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Hans Zimmer's Sherlock Holmes Press Release


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Personally, I think I have quite a bit of stuff that doesn't sound like Michael, and perhaps a bit that does, but of course you are entitled to your opinion as much as the next guy.

This is a bit off topic, but you could perhaps enlighten us with the correct pronunciation of "Giacchino?" Most people in interviews and everywhere else pronounce it "Gee-a-kee-no" but I think someone said in the official MG thread that that was wrong.

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I would just like to add my two cents here - while it's true that Zimmer often delivers 'popcorn' scores for typical Hollywood action movies (The Rock, Broken Arrow etc), I cannot agree that his score

Interview with Hans on the score at AICN As always, he gives a good interview.

I for one like the music (though I cant eloquently explain why). But I can imagine that after a while people need to come up with something new. (though I also cannot imagine what)   Al

Personally, I think I have quite a bit of stuff that doesn't sound like Michael, and perhaps a bit that does, but of course you are entitled to your opinion as much as the next guy.

This is a bit off topic, but you could perhaps enlighten us with the correct pronunciation of "Giacchino?" Most people in interviews and everywhere else pronounce it "Gee-a-kee-no" but I think someone said in the official MG thread that that was wrong.

"jah-KEE-no" or "juh-KEE-no"

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Back on topic, I listened with an open mind to the examples and didn't hear anything new or different. Same limited harmonic choices with different instrumentation.

Isn't it a bit on the feeble side to ask for a Hans score to satisfy your specific musical needs after knowing perfectly well that the kind of pop-oriented score he is able to produce isn't to your liking?

It's just light music without pretensions of a fully fleshed out symphonic work but people always act as if Zimmer was obligated to produce just that...a second PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. WON'T HAPPEN!!!

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I was greatly impressed by how Zimmer managed to take themes I didn't care for at all in the first film, and weave something bigger and better out of it in the succeeding scores, while mainting a strong thematic continuity. The second score is like variations on the same themes, but with far less crap, and the third score is its own thing, but still very connected to the previous scores. I hated the end credits for the first one, but by the time the musically similar end credits opening came around for the first one, I loved it. Something strange took place there, and not something I've experienced with any other series.

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Back on topic, I listened with an open mind to the examples and didn't hear anything new or different. Same limited harmonic choices with different instrumentation.

Isn't it a bit on the feeble side to ask for a Hans score to satisfy your specific musical needs after knowing perfectly well that the kind of pop-oriented score he is able to produce isn't to your liking?

It's just light music without pretensions of a fully fleshed out symphonic work but people always act as if Zimmer was obligated to produce just that...a second PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. WON'T HAPPEN!!!

You assume too much. I never said I expected an amazing orchestral score. When I'm listening to a score with any style of music, I expect to hear solid music- meaning salient themes/melody, harmony, rhythmic elements, consistency, good execution. Or at least ONE of these components. What I heard in this example was Zimmer superimposing his stock action film style over different instrumentation without ever considering how those instruments work with music endemic to them. Someone else pointed this out earlier but didn't get ripped for it. Obviously some of you chaps are as quick to pounce on me as your purport that I do on Hansy's music. p.s. I do own a couple of his scores including Last Samurai, Rain Man, and The Dark Knight, even the special edition parts of which I like but don't necessarily think are good. Omigod! Yes, you can like something on a personal level but still stand back and objectively assess it y'know.

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I don't think I ever said my initial impression of the score. I think it sounds fantastic, even though what Chris Tilton said in jest is right. It's wonderfully quirky, with a nice underscore of your classic Zimmer. LOVE the little Black Hawk Down noise thing that kicks in for a second every now and then. I wasn't really looking forward to this, but now I think this could be Zimmer's best since At World's End, or err Frost/Nixon. So maybe it's not a huge deal since the gap got considerably smaller.

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Hmm. I like the sample of SHERLOCK HOLMES -- not a big fan of Hans' work, but he has done some good work nonetheless. It sounds like a bit more quirky reworking of his POTC scores, but if I like it in the movie -- I'll buy it.

I'm curious why Sony is releasing the soundtrack when Warner Brothers is releasing the movie. Couldn't they have released it through their Warner Sunset or New Line Records label?

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p.s. I do own a couple of his scores including Last Samurai, Rain Man,and The Dark Knight, even the special edition parts of which I like butdon't necessarily think are good.

"Yes I have a friend who is ____________ so it's ok if I say anything about ______________ group of people. "

:lol:

After all i'm sure that if Williams himself dared to come to the forums some would spit in his face...

I don't think anyone here would do such a thing. That's just pointless.

Yes, you can like something on a personal level but still stand back and objectively assess it y'know.

Objectivity is futile in this case. Your analysis is ultimately based around your learning. Your "nurture" if you will. There is a reason music is an art and not a science/math. Because it cannot be evaluated objectively.

Most self respecting composers don't think much of MV or Hansy's music

That's not objectivity. That's a broad statement of elitism.

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I like the theme, and I'm still curious although some parts sounded to me like Batman Begins action music which I really don't like so I've lowered my expectations. Might get some tracks if this is released on iTunes Mexico.

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You assume too much. I never said I expected an amazing orchestral score. When I'm listening to a score with any style of music, I expect to hear solid music- meaning salient themes/melody, harmony, rhythmic elements, consistency, good execution. Or at least ONE of these components. What I heard in this example was Zimmer superimposing his stock action film style over different instrumentation without ever considering how those instruments work with music endemic to them. Someone else pointed this out earlier but didn't get ripped for it. Obviously some of you chaps are as quick to pounce on me as your purport that I do on Hansy's music.

I suspect a general allergic reaction to the sensitive teutonic pop approach of Hans Zimmer.

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p.s. I do own a couple of his scores including Last Samurai, Rain Man,and The Dark Knight, even the special edition parts of which I like butdon't necessarily think are good.

"Yes I have a friend who is ____________ so it's ok if I say anything about ______________ group of people. "

:lol:

After all i'm sure that if Williams himself dared to come to the forums some would spit in his face...

I don't think anyone here would do such a thing. That's just pointless.

Yes, you can like something on a personal level but still stand back and objectively assess it y'know.

Objectivity is futile in this case. Your analysis is ultimately based around your learning. Your "nurture" if you will. There is a reason music is an art and not a science/math. Because it cannot be evaluated objectively.

Most self respecting composers don't think much of MV or Hansy's music

That's not objectivity. That's a broad statement of elitism.

I see what you're saying but I must address some of your points.

1. One can definitely objectify anything with a given system. Music is a system just like math is. The difference is how it is received. People associate music with a visceral response. But, if we are to use the principles that have been handed down and developed over hundreds of years, we can get closer to analyzing the music. So what I am trying to say is that regardless of how music makes us feel, there is a system in place that can be analyzed regardless of the intention of the composer or the impact on the listeners. These are subjective motivations and responses. Perhaps the associative and suggestive power of music is too much for people to separate when trying to take themselves out of the realm of subjectivity. As for evaluation, I'm sure there would be a lot of pissed of holders of BFA's, Masters Degrees and PhDs in Music if you told them that.

2. I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" just because I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear. in fact, given the state of things in the world today, if elitism means a desire to strive for something better, then I will hold that title up high.

I think it's rather interesting that of all my posts where I deride a composer's output (and rarely the person themself), I have not attacked a forum member here unprovoked. Yet some of you chaps feel it's your duty to defend your composer idol as if they needed it but making personal attacks on me.

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I know someone that if he was driving along in his car and Hans Zimmer walked in front of him, he would not stop his car...

Disgusting!

Are you serious? If Hansy was walking in front of my car, I would stop, give him a ride to his destination and ask him a ton of questions regarding his thoughts on synths and electronics. the man is a wizard in that realm. And I'm sure we could have a very nice conversation. I would also tell him I LOVE Rain Main and Thelma and Louise. Terrific scores! And parts of The Thin Red Line. that's a good one too.

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2. I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" just because I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear. in fact, given the state of things in the world today, if elitism means a desire to strive for something better, then I will hold that title up high.

I think it's rather interesting that of all my posts where I deride a composer's output (and rarely the person themself), I have not attacked a forum member here unprovoked. Yet some of you chaps feel it's your duty to defend your composer idol as if they needed it but making personal attacks on me.

You have no need to defend yourself. It's common today for people to settle for mediocrity in all walks of life.

I refuse to subject my listening habits to what I personally consider crappy music and I will admit to it. And I don't care if anyone considers me an elitist or not.

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2. I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" just because I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear. in fact, given the state of things in the world today, if elitism means a desire to strive for something better, then I will hold that title up high.

I think it's rather interesting that of all my posts where I deride a composer's output (and rarely the person themself), I have not attacked a forum member here unprovoked. Yet some of you chaps feel it's your duty to defend your composer idol as if they needed it but making personal attacks on me.

You have no need to defend yourself. It's common today for people to settle for mediocrity in all walks of life.

I refuse to subject my listening habits to what I personally consider crappy music and I will admit to it. And I don't care if anyone considers me an elitist or not.

God bless ya Mark. I recommend The Red Canvas to all elitists, as well as Chris Gordon's Daybreakers. Two fine scores that both happen to use the Octatonic scale. Bartok would be proud.

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2. I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" just because I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear. in fact, given the state of things in the world today, if elitism means a desire to strive for something better, then I will hold that title up high.

I think it's rather interesting that of all my posts where I deride a composer's output (and rarely the person themself), I have not attacked a forum member here unprovoked. Yet some of you chaps feel it's your duty to defend your composer idol as if they needed it but making personal attacks on me.

You have no need to defend yourself. It's common today for people to settle for mediocrity in all walks of life.

I refuse to subject my listening habits to what I personally consider crappy music and I will admit to it. And I don't care if anyone considers me an elitist or not.

Perfectly put, Mark. I too agree with you and Fiery Angel. Guess we're a little minority however.

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Well, in the spirit of the holiday season, I will offer this to those who like Zimmer and MV-RC. You ladies and gents are here obviously because you share an enthusiasm for John Williams' music- because of that, you have my respect.

I resolve to trying to discuss more than profess in future threads. Dialogues with different view points can be fruitful.

Dave

p.s. I will check out those links Koray to hear more of the Zimmer's score. Truth be told, when I heard Jeff Bond rave about it, I got my hopes up.

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But, if we are to use the principles that have been handed down and developed over hundreds of years

That's not objectivity. That's using principles handed down anddeveloped over hundred years. Within a specific area of the world. Bya minority of men from a world that gave opportunity to only thewealthy and elite.

You have no need to defend yourself. It's common today for people to settle for mediocrity in all walks of life.

I refuse to subject my listening habits to what I personally considercrappy music and I will admit to it. And I don't care if anyoneconsiders me an elitist or not.

And that is a sad thing. You are closing an entire world onyourself. There is something to be gained, even from the "worst"music. It's shame you can't see that.

I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" justbecause I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear

This is exactly what I'm talking about. You don't have higher demands on quality of music. If anything you're pigeon-holing yourself to a specific school of thought that you believe is superior. And that is fine, but in this world where anyone is given equal footing in exploring their mind, your school of thought is extinct. Much as concert composers of the 1800s and their belief that their music reigned supreme over "silly" "amateur" "simple" opera and eventually film, became extinct, so will you be.

One can definitely objectify anything with a given system. Music is asystem just like math is. The difference is how it is received. Peopleassociate music with a visceral response. But, if we are to use theprinciples that have been handed down and developed over hundreds ofyears, we can get closer to analyzing the music. So what I am trying tosay is that regardless of how music makes us feel, there is a system inplace that can be analyzed regardless of the intention of the composeror the impact on the listeners. These are subjective motivations andresponses. Perhaps the associative and suggestive power of music is toomuch for people to separate when trying to take themselves out of therealm of subjectivity. As for evaluation, I'm sure there would be a lotof pissed of holders of BFA's, Masters Degrees and PhDs in Music if youtold them that.

The only objective system I believe in is the scientific method. You cannot apply a musical system to something like a work of Hans Zimmer and analyze it for "quality." In fact, what you propose is simply against all that is objectivity. Objectivity does not analyze quality. It analyzes quantifiable data.

You cannot say by applying principles of Western Classical Music, to Hans Zimmer, who is not a Western Classical composer, and say his music is rubbish. That's like if I came up to you and said I'm going to judge you as a scientist. You'd fail.

The simple scientific fact is, you, Fiery Angel, having been conceived (yes it starts in the womb, with the muffled sounds you hear in the womb), born and raised with the experiences and culture you've been exposed to have formed a vast network of connections in neurons in your brain that are specifically designed to decipher specific patterns of stimuli. So when sound waves hit your ear, your brain looks for specific patterns and dumps the rest. In essence, you are blind to what your brain is not adapted to deal with.

So where, Koray, who has grown up with a different sound palette than you, listens to let's say Hans Zimmer, he is capable of picking up and processing materials in a way your brain can't. In much the same way that someone who's listened to Van Halen all their life cannot fathom what makes classical music good. They simply do not have neurons to process what you or I or anyone on this forum might process.

As a result, I for instance, can listen to a rap song and call it crap, simple music, in comparison to let's say "The Imperial March" But that rap song could very well be mathematically more complex than the Imperial March. It could very well by all measures of quantity be a far more complex song. But I can't process it, so to me it sounds rubbish and simple. "Not to my taste." if you will.

When British penetrated the continent of Africa, they found the tribal African music to be vile, barbaric, unsophisticated. 200 years later when these songs were analyzed by scientists, the scientists found the rhythmic complexity of these tribal pieces passed down through the ages were so much more complicated than what the British were used to with their European composers, they simply could not comprehend it.

Two things we can learn from this:

1) The British had not developed the capacity to process the auditory stimuli they were getting. As such, it made no sense to them.

2) They, therefore, applied the principles of the music they were used to judge the music.

Which is why I challenge you, and Mark, and anyone else who chooses to close cultural doors on themselves due to a feeling of superiority, to open yourself to it. Find something to appreciate in every single bit of music you hear. Be it Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Michael Jackson, Xian Xinghai, whatever. Even if the song is "Pile of Poop" by Pile of Poop.

Don't pretend to be something you're not. You don't have higher taste in music, you're simply aurally deaf to the rest. And I know you all from your postings on these forums well enough to say that most of you wouldn't be satisfied with being that last statement. So challenge yourself to find something to appreciate in something you normally wouldn't. Form new more complicated networks of neurons!

You can choose to dislike music. Fair enough. But please don't pretend you have a capacity that other's don't. Don't pretend you have higher tastes or standards. Because you don't. It's all based on what you're exposed to. Unless you judge music based on the principles of mathematics and the physics of sound. And none of you have done so.

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2. I am really getting a little tired of the label "elitism" just because I have higher demands on the quality of music I hear. in fact, given the state of things in the world today, if elitism means a desire to strive for something better, then I will hold that title up high.

I think it's rather interesting that of all my posts where I deride a composer's output (and rarely the person themself), I have not attacked a forum member here unprovoked. Yet some of you chaps feel it's your duty to defend your composer idol as if they needed it but making personal attacks on me.

You have no need to defend yourself. It's common today for people to settle for mediocrity in all walks of life.

I refuse to subject my listening habits to what I personally consider crappy music and I will admit to it. And I don't care if anyone considers me an elitist or not.

Perfectly put, Mark. I too agree with you and Fiery Angel. Guess we're a little minority however.

On the other hand, film music, even that "good one", is considered inferior by many who are versed in classical music, so if the quality of the writing/composer's talent was your only goal, you would mostly be listening to the music of Bach, Mozart, Chopin and others. Since many of you don't, it's obvious you settle for mediocrity too. Besides, as we know, some find John Williams the same you find Zimmer - a hack whose popularity exceeds his actual achievements and talent.

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While I can see your point Neimoidian, I can admit that while I don't listen to a whole lot of classical music, I do recognize and appreciate the talent of those composers.

There is good music I don't listen to because it's not my taste.

Sorry Blume, but I see no need to continually subject myself to junk I have no pleasure in viewing or listening to.

If that makes me seem like a snobby elitist, then so be it. But if you think I'm a narrowminded person who has no concept of opening up I would welcome you to come walk in my shoes and visit my life both past and present. It may suprise you.

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Oh, I fully agree. His music is just sort of there to me these days.

But if you think I'm a narrowminded person who has no concept ofopening up I would welcome you to come walk in my shoes and visit mylife both past and present. It may suprise you.

I don't believe that Mark. And the reason I rarely if ever question your bashing of...well anything, is because I know even if it's Zimmer, you've given it a shot. The other thing is, you're never overbearing or elitist about it. You're not insulting about your taste, you simply say you don't like it, explain why, and kudos to others who do. That tends to be your attitude. Which is what I admire about you, which is why I rarely pick any debate with you. Occasionally you do sound a little "I'm better than you" about some things, but that is extremely rare. I do that as well. We all do.

My problem is with people who apply their school of thought to everything and consider it the epitome of quality. "My way or the highway." There is a minority of people here that have chosen to spend their lives learning the craft of western classical music. And they are under the false impression that that is the end all and be all of musical standards.

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Classical listeners, I believe, can be too smart for their own good. Meaning, they feel they are more sophisticated than they actually are. I think film score fans are very discerning listeners by virtue of the fact that they can separate music from its narrative source. I find that the charges that classical enthusiasts make against film composers like Williams are very superficial and surprisingly naive. They feel just because they listen to Mozart's Magic Flute that they are somehow more informed than those who can sight read a Williams full score.

Listening taste does not dictate an informed opinion. Anyhoo, I suppose I'm somewhat indiciting myself here as far as my general cynicism of ZImmer goes but I will submit that Williams is still writing at the same level as guys like Prokofiev or Mahler or Bartok- as far as how deep one can uncover the various layers in his compositional approach. I have yet to find that with Zimmer or his co-horts. This is what I love about Williams. His music appeals to both the emotional side of me and the intellectual. I can appreciate and be moved by his music first and foremost, but I can also appreciate it even more when I uncover all of the attributes that makes the listening experience so rewarding.

Hah! I brought us back on topic! Sort of.....

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but I will submit that Williams is still writing at the same level asguys like Prokofiev or Mahler or Bartok- as far as how deep one canuncover the various layers in his compositional approach. I have yet tofind that with Zimmer or his co-horts. This is what I love aboutWilliams. His music appeals to both the emotional side of me and theintellectual. I can appreciate and be moved by his music first andforemost, but I can also appreciate it even more when I uncover all ofthe attributes that makes the listening experience so rewarding.

Well said. And I fully agree with you.

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Classical listeners, I believe, can be too smart for their own good. Meaning, they feel they are more sophisticated than they actually are. I think film score fans are very discerning listeners by virtue of the fact that they can separate music from its narrative source. I find that the charges that classical enthusiasts make against film composers like Williams are very superficial and surprisingly naive. They feel just because they listen to Mozart's Magic Flute that they are somehow more informed than those who can sight read a Williams full score.

Listening taste does not dictate an informed opinion. Anyhoo, I suppose I'm somewhat indiciting myself here as far as my general cynicism of ZImmer goes but I will submit that Williams is still writing at the same level as guys like Prokofiev or Mahler or Bartok- as far as how deep one can uncover the various layers in his compositional approach. I have yet to find that with Zimmer or his co-horts. This is what I love about Williams. His music appeals to both the emotional side of me and the intellectual. I can appreciate and be moved by his music first and foremost, but I can also appreciate it even more when I uncover all of the attributes that makes the listening experience so rewarding.

Hah! I brought us back on topic! Sort of.....

Indeed you did.

Look, Zimmer is a good composer, but more often than not he tends to write film music for the layman. Lots of gloss; but very limited substance - often perfectly suited to the movies he scores - movies for the layman.

The trick is to understand that fact, take it for what it is and not waste your time getting bothered by it.

It's like the old duffer at his grand daughters 18th birthday party: He wants to get home and put The Beach Boys on - "real music", but soon enough he ends up tapping his feet to Britney Spears. He doesn't like her music, but he accepts it for what it is nonetheless. And anyway, he'll still be able to play his Beach Boys album when he gets home.

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Look, Zimmer is a good composer, but more often than not he tends to write film music for the layman. Lots of gloss; but very limited substance - often perfectly suited to the movies he scores - movies for the layman.

The trick is to understand that fact, take it for what it is and not waste your time getting bothered by it.

This is a good point. I tend to get a little too passionate for my own good sometimes. And your assessment of Zimmer is actually spot on. I think the more interesting thing here is how Williams, who does dress up his music in a very complex manner, is so universally loved. It's his inherent talent for writing infectious themes but also his ability to make things that are complex very palpable to everyone, no matter their listening or musical background is.

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That is precisely what separates Williams from Zimmer and a whole host of other successful film composers. The man, as it has been said a million times before, is in a league of his own. But that shouldn't mean one can't find enjoyment in the works of 'lesser' composers either, lord no. And by the same staple, one isn't obliged to embrace something which they just don't like.

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I really enjoyed reading this thread. Great posts/discussions guys. Dave, I'm glad you're more accepting of Zimmer nowadays. You say you don't hate him as a person, but I mean you cannot deny that you once did, or rather made it seem that you did. I clearly recall a thread like last year or so where you accused him of being a business man who's only purpose was to steal film projects from other composers.

As for the Sherlock Holmes samples, I was actually a bit disappointed by the rest of the score. It doesn't have as much of that unique instrumentation the first cue had and is your standard Zimmer action, but I really like it nonetheless, because well, I like Zimmer's style. The second to last, 18 minute, track should be awesome.

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I would just like to add my two cents here - while it's true that Zimmer often delivers 'popcorn' scores for typical Hollywood action movies (The Rock, Broken Arrow etc), I cannot agree that his scores are always 'all flash, no substance'. His score for Lion King was truly emotional and beautiful - in the second half of "...To Die For", the tragic scoring Hans did was, IMO, as brilliant as could be done. The score for the finale gave the scene the ultimate feeling of triumph even as I watched the film as a child, and I feel the visuals would be incomplete without it. The track "Leave No Man Behind" from Black Hawk Down is a beautiful musical personification of the emotional aspect of the soldiers that I find to be one of the most touching themes ever by Zimmer. "Homeland" from Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimmarron and "Stone In My Heart" from Thin Red Line are other good examples.

Just my honest opinion. ;)

I'm liking the Sherlock Holmes samples BTW. Looking forward to getting the complete soundtrack.

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Yes you have good points. Out of all the hours worth of music Hans has put out to say none of it is technically well done is very biased and plain wrong. He's done some very solid work in his career and he's an effective composer for film which is why he us where he us in the film score food chain.

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And when i just scrolled down my favourite iTunes scores of the last year, the Powell-Zimmer collab of KUNG FU PANDA ranks high. It has those MV stamps, but very tricky orchestrations and longer, well-developed cues, too. How anyone with a penchant for playful scores of yesteryear can listen to this score and isn't able to find one cue which isn't "pure crap" just has no ears.

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And when i just scrolled down my favourite iTunes scores of the last year, the Powell-Zimmer collab of KUNG FU PANDA ranks high. It has those MV stamps, but very tricky orchestrations and longer, well-developed cues, too. How anyone with a penchant for playful scores of yesteryear can listen to this score and isn't able to find one cue which isn't "pure crap" just has no ears.

Kung Fu panda is a very good score although I would ascribe the style being more Powell than Zimmer. I know Powell's music very well since I own most of his canon and a lot of licks are very much his thing. Not to disparage Zimmer though. I cannot know for certain how the work was divided up.

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I'm pleased to say the score on CD is really good, the 18min cue is very impressive and is almost as scored in the final film (minus approx 4mins)

Koray, you'll be glad to hear that Modern Warfare is being released in the new year - Zimmer confirmed this himself when I chatted to him yesterday.

FSM Online subscribers will be able to catch the full interview when it goes live Thurs / Fri. Hope you enjoy it!

:D

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I'm pleased to say the score on CD is really good, the 18min cue is very impressive and is almost as scored in the final film (minus approx 4mins)

So is there a silly edit on the CD to remove the 4mins? Or are the extra 4mins an insert in the film?? :D You sure it's not a Williams album?! :)

Are the main & end titles included? These are usually absent from Zimmer's releases I find, so I'm guessing they'll be missing, or even submerged within another track.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interview with Hans on the score at AICN

As always, he gives a good interview.

SK: You brunt criticism for employing other composers who receive “additional music by” credits in the films that you score. Fair or not, this has led to speculations that you don't write portions of your music. Using SHERLOCK HOLMES as an example, can you take us through your scoring process and how your team of composers and orchestrators fit into the overall big picture?

HZ: I’ll happily do that. Look, years ago the studio system had orchestrators, arrangers, and copyists. There was a team of people employed and they were on the payroll. That all went by the wayside.

When I got into film, I worked as an assistant for another film composer. A man named Stanley Myers. That’s how I learned to do film music. He always gave me a credit. Sometimes I had done hardly anything. I was just around and might have contributed an idea or something but he always gave me credit. I thought it was great that he never treated me like a ghostwriter.

I don’t think people should be anonymous. I think people should be acknowledged. How else are their careers going to happen? How else are we going to have new voices unless we promote the Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powells? Those two guys are the perfect examples of people who I insisted upon giving music credit.

To get to the specificity on, "Do I write this thing or not?" I mean, yes I write it. I write it probably more and more singularly than anybody who writes on paper – the old fashioned way you would write your notes on paper the note is the symbol that tells you the pitch and the duration of the note.

I write in a computer. Every note that is being played has at one point or another been played by me. I surround myself with really good programmers as well. Once I set the tune and the outline of it, people are filling it. Plus, I value people coming up with other ideas. It's a conversation. It's like being in a band. People contribute and that to me is additional music.

Maybe it's some perverse thing in me whereby I am always going a little bit against the grain, but you look at all films…Look at THE DARK KNIGHT. It’s very much a Chris Nolan movie. There can be no doubt about it. But was there a collaborative process? Sure! Are there other people involved? Sure! Do they have a voice and contribute to that voice? Sure!

The SHERLOCK HOLMES score is my score. Do I have people coming in and doing arrangements? Look, I’m not a great percussionist. I’ll hire great percussionists and I’ll give them an outline and I’ll give them a beat. So I suppose I had written it but by the time he has finished it, he will have contributed an enormous amount of depth to it.

I work a lot with Scotsman – which is appropriate on SHERLOCK HOLMES – a guy named Lorne Balfe. He is a brilliant programmer, a brilliant arranger, and a brilliant musician. We talked about every note. So, yes, I am going to have him credited as “Additional Music.” At the end of the day it doesn’t take away from me. My ego isn’t that fragile. I don’t have to have the big credit.

You and I know – and we don’t have to mention the name of the movie – there was a big hit movie out there a few years ago that I don’t have a name on in the titles and I wrote the score. They started putting my name onto the sequels.

I feel music is about playing. I feel that music is about getting a bunch of people around you and actually making music together. In one way or the other, I always like to have them acknowledged. I remember when I started out it was really exciting when I got a credit. That sounds ridiculous. My mother used to phone me up and say “Hey, I just saw your movie and I saw your credit!” which was somewhere at the very end of the roll. It meant something to her and that meant something to me, you know?

By the way, I have to fight for those credits with the studios. Studios don’t really want to give credits to anybody else. They just want my name up there.

SK: Let me ask you this…Can you at least sympathize with Burlingame's assertions? I’ve heard this sentiment echoed before. Why do you think the state of film music is perceived this way?

HZ: (pause)…I think partly what it's referring to is a particular type of film music which is big orchestral scores. Look, Jerry Goldsmith isn't around anymore. Elmer Bernstein isn't around anymore. Ennio Morricone doesn't do that much in America. So we have John Williams who doesn't do that much anymore and James Horner. James and John are the great composers of the era and they truly are great composers. There's not denying that they're incredible talents. But it's not necessary that we make those types of movies.

By the way, this discussion was going on in the 80's as well when everybody put pop songs into their movie, "Nobody recognizes the poor composer anymore.” Who can really remember the composer of THE GRADUATE? It was Dave Grusin but everybody remembers Paul Simon's song.

Every once in a while everybody has to have a good moan and shake it off a bit and yes, these are tougher times. The economy is in the toilet and it’s tougher to get your movie green-lit and it’s tougher to go and do daring things when it’s exactly a perfect period in time where we should be doing daring things. We should be entertaining. We should be outrageous and come up with new things and try to make our voices heard in a way.

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