsewhere".

Although, perhaps the reason people may refuse to look elsewhere is that the attitudes of others perpetuate against it and they don't want to be tossed aside as "people whose views we will not take seriously because of our personal and narrow focus".

It's a sad precedent that's been set, to be sure.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

As I mentioned above I have film music magazines and reviews going back to the 60s with Page Cook. Based on letters from film music "fans" every moment along the way has been the "worst" time for film music ever. The good part of those old days was I was exposed to these "fans" maybe once a month, today they are in my face every day. I do look longingly at all the composers, labels and real fans that visit here seldom or never, and they are the majority. Hmmmmm.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:34 PM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)

Holy crap, I'm almost halfway through this list—I'm streaming 'em on YouTube—and I'm fighting to stay awake here!

There's your first mistake!

-Erik-

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

Holy crap, I'm almost halfway through this list—I'm streaming 'em on YouTube—and I'm fighting to stay awake here!

There's your first mistake!

-Erik-


I don't understand your point.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:44 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

20 excellent scores just from 2013? OK, you got it:

- Roque Banos, Evil Dead
- Bartosz Chajdecki, Baczynski
- Sarah Class, Africa
- Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
- Ilan Eshkeri, Justin and the Knights of Valor
- Laurent Eyquem, Copperhead
- Laurent Eyquem, Winnie Mandela
- Joe Hisaishi, Miracle Apples
- Joe Hisaishi, The Wind Rises
- Federico Jusid, Isabel
- Abel Korzeniowski, Escape from Tomorrow
- Abel Korzeniowski, Romeo & Juliet
- Maurizio Malagnini, The Paradise
- Mark McKenzie, The Ultimate Life
- Atli Örvarsson, Colette
- Victor Reyes, Grand Piano
- Carlo Siliotto, Instructions Not Included
- Benjamin Wallfisch, Summer in February
- John Williams, The Book Thief

And that's just off the top of my head.


Holy crap, I'm almost halfway through this list—I'm streaming 'em on YouTube—and I'm fighting to stay awake here!

Most of this stuff feels like it was composed in Digital Performer. Only Desplat has held my interest for any length of time—the rest felt like over-programmed .


Digital Performer is actually the most musical DAW out there. Guys like John Adams, Don Davis, Desplat, Wendy Carlos and Danny Elfman use it amount many others.

Perhaps you meant Cubase or Ableton Live or Reason?

There are a few moments in ED that do sound like Project Sam's Greatest hits but most of the score is rock solid.

I've come to terms with the fact that 95% of current film music doesn't interest me any longer and have looked back to composers like Stravinsky, Shostakovich etc for music listening enjoyment and studying. I've been on a Ravel kick these days and Shosty's Symphony 10 second movement kicks the shit out of anything written for film in the last little while.

I think I was most alarmingly confronted with this eventuality when I almost teared up with joy when I saw the recentGodzilla trailer tracked with Ligeti's Requiem. Contrast that with Giacchino's nice but frankly pedestrian trailer music for Jupiter Ascending and it just tells me this ain't the fun it used to befor me. That's my opinion and prerogative. Hence why I seldom post here. I don't give enough of a care. So Vincent, I do know where you're coming from.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

I haven't purchased a single movie score for a movie released in the year 2013. That's the first time since I started collecting in 1992 that this has happened. There were a few decent efforts, but nothing that really made me sit up in the theater and think, "Oooo, I can't wait to get the soundtrack album!". Even The Book Thief was fairly routine as far as John Williams scores go.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

20 excellent scores just from 2013? OK, you got it:

- Roque Banos, Evil Dead
- Bartosz Chajdecki, Baczynski
- Sarah Class, Africa
- Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
- Ilan Eshkeri, Justin and the Knights of Valor
- Laurent Eyquem, Copperhead
- Laurent Eyquem, Winnie Mandela
- Joe Hisaishi, Miracle Apples
- Joe Hisaishi, The Wind Rises
- Federico Jusid, Isabel
- Abel Korzeniowski, Escape from Tomorrow
- Abel Korzeniowski, Romeo & Juliet
- Maurizio Malagnini, The Paradise
- Mark McKenzie, The Ultimate Life
- Atli Örvarsson, Colette
- Victor Reyes, Grand Piano
- Carlo Siliotto, Instructions Not Included
- Benjamin Wallfisch, Summer in February
- John Williams, The Book Thief

And that's just off the top of my head.


Holy crap, I'm almost halfway through this list—I'm streaming 'em on YouTube—and I'm fighting to stay awake here!

Most of this stuff feels like it was composed in Digital Performer. Only Desplat has held my interest for any length of time—the rest felt like over-programmed .


Digital Performer is actually the most musical DAW out there. Guys like John Adams, Don Davis, Desplat, Wendy Carlos and Danny Elfman use it amount many others.

Perhaps you meant Cubase or Ableton Live or Reason?

There are a few moments in ED that do sound like Project Sam's Greatest hits but most of the score is rock solid.

I've come to terms with the fact that 95% of current film music doesn't interest me any longer and have looked back to composers like Stravinsky, Shostakovich etc for music listening enjoyment and studying. I've been on a Ravel kick these days and Shosty's Symphony 10 second movement kicks the shit out of anything written for film in the last little while.

I think I was most alarmingly confronted with this eventuality when I almost teared up with joy when I saw the recentGodzilla trailer tracked with Ligeti's Requiem. Contrast that with Giacchino's nice but frankly pedestrian trailer music for Jupiter Ascending and it just tells me this ain't the fun it used to befor me. That's my opinion and prerogative. Hence why I seldom post here. I don't give enough of a care. So Vincent, I do know where you're coming from.


You know, David, it's not for lack of trying. I still remember when you recommended North's Cleopatra to me when I expressed my admiration for Spartacus.
I bought it, gave it a spin and it just didn't click with me (though it has been a few years now and maybe it's time to try again.) You told me that you understood and that it wasn't everyone's cup of tea but at least, you said I tried.

I do. I always try.


P.S. Yes, Legeti's Requiem did give me the shivers in the Godzilla trailer. I am still hopeful about Giacchino's Jupiter Ascending though.

P.P.S. It's been a looooooooooooong time since I've sat down at my keyboard, so yeah, let's change that to Cubase!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

I think I was most alarmingly confronted with this eventuality when I almost teared up with joy when I saw the recentGodzilla trailer tracked with Ligeti's Requiem.


Heh, that's funny. Same with me.
smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)

I thought 2013 featured a number of excellent film, TV and video game scores.

For the action fan there's Beltrami's A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

For those that want lush melodies ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW and ROMEO AND JULIET are there for you.

For those looking for something a bit more invented, check out Olivier Deriviere's brilliant score to the video game REMEMBER ME <-- I play this score weekly.

For the fantasy adventure fan John Ottman's JACK THE GIANT SLAYER was a pleasant surprise.

Comic book film score fans were blessed with Brian Tyler's IRON MAN 3. He should have been the series composer from the beginning.

For the delicate, emotional film music fan look for further than Benjamin Wallfisch's lovely score to SUMMER IN FEBRUARY.

Roque Banos wrote the horror score of the year for the remake of EVIL DEAD. The air raid siren was nothing short of brilliant!

For those that love it when composers write dead serious music for comedies then Henry Jackman's THIS IS THE END is for you. It's gigantic, gothic masterstroke!

For those that want to hear more from forgotten composers like Mark McKenzie and Christopher Gordon then the blue grass infused THE ULTIMATE LIFE and the classy ADORE is for you.

TV scores don't get much better than Federico Jusid's ISABEL. Season one was one of my favourite scores of 2012 and season two is just as good.

Not a fan of the film but I do like Brian Tyler's funky score to NOW YOU SEE ME.

Victor Reyes wrote a work of art for GRAND PIANO.

One of the better action adventure TV scores was written by Fernando Velazquez for ZIPI Y ZAPE
Y EL CLUB DE LA CANICA.

Craig Armstrong wrote some strong underscore for THE GREAT GATSBY.

There's so much more but these are the scores I thought of off the top of my head. There's a lot more...

-Erik-

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:03 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

20 excellent scores just from 2013? OK, you got it:

- Roque Banos, Evil Dead
- Bartosz Chajdecki, Baczynski
- Sarah Class, Africa
- Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
- Ilan Eshkeri, Justin and the Knights of Valor
- Laurent Eyquem, Copperhead
- Laurent Eyquem, Winnie Mandela
- Joe Hisaishi, Miracle Apples
- Joe Hisaishi, The Wind Rises
- Federico Jusid, Isabel
- Abel Korzeniowski, Escape from Tomorrow
- Abel Korzeniowski, Romeo & Juliet
- Maurizio Malagnini, The Paradise
- Mark McKenzie, The Ultimate Life
- Atli Örvarsson, Colette
- Victor Reyes, Grand Piano
- Carlo Siliotto, Instructions Not Included
- Benjamin Wallfisch, Summer in February
- John Williams, The Book Thief

And that's just off the top of my head.


I believe you forgot to add: in my not so humble opinion. roll eyes

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   Erik Woods   (Member)



I don't understand your point.


You're listening to MUSIC on YouTube. And are you even listening to the complete albums? You made quite the judgment on TWENTY film scores in less than 3 hours after Jon posted his list?

-Erik-

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I think I was most alarmingly confronted with this eventuality when I almost teared up with joy when I saw the recentGodzilla trailer tracked with Ligeti's Requiem.


Heh, that's funny. Same with me.
smile


Obviously I'm coming at this from a little different perspective and I don't expect too many others to understand. I know and use a lot of current technology and I know very well the pitfalls compositionally of using them. I've written a lot about on this forum. Whatever the reason for this stylistic "evolution" it's one I find regressive and frankly none too interesting. If we are strictly talking about orchestral music, much of it is very poorly written these days. Guys like Conrad Pope or Bill Stromberg won't outright admit it publicly because they are working in the system and it's a small circle indeed but look at Pope's post about Williams' Book Thief about how it's orchestrated and how it breaths. He's basically saying that no one writes like this anymore because 1. They lack the skills 2. The methodology that is favoured by Hollywood filmmakers stresses using technology that is fast to produce music but straight jackets the composer into a retarded corner. That is why we get a lot of 2 note ostinati with no harmonic support or heaven forbid modulations or ritardandos.

Anyhow it's not really right for myself or anyone else to rain on everyone else's parade here if they don't like the direction film music has taken. Nothing is ever static and life moves on. Luckily there's so much music out there from a period of time I do value so I personally direct my attention and energies towards that. Now I'm back to listening to Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

Is this what passes for good film music today? Synth french horns and choirs? Long string lines that go nowhere? Evil Dead sounded like a demo track for an orchestral sampler effects articulation patch for fuck's sake!

Considering that each of those scores was recorded with a full live orchestra (albeit a couple of them do have some synth elements too, like Escape from Tomorrow) - if you honestly can't hear that I don't know what to say.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

I believe you forgot to add: in my not so humble opinion. roll eyes

I believe that everything I say is either a statement of fact, or my opinion, which renders such qualifiers unneccesary. Take your eyes back.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

I believe you forgot to add: in my not so humble opinion. roll eyes

I believe that everything I say is either a statement of fact, or my opinion, which renders such qualifiers unneccesary. Take your eyes back.


Perhaps, but what if your statments of 'fact' are wrong? Worse yet, what if your opinion is still not so humble? The eyes stay my not so humble sir. roll eyes

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

The original article author lost me when he stated he was a child in the 80s and considers himself "old".

I grew up watching films as a child in the late 50s and 60s and I do not consider myself old at all. Maybe that mental attitude is why I find as many good scores today as I heard growing up. Thor is right about the fact that there are only so many quality scores in ANY year and most of the second rate stuff is quickly forgotten.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)



I don't understand your point.


You're listening to MUSIC on YouTube. And are you even listening to the complete albums? You made quite the judgment on TWENTY film scores in less than 3 hours after Jon posted his list?

-Erik-


How long did it take you to fall in love with your favorite film scores? With me, it was always the same—the first few cues sitting in the theatre watching the film. Sometimes just listening to the main title and I knew this was a score I was going to buy.

It's like the old saying goes, a girl knows within the first five minutes of a date if she's going to have sex with the guy. Well, I've met these scores and for most of 'em—we ain't fucking.

By the way, most of the complete albums ARE on YouTube in HD sound. In fact, based on David's recommendation I'll be giving the entire Evil Dead score a try tomorrow.

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 4:28 PM   
 By:   Vincent Bernard   (Member)

Is this what passes for good film music today? Synth french horns and choirs? Long string lines that go nowhere? Evil Dead sounded like a demo track for an orchestral sampler effects articulation patch for fuck's sake!

Considering that each of those scores was recorded with a full live orchestra (albeit a couple of them do have some synth elements too, like Escape from Tomorrow) - if you honestly can't hear that I don't know what to say.


I'm astonished. If these composers can make full live orchestras sound this shitty then they possess skills beyond the ken of most mortals.

Color me impressed!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 4:42 PM   
 By:   ryankeaveney   (Member)

The music isn't dead — it's the mix. Has anyone here seen some of 2013's biggest films?

THE WOLVERINE
THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS
MAN OF STEEL
THE LONE RANGER
WORLD WAR Z

These scores are for the most part buried. Screaming in the background, with the knobs turned down. The current value music has in films these days is the real threat — forget melodies, variations or what software the score was written on.

 
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