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Everything posted by Lewya

  1. Oscar Winner Hildur Guðnadóttir Reveals Her 5 Favorite Film Scores https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/awards/9373666/oscar-winner-hildur-gudnadottir-favorite-film-scores The Shining: Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind created the music for Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror classic from 1980. "It’s probably one of my all-time favorite film scores, with music that really, really gets under your skin," Hildur told Oscar.com. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: Angelo Badalamenti created the music for David Lynch's psychological horror film from 1992. The soundtrack reached No. 173 on the Billboard 200. "I think that score is fantastic," Hildur said. "I love the simplicity of it." Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Antonio Sánchez created the music for Alejandro G. Iñárritu's black comedy/drama from 2014. “I absolutely adored that score…," Hildur said. "It was great to see how drums could carry the whole emotional spectrum. It's exciting to see innovative scores like that." The Revenant: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto created the music for Iñárritu's follow-up film, released in 2015. Hildur's cello playing is prominently featured on this score, which was nominated for best original score at the Golden Globes and best film music at the BAFTAs but was ruled ineligible for the Oscar for best original score because it was "assembled from the music of more than one composer." When Harry Met Sally…: Marc Shaiman and Harry Connick Jr. collaborated on the music for Rob Reiner's beloved 1989 rom-com. Connick's album of the same name reached No. 42 on the Billboard 200 and was a chart fixture for more than two years. Connick, then just 21, sings such standards as "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "But Not for Me," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." "That's the film I’ve probably seen the most often with my mom," Hildur said. "We love it. We basically know every single word. That one is more just for the fun of watching the film.”
  2. Looks like Jerry Goldsmith (the guy with the white hair) on the right of that photo behind him. No clue who the two ladies are between Williams and what looks like Goldsmith.
  3. I just found this. Ryuichi Sakamoto said that his top 7 favourite film composers of all time are (in no order): Alex North, Toru Takemitsu, Bernard Herrmann, Leonard Rosenman, Ennio Morricone, Georges Delerue and Nino Rota. That is his film music pantheon in terms of which composers. He said that he idolizes these 7 film composers. He included most of his top 7 favourite film composers in his top 10 soundtracks of all time, the only two which he didn't include are Bernard Herrmann and Georges Delerue, all of the others of his favourite film composers of all time are included. Ryuichi Sakamoto's top 10 soundtracks of all time (in no order): Stalker, Solaris, Mirror - Eduard Artemyev Nostalghia (a concert work inspired by the Tarkovsky film) - Toru Takemitsu Shochiku 120th Anniversary Soundtrack Collection (compilation) - Numerous composers ranging from Toru Takemitsu to Joe Hisaishi Yojimbo - Masaru Sato Seven Samurai - Fumio Hayasaka Fellini and Rota (compilation) - Nino Rota Once Upon a Time in the West - Ennio Morricone A Streetcar Named Desire - Alex North Beneath the Planet of the Apes - Leonard Rosenman Solaris - Cliff Martinez I agree with most of his top 10, the only two that I can't get into as much is Seven Samurai and Yojimbo (not counting the Takemitsu concert work which is technically not film music), but I will have tor reconsider them seeing how highly Sakamoto thinks of these two scores. I would have included Thomas Newman's American Beauty as well as Jerry Fielding's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia on my own list, but aside from those two, I can't say I disagree with the rest of his choices. It was a nice surprise to see Martinez's Solaris included, which isn't my favourite soundtrack of all time by any means, but it is probably my favourite film score of the 21st century so far.
  4. I forgot to post these 2 comments on John Williams, the first one is from the French actress/sing-song writer Charlotte Gainsbourg (who have acted in some Lars von Trier films), and the second one is from the French musican/film composer Chassol. The Towering Inferno inspired him to persue film scoring, even if he likes it less now. Charlotte Gainsbourg included the Theme from Jaws among the music that has soundtracked her life: https://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2017/12/memoir-charlotte-gainsbourgs-life-in-music Charlotte Gainsbourg: Film soundtracks are important to me. They have influenced my music, but of course I have also acted in a lot of movies. This selection is my mother’s fault. She took me to London when I was four. The film was out and in London it wasn’t banned. I saw the film and it traumatized me. Musically, John Williams’ score is incredible. The soundtrack has haunted me ever since I first saw it. I listen to it again today with great pleasure. It’s a very prominent memory. Chassol talks about John Williams in French while some excerpts from Williams's lesser-known scores (Catch Me If You Can, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Eiger Sanction etc) play: Chassol: Yes, film music: Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith occupied me a lot of time during my adolescence. Chassol: I discovered the music of film with Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, “My Name is Nobody”, “Duck, You Sucker!”, “Once Upon a Time in America”… I really studied the music of these films in particular. There was John Williams from Steven Spielberg films, and also Jerry Goldsmith. There were so many films from the late 1960s and early 1970s… I really liked their aesthetics, the way they were shot, their themes that combined politics and paranoia. I discovered Brian De Palma when I was a teenager with “Carrie“. I also love photography, and Vilmos Zsigmond, who had also worked on “The Deer Hunter“, was the director of photography for the film. There seems to be a sort of veil over the camera – I even heard that it was because he put milk on it! It’s an image I love, and it’s found in a lot of Brian De Palma’s films, including “Obsession“. I love that De Palma’s films were thrillers, that there was a bit of the paranormal, plus voyeurism themes, long traveling shots like in “Blow Out” where Travolta is a sound recorder, or the scenes in supermarkets, museums where he follows women. There’s something perverse about it, but his way of filming is incredible, as is his use of music. De Palma is a fan of Hitchcock, so he worked with Bernard Hermann, then when he died he chose Pino Donaggio (“Carrie”, “Blow Out”, “Dressed to Kill”, “Body Double”…). He had a real signature. Synchronization, camera movements, music… that’s what I loved when I was a teenager. Interviewer: What are three essential film scores? Christophe Chassol: So…. Let's say "The Planet of the Apes" by Jerry Goldsmith (1968), perhaps "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" by Morricone and then we must also quote Bernard Herrmann for "Vertigo" or a John Williams. Interviewer: John Williams? Christophe Chassol: It’s really important anyway. I really liked it younger. I like less now. But it’s super important because sometimes it goes beyond the realm of film music like Jaws for example. For me, it was The Towering Inferno that really motivated me to make film music. It’s a youthful thing. I ran into it on TV. I hallucinated about the opening at the Copland, the great outdoors, the big brass, the open quarters. So to sum up, I would say "The Planet of the Apes", "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" or "Once upon a time in America" which is still magnificent. Besides, we were talking about a booklet just now, and while listening recently to "Once upon a time in America", I was reading the booklet and there was a musician who said: "we were all there and we felt that something crazy was going on and when we got nothing as a reward, we were stuck. " Speaking of which, one of the first videos that I harmonized, it’s an Oscar award from 1976, my year of birth by the way, and that’s just crazy about the nominees. You have Herrmann for "Obsession" by Brian de Palma, Herrmann for "Taxi Driver", Lalo Schifrin for "Voyage Of The Damned", Jerry Fielding whom I love for "Josey Wales" and Jerry Goldsmith for "The Omen". Another film music that really stood out to me was Stravinsky in film music, with something else too.
  5. Here is the full interview (http://www.planet-interview.de/interviews/philip-glass/33560/ in German, I used Google translate so not every thing is spot on): Glass hasn't even seen Titanic by the way and was annoyed by it. Composer Philip Glass about composing, writing, about Hollywood composers who don't invent anything and about his taxi license Interviewer: Mr. Glass, how many hours have you composed today? Glass: When I'm traveling, like right now, yes, I write quite often and a lot. But even if I have a quiet hotel room, I can hardly compose more than four hours a day. Interviewer: Is there a daily workload that you prescribe yourself? Glass: No, I don't prescribe anything, but I have a lot to do. I always have to deliver my works at a certain time, there is no way around it. When I'm at home in the United States, I usually work ten to twelve hours a day. I start at 8 a.m. and stop at about 11 a.m. But I have lunch and dinner with my family - for me it is a normal, pleasant family life. Interviewer: Twelve hours, every day is not a little. Glass: Yes, maybe. I have finished four projects since last December. The film music for "Naqoyqatsi", the third part of the trilogy by Godfrey Reggio, a piece for Broadway "The Elephant Man", then the music for "The Hours", a film with Nicole Kidman, a bit more mainstream. And I have just finished working on my opera "Galileo Galilei". That may be a lot, but the fact is that I really like all of these projects. I could have canceled a project, but no, I wanted to do them all. I am like a child on a child's birthday who always wants to eat the whole cake alone. Interviewer: When you compose, create new works, are you always looking for a new musical language? Glass: I think I had a pronounced musical language very early on, which then changed again and again. If you look at "Einstein on the Beach" in 1969 and then the music that I write today, there is a huge difference. For example, when I write the film music "Naqoyqatsi" today, it is a challenge because it has to be different than my music for "Koyaanisqatsi" or "Powaqatsi". On the other hand, I always have the same tools that I have to change a little for every film. Or let's take "The Elephant Man", a very specific stage play, which is a big challenge for me. Because every theater project has its specific requirements and the music has to function differently for each project. So working on the theater always gives me the opportunity to take on a new challenge and that means that I have to keep reshaping my musical language. In other words, my music for "The Elephant Man" wouldn't match "" Galileo Galilei "at all, it just wouldn't work. When I started Galileo, I had just finished working on" Elephant Man "an hour earlier , but I was wearing a different shirt, so to speak. Interviewer: And were there moments in your composer career when the shirt did not fit? Glass: Yes. But I will say that now in retrospect. I play about 40 concerts a year with the ensemble that I played with for the first time in 1968. I often use the opportunity to play my early works. And then I realize that this music has tremendous energy, but that it is written in a way that I can no longer do today. Then my brain changed. Playing my early works is always like a journey through time, but I also notice that the audience is now much more interested in my old music than it was when I wrote the pieces. Interviewer: What were your expectations in that regard at that time? Glass: When I wrote "Einstein on the Beach" in my 30s, I had a relatively large audience. I was very happy about that, but I didn't expect it at all. I started with my ensemble in 1969 in front of a very small audience. I never expected to become a famous composer. I no longer believed in the existence of an underground composer, just the type who writes all his life for a small group of passionate fans, no longer. That was at 32. When "Einstein" came and later "Koyaanisqatsi", when I was 41, I was really surprised. Of course I was very happy because it meant that I could live a life as a composer. Because up to my 42nd year I had a part-time job, actually nothing unusual for the conditions in the USA. I had decided not to become a music teacher or professor, even though I had the necessary academic degree. That would have put me too far from my job as a musician. I say that for me. Others can write and teach music, some even very well. But I can be schizophrenic. So I had to earn my money differently, and I thought I would have to do it my whole life. The view changed for the first time when I received the order for my opera "Satyagraha" from the Dutch Opera Rotterdam and shortly afterwards the order for "Akhnaten" from Stuttgart. Only then did I see that I can live from composing. But, I wasn't sure yet. So I extended my taxi license for two more years until I was 43. Interviewer: Wow! Glass: No, I didn't have to use it at the time, but I always had it in my pocket - for safety. The next extension was due when I was 45 - I left it there. Interviewer: Would you recommend the taxi license to a young American composer today? Glass: Yes, that's one of the best ways. The streets are a bit dangerous, of course, that's right. But you can drive your hours whenever you want. I was registered as a taxi driver, but if I wanted to go on tour for three weeks, I just did it, the taxi center didn't care. It's not a particularly stable job either. When I needed money, I went to the headquarters and got the keys. As a taxi driver, you also have no boss, apart from the passengers, of course. But when I didn't like them, sometimes I just got out, finished and left - I had my own strategy. I liked driving a taxi, I could also take a taxi at night, which I did a lot. Only, New York, the city and the streets are not safe. I was also glad that I no longer had to drive. Interviewer: What is your favorite car to drive today? Glass: Oh, I have no idea. We have other cars than yours in Europe, I know that much. But my wife hasn't let me behind the wheel for a while, she always takes the keys away from me. She thinks I'm a terrible driver. And I have to say: she is right. If you ever come to New York, take a taxi. Interviewer: I will surely get to know a number of composers. Glass: Not only composers, many authors, actors and filmmakers drive taxis in New York. Interviewer: So a composition student shouldn't have too high hopes for a full-time job as a composer? Glass: It is possible, but very difficult. I would definitely encourage the student to try it. But I also tell him that he must always enjoy his work, his music and his life as a composer, at any point and at any time. Because if only success - especially financial - brings him joy, he won't get very far. Above all, I advise young composers to keep playing their music. I think that the only way for a composer to get attention in any way is that the music has to be performed, people have to listen to it. If we leave this decision to our music to others, no one will hear it. Then you have to send your music to the orchestras, you have to wait for the answer, it takes a long time and does nothing. By the way, my son is also a musician. I told him that he should take pleasure in what he does. Because it could be that the great career does not come to anything. Whether he will be discovered one day as a great singer or songwriter - we don't know. Interviewer: Some of your contemporaries among the composers write a lot, generally about music, but also specifically about their works. Do you like to write about music? Glass: No, not necessarily. Some composers are quite good at it, and they also like writing books about music, especially about their music. I only wrote a book and today I write a few articles every now and then. It takes a lot of time to write. And when I ask myself whether I should write a book or a new piece of music, the answer is quickly found. Interviewer: Do you think that a concert audience should understand every new work, even without explanations by the composer? Glass: What does 'understand' mean? Let's take repertoire music, Schubert, Brahms or Mahler, if you ask the audience if they 'understand' the music - most of them can't read music at first, and if you specifically ask them about a work, they may hardly know anything about it. It may be a little different in Europe, but in the United States the audience is not so educated. But the audience can really like the music. My father is the best example: he loved music very much, the most different styles, but he could not read music or knew anything about music, in a technical sense. As for writing, especially ideological, that's a small industry in Germany, isn't it? Interviewer: Why in Germany of all places? Glass: I don't know, but when I travel I see a lot of how people live and how they work. And in Germany I noticed that there are many scientists. who write about music, not just at universities and colleges. Why not, after all there is an audience for it. But if you published a book on the theory of minimal music in the USA, hardly anyone would read it. Interviewer: And you don't mind that people in your home country are not so interested in these aspects? Glass: No, I don't mind. On the contrary, it also means that I don't have to write these books. I'm actually happy about that, so I finally have more time to compose. I think you have to see these things in the context of the social environment. If I were a composer in Germany, I would probably also have to write something about music so people don't think I am an idiot. At home, nobody expects that from me. I also have no natural need to do this. Writing may be good enough to train the brain, but it doesn't make me a better composer. Interview: Who are the most influential composers of the 20th century for you? Glass: In the beginning it was definitely Debussy, Schönberg and Stravinsky, these three. And everyone was equally important. For me personally, Debussy had a greater influence than Schoenberg, but everyone wanted to approach the problem of creating order in the world of tonality - the end of romanticism, the dissolution of tonality, it had all caused a lot of confusion. Everyone has found different ways, new ways of composition. There followed a period of 50, 60 years in which people worked on these ideas and many wonderful works were created. Next I find John Cage important and influential. He started a new discussion about music in the 1960s that changed music a lot. His own music was hardly ever played - he was just one of those who wrote books about music. And we composers have read these books rather than the normal audience. His generation of composers was very influenced by his thoughts. Interviewer: Arrived in the 21st century, the best-known and most creative composers of classical music mainly work in Hollywood. Would you confirm any influence from them? Glass: No. We're talking about composers who discover something new, who invent it, who develop a new musical language. Interviewer: And Williams, Horner, Zimmer? Glass: No, no. They just repack things, they recombine. But inventing and recombining are very different things. It's the same in pop music, not everyone just recombines, there are inventors there too, you just have to know the difference. Bob Dylan, that's an inventor. Just like Paul Simon, the Beach Boys in the 60s / 70s or Frank Zappa - something really new was invented. John Williams, James Horner, they are very talented, but they are not inventors, they write their music by just creating new packaging. Interviewer: Are you watching the films that use this music? "Titanic" for example, have you seen it? Glass: No. I was very annoyed about "Titanic" anyway, because it was the year that "Kundun" was nominated for four Oscars, also for my film music. (James Horner won the Oscar for Best Film Music with his score for "Titanic", editor's note). I've met James many times, as well as Danny Elfman or Elmer Bernstein. I also play concerts in L.A. every year, in the past few years these have been mostly projects where we played live music for films. They often come to my concerts. Then I can’t avoid them either, I don’t want to, because we have a good friendship. They master their craft very well, but they don't invent anything. Interviewer: When I was talking to Michael Nyman about two years ago, he was very disappointed that he hadn't yet received an Oscar for his film music. Glass: I don't think Michael has even been nominated yet. Interviewer: Indeed, but why are composers like Mr. Nyman or Philip Glass so keen on the Oscar? Glass: You don't know? - You really don't know? It's clearly about money, money and more money (laughs). Let's take my studio in New York, there is a recording studio and there is the publishing house, ten permanent employees. My studio has become a very productive place for me to write film music, to stage a stage, an opera - but I need assistants and people who take care of everything. This is my small business, which I ultimately finance through my music. I don't get any money from the government, but not in the United States, there is no money that would be available to us composers. So the money comes in through orders, performances, all my activities. And film scores - I've already written a few - they take a lot less time than an opera, for example. But they bring just as much money. But it is very rarely the case with film that you are musically free. "Kundun" was such a film, where I had a completely free hand musically and could do what I wanted. Martin Scorsese gave me a blank check, so to speak. An ideal situation, I worked in a commercial context, but had my artistic freedom. Unfortunately, this does not happen very often. But I want to mention another aspect of the Oscar for film music: last year, Tan Dun was awarded for his music for "Tiger & Dragon", a Chinese composer from the Beijing Conservatory. The previous year was won by John Corigliano, a composition teacher at the Julliard School, a very well-known music college in the USA. So these are composers who don't have much to do with Hollywood. But the Academy Award is now part of popular culture. And not many composers enter and leave this world. I very much respect what Tan Dun has achieved because on the one hand he won this prize, but on the other hand he continues to write operas. It's easy to go to Hollywood and stay there. Coming and going as you want, however, is extremely difficult. Interviewer: Critics have already referred you to the corner of popular culture, every now and then you read about the 'pop star' Philip Glass. Have you ever seen or felt like a pop star? Glass: It's easy. For example, if Paul Simon sells 2,000,000 records, I sell 20,000. So I'm two decimal places from Paul, two zeros. It may be that I get as much space in the newspaper, but the two decimal places do not change anything. If I were to sell 200,000, it would still be a decimal place. I've even sold some of my CDs over 200,000 times, but only a few. Yo-yo Ma, if he releases a record, he will surely sell 200,000 pieces. Is he a pop star now? Yes, he is a popular interpreter of classical music. He is also a very interesting man who tries to find new ways of interpreting classical music. Or Gidon Kremer, a pop star? Yes, maybe, look at how he reinvents the violin repertoire, the things he did with Piazzolla and what he did with me. There are obviously ambitions to develop something new, in the instrument and in the interpretation. But none of us have ever sold as many records as U2 - that's the reality. If U2 only sold 200,000 records, their record company would cancel the contract in no time. So: we exaggerate. But we exaggerate because we enjoy it. It's fun to say Philip Glass is a pop star, fun idea actually. But in the end I'm a composer of the sort that people know the name but not the music, or that they know the music but don't know who wrote it. I'm such a pop star.
  6. This is the first comment I have ever seen from Philip Glass on John Williams. A stupid interviewer by the way. Philip Glass on John Williams (from 2002) - Glass basically said that Williams is very talented, but not an inventor - he writes his music by just creating new packaging, not inventing a new musical language. Interviewer: Arrived in the 21st century, the best-known and most creative composers of classical music mainly work in Hollywood. Would you confirm any influence from them? Glass: No. We're talking about composers who discover something new, who invent it, who develop a new musical language. Interviewer: And Williams, Horner, Zimmer? Glass: No, no. They just repack things, they recombine. But inventing and recombining are very different things. It's the same in pop music, not everyone just recombines, there are inventors there too, you just have to know the difference. Bob Dylan, that's an inventor. Just like Paul Simon, the Beach Boys in the 60s / 70s or Frank Zappa - something really new was invented. John Williams, James Horner, they are very talented, but they are not inventors, they write their music by just creating new packaging.
  7. You have to go further back, Forbidden Planet (1956) I believe was the first full electronic score.
  8. I just checked and dammit, you are right, it seems like he meant his favourite scores of all time and not necessarily individual tracks: Although it seems like it could be also his favourite track from his favourite scores - I am not sure. As you say, some of his picks are a bit weird, especially the Red Sparrow track. I updated the first post saying scores, not tracks, although I kept the names of tracks that were in the list for reference.
  9. This was news to me. Apparently Goldenthal thanked David Shire in the booklet of Alien 3. "I have a lot of admiration for David. David did a score called The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 and that's a twelve-tone big band score. That's something that's never associated with Mr. Shire, who's many times thought of as a middle-of-the-road type composer, but that work, if you just listen to it on its own, it's a very unsusual score." I wonder if Goldenthal has mentioned Williams in the past and what he has said about him, I can only remember a comment he made about Jaws, nothing else: “It took a director like Spielberg, who really pays attention to music, working with Williams, to remind us of the power of music in a film,” Goldenthal says of “Jaws.” “It is not special effects or sound effects that makes ‘Jaws’ scary, but Williams’ music, just as it was Herrmann’s music in ‘Psycho’ that created all the terror in the shower scene.” A new video of Elliot Goldenthal discussing his score to Alien 3:
  10. James Mangold recently followed Michael Giacchino on Twitter if I am not mistaken. It wouldn't surprise me if it will be Giacchino. Either Giacchino or Beltrami will get the gig. I don't think JW will do it, although if he would do it, it wouldn't surprise me either. I hope JW focuses on better projects than to go out on SW 9 or Indy 5.
  11. Taxi Driver for me. I don't consider Taxi Driver to be one of Herrmann's top 10 scores though, but I really like it. While we are on this topic, I think Scorsese has rather subtly expressed some criticism for John Williams by the way. I think he said in the Spielberg documentary that he sometimes mutes the sound on Spielberg films and just watches pictures. But maybe I am reading too much into that.
  12. Yey, Newman again named The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as a favourite score of his - my favourite film score of the 2010s:
  13. I just found Leonard Rosenman's and Hans Zimmer's top 5. Leonard Rosenman's top 5 film scores of all time (in no order, although we can assume the Herrmann score is his #1): Psycho - Bernard Herrmann Jaws - John Williams Gone with the Wind - Max Steiner Patton - Jerry Goldsmith East of Eden - Leonard Rosenman He included himself among the 5 best film scores of all time. Hans Zimmer's top 5 film scores of all time (in no order, although he has said at another time that the Morricone score is his #1): Once Upon a Time in America - Ennio Morricone Blade Runner - Vangelis Midnight Express - Giorgio Moroder Close Encounters of the Third Kind - John Williams The Shawshank Redemption - Thomas Newman
  14. Only ONE critic out of 122 critics wanted Williams to win for The Rise of Skywalker while 40 critics wanted Joker to win. Surprised Desplat was only 5 votes away from Joker to be honest: Best Original Score 1. Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker” (40 votes) 2. Alexandre Desplat, “Little Women” (35 votes) 3. TIE: Randy Newman, “Marriage Story” (23 votes) / Thomas Newman, “1917” (23 votes) 4. John Williams, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (1 vote) https://www.indiewire.com/2020/02/which-movies-should-win-oscars-2020-critics-vote-parasite-1202209448/
  15. LOL. I just don't get it. Now she is even called out for helping to redeem film music's reputation by a recent Pulitzer prize jury member. This professor who wrote this article was one of the five jury members for the Pulitzer prize for music two years ago or so: https://www.thenation.com/article/culture/hildurg-gudnadottir-music-profile/ Her scores for HBO’s Chernobyl and Todd Phillips’s Joker bring soundtracks into the realm of high art. Few insults hit a serious composer as hard as saying a piece of work “sounds like movie music” or, worse still, like “mood music.” The background function of a film score has stigmatized the genre as something insubstantial and inclined to cliché since the days of piano players tinkling away as silent pictures flickered in early movie houses. Mood music took hold as a genre with the introduction of the long-playing record, when albums of lush strings and sonic faux-exotica by schlocksters like Les Baxter were pitched as aural lubricants for bachelor-pad sex, and the contemporary variations on the form found on Spotify’s “chill” playlists are still considered less-than-major works by nature of their functionality as ambiance. Hildur Guðnadóttir, the composer from Iceland best known for her scores for the HBO miniseries Chernobyl and Todd Phillips’s comic-villain thriller Joker, has emerged from years of noble obscurity in the darker corners of the art-music world to help redeem the reputations of both movie music and mood music. In the past year, she’s won an Emmy and a Grammy for Chernobyl and a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nomination for her Joker score. As the headline of an Esquire piece on her newfound prominence announced, “‘Joker’ Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir Is Shaking Up the Industry.” More accurately, the mainstream entertainment industry is shaking itself up by allowing Guðnadóttir to do, in a high-profile way, the kinds of things she’s done in avant-garde circles for years. Now 37, Guðnadóttir has been creating bold and imaginative music on her own and with a variety of collaborators since the first decade of the 21st century. In fact, she’s been performing publicly on her primary instrument, the cello, since girlhood, encouraged by her parents: her mother, the classical vocalist Ingveldur Guðrún Ólafsdóttir, and her father, Guðni Franzson, a clarinetist, composer, and conductor. After experimenting in various art-rock ensembles throughout Scandinavia and in Berlin, where she studied at the Universität der Künste, Guðnadóttir made her first solo album, Mount A, in 2006. Though it was released under the pseudonym Lost in Hindurness, Guðnadóttir made every sound on the recording, from the nonverbal vocals to the cello, piano, zither, vibraphone, gamelan, gamba (a Renaissance-era stringed instrument), and Mongolian khuur, which I’d never heard of till I read the liner notes. Recorded partly in a New York studio and partly in a house in the village of Hólar, Iceland (because she liked the way her cello sounded there), Mount A was rereleased in 2010 under Guðnadóttir’s own name. It is an exceptionally assured and strange recording debut, a DIY collage of sonic textures and tone colors by an artist open to the moment and hungry for surprise. “I think there shouldn’t be limits to what we’re allowed to say or express, as long as we don’t hurt anyone,” Guðnadóttir told an interviewer in an “All Access” video. “Music should be a form of free expression.” Her willingness (or eagerness) to venture into under-explored areas of emotionality was a hallmark of her music long before she gave voice to the brooding rage that festers into gleeful sadism in Joker. If her music won’t hurt anyone, she’s happy to conjure the sound of someone, like Joker, who will. After Mount A, Guðnadóttir worked as a cellist or composer on more than a dozen albums made in collaboration with electronic, art-pop, classical, or category-defiant musicians in Scandinavia, from established figures like Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, and the Swedish group the Knife to acts little known outside the Nordic world, like the short-lived Iceland band Rúnk and the Finnish techno duo Pan Sonic. What’s readily streamable of this output today, such as Muhly’s Speaks Volumes (2006), Frost’s Theories of Machines (2006), and Tu Non Mi Perderai Mai (a collaboration jointly credited to Guðnadóttir and the late Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, also from 2006), only hints at the imaginative force of Guðnadóttir’s solo music. By 2009, when she released her second album, Without Sinking, Guðnadóttir was fully formed as an experimental composer and musician. As on Mount A, she played multiple instruments and sang atmospheric, nonliteral sounds but added a trio of musicians—Jóhannsson on organ, Skúli Sverrisson on bass, and her father on clarinet and bass clarinet—to bring more colors and fuller body to the music. It is, in concept, programmatic music intended to suggest an encounter with a body of water in a place like Iceland, which is to say a place like no other. The 10 selections have simple titles such as “Elevation,” “Overcast,” “Ascent,” and “Into Warmer Air,” and the tracks feel at first like conventional ambient music. But unexpected things happen as their sounds unfurl. Acoustic instruments are overtaken by electronics, twisted around, and transformed. The familiar is disrupted by the unnamable. To take this as mood music is to allow your mood to spin and sink and land somewhere you’ve never been before. The essence of Guðnadóttir’s music as an agent of mood was recognized early as suitable to film scores. Beginning in 2011, she was commissioned to compose music, alone or with collaborators, for a series of European films, including Tobias Lindholm’s A Hijacking and Saul Dibb’s Journey’s End. When Jóhannsson died suddenly in the midst of writing music for Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene, Guðnadóttir completed the score. Her music for that film was celebrated for its deft mingling of classical sonorities and electronics to bring timely resonance to characters from deep history, and Chernobyl and Joker followed. For Chernobyl, the British-made miniseries about the 1986 Soviet nuclear disaster, Guðnadóttir tapped her skill with nontraditional sounds and constructed a full musical score with no music. To evoke the grim, oppressive atmosphere of the film’s time and place, she toured the decommissioned nuclear facility used in the film and had a specialist in field recording capture the sounds she encountered there, the hums and buzzes and rhythmic clanking of the machinery. Then she processed those sounds and edited them as if they were instruments and made a grimly hypnotic anti-musical kind of music from them. For Joker, Guðnadóttir also worked unconventionally, composing the score from the shooting script rather than a rough cut of the film. She wrote the core themes on a halldorophone, an electro-acoustic instrument that is played much like a cello but facilitates the creative manipulation of feedback and other effects. Phillips, when shooting the film, would play Guðnadóttir’s music on the set, allowing the score to drive the action. With the background music foregrounded in the filmmaking, Guðnadóttir’s score is as elemental to Joker as Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. The music, a slow-acting poison formula of acoustic instruments and electronics mixed and overheated, brings to life the Joker’s degeneration into madness and bloodlust so vividly that you could watch the movie with your eyes closed and the vocals muted and still have the Joker experience. Reflecting on the darkness of the score in an interview, Guðnadóttir connected it to her work outside film, music that deserves to be more widely heard. “My solo music started as a way to really look inwards…without any outside dialogue,” she said. “A lot of my music is kind of contemplative, and somehow that always tends to tilt on the darker side. My inner conversation is apparently quite dark.”
  16. Alex Ross, the music critic for The New Yorker wrote that Desplat's score for Little Women was a mere step above a score for a Hallmark holiday movie, maybe just half a step better: He also liked that comment someone made about the score being awful and Desplat phoning it in.
  17. An anonymous Oscar ballot from a member of the directors branch critizised the nomination of Williams, here is what he/she said: Original Score “Joker” will win for Hildur Guðnadóttir. I can’t deny it’s a great score. “1917.” However, Thomas Newman has never won. The music for that flaming village scene and the end cue of the movie are both extraordinary. I may vote for this. “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” is the only bullshit nomination. John Williams has done some amazing work, but not a single cue in this pops at all. https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/anonymous-oscar-ballot-2020-director-best-picture-1202207110/
  18. A statement from JW himself on Kobe's passing in NY Times: Williams said in a statement Sunday that Bryant’s death was “a terrible and immeasurable loss.” “During my friendship with Kobe, he was always seeking to define and understand inspiration even while modestly, and almost unknowably, he was an inspiration to countless millions,” Williams said. “His enormous potential contribution to unity, understanding and social justice must now be mourned with him.” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/26/sports/basketball/kobe-bryant-oscar-award.html Edit: Oh, I see it was already posted in another thread, oh well...
  19. He took over a big Spotify playlist with many followers where sometimes a director or composer picks their favourite film music, it has since been removed, but the user I posted above saved the tracks before it got removed. https://newsroom.spotify.com/2019-04-03/composer-hans-zimmer-talks-musics-starring-role-in-movies/
  20. I haven't seen this list posted before on the forum - it was shared in april last year. Elliot Goldenthal and Jerry Goldsmith are the two film composers with the scores in Zimmer's list, the only ones with three scores each in Zimmer's top 40. A bit surprised Zimmer didn't pick more scores by Morricone, as he is Zimmer's #1 film composer of all time. Hans Zimmer's top 40 film scores of all time (in no order): Titus Victorius from Titus composed by Elliot Goldenthal Adagio from Alien 3 composed by Elliot Goldenthal Alcoba Azul from Frida composed by Elliot Goldenthal Main Title from Alien composed by Jerry Goldsmith The Reactor / The Hologram from Total Recall composed by Jerry Goldsmith Main Theme from Basic Instinct composed by Jerry Goldsmith Wild Signals from Close Encounters of the Third Kind composed by John Williams Washington Ending / Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark composed by John Williams The Mission from The Mission composed by Ennio Morricone Main Theme from Once Upon a Time in the West composed by Ennio Morricone Love Theme from The Godfather composed by Nino Rota La Bella Malinconica from La Dolce Vita composed by Nino Rota Titles from Chariots of Fire composed by Vangelis End Titles from Blade Runner composed by Vangelis Theme from Back to the Future composed by Alan Silvestri Main Title from Predator composed by Alan Silvestri Theme / Isandhlwana from Zulu composed by John Barry Wednesday's Child from The Quiller Memorandum composed by John Barry Avalon / Moving Day from Avalon composed by Randy Newman The Natural from The Natural composed by Randy Newman Malcolm Is Dead from The Sixth Sense composed by James Newton Howard Can I Trust You? from Red Sparrow composed by James Newton Howard Test Drive from How to Train Your Dragon composed by John Powell Dedication from United 93 composed by John Powell Main Title from King Kong composed by Max Steiner Main Title from Gone with the Wind composed by Max Steiner Coronation from Kingdom of Heaven composed by Harry Gregson-Williams Main Title Theme from The English Patient composed by Gabriel Yared The Umbrellas of Cherbourg from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg composed by Michel Legrand Theme from Midnight Express composed by Giorgio Moroder Dawn / Buck Up - Never Say Die / Smile from Modern Times composed by Charlie Chaplin Prologue and Main Title / Castle Plunkett from High Spirits composed by George Fenton Main Title Theme from The Last Emperor composed by David Byrne Ballad for Mathilda from Léon composed by Éric Serra Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto Future Markets from There Will Be Blood composed by Jonny Greenwood Main Title from Laura composed by David Raksin Main Title from Taxi Driver composed by Bernard Herrmann Tsurumaru's Flute / Azusa Castle In Ruins from Ran composed by Toru Takemitsu The Shawshank Redemption from The Shawshank Redemption composed by Thomas Newman
  21. I just found their picks. Thomas Newman's top 5 film scores of all time: 1. Chinatown - Jerry Goldsmith - ”For its mood — it fits the time and place perfectly.” 2. To Kill a Mockingbird - Elmer Bernstein - ”Very effective, it just works.” 3. Psycho - Bernard Herrmann - ”Unique and utterly unusual.” 4. The Wizard of Oz - Herbert Stothart - ”Sure, I love the songs, but the score itself is excellent.” 5. King Kong - Max Steiner - ”There's a total sense of popcorn fun. It's a fountainhead score - the beginning of something new.” Elliot Goldenthal's top 5 film scores of all time: 1. Cape Fear - Bernard Herrmann - ”He was the first minimalist. The score was played at a volume where it wouldn't compete with the movie's sound effects.” 2. La Strada - Nino Rota - ”It brought together the carnival and sensual elements of the church.” 3. Altered States - John Corigliano - ”With this soundtrack, he reinvented orchestration in film scoring.” 4. On the Waterfront - Leonard Bernstein - ”His only score had the sky-soaring melodic beauty of the American school.” 5. The Informer - Max Steiner - ”This has both Irish and Celtic folk melodies combined with a sweeping orchestral tapestry. It's brilliant.” Leonard Rosenman's top 5 film scores of all time (in no order, although we can assume the Herrmann score is his #1): Psycho - Bernard Herrmann Jaws - John Williams Gone with the Wind - Max Steiner Patton - Jerry Goldsmith East of Eden - Leonard Rosenman He included himself among the 5 best film scores of all time. Hans Zimmer's top 5 film scores of all time (in no order, although he has said at another time that the Morricone score is his #1): Once Upon a Time in America - Ennio Morricone Blade Runner - Vangelis Midnight Express - Giorgio Moroder Close Encounters of the Third Kind - John Williams The Shawshank Redemption - Thomas Newman Thoughts on their picks?
  22. I would never go for the poor Titanic or a relatively mediocre pastiche score like HP 3. Neither of them are "essential" nor do they represent film music at its best. You could argue that Titanic is even a score that gave film music a bad reputation. A Streetcar Named Desire and East of Eden would be two good candidates to begin with though I think. Why? Because they used modern music and both of the scores contain music that represents film music at its best. At their best, they have never been surpassed in the field. Both by two of the most formidable composers to ever work in the field as well.
  23. Yes, I don't like Alfred Newman's music much - I said more original and individual - not more late romantics. Oh, I prefer T. Newman almost any day over Williams.
  24. Of course, these days I don't feel that attracted to Williams's music. I prefer more original, individual and inventive composers over him. Newman for instance, I feel far more attracted to and close to. There hasn't gone by a month where I don't listen to any of Newman's music, but there have gone months where I don't listen to Williams. Too much of Williams music is way too bombastic for my taste. My taste in music is generally more alternative, experimental... ambient music. Almost the opposite from the stuff Williams usually does. And when I listen to Williams, I easily prefer things that aren't any of the Star Warses or E.T. Close Encounters and A.I. are my two favourite JW scores.
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