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The Psycho Pianist

Zimmer vs Williams

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No, this isn't clickbait. Seriously a concert I went to last night.

 

But it got me thinking. Who'd win if it were a boxing match? I'm thinking Zimmer would throw the first punch, then abruptly turn around and step out of the ring, whilst a posse of leaner, meaner guys take to the fore to close in on Williams. But then JW would, in Dumbledore-esque fashion, produce some astounding counter-attack using a combination of only his trusted black turtleneck and baton.

 

Apologies if this is TOO light-hearted by the way. ;)

 

Zimmer_vs_Williams.jpg

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3 hours ago, Prerecorded Briefing said:

Both masters of the craft.  What a joy it is to be able to enjoy them equally!

 

4 minutes ago, Sandor said:

Great program. Whoever made the selections, certainly got it right.

 

Meh. They're both the usual overplayed hits. Could have picked more interesting choices on both parts.

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3 hours ago, KK said:

 

 

Meh. They're both the usual overplayed hits. Could have picked more interesting choices on both parts.

 

For us: yes. But these concerts tend to draw audiences greater than just the die-hard film music fans. For many it might have been their first ever film music concert, heck; perhaps even the first time to see an orchestra perform live. 

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1 minute ago, KK said:

More versatile than the LSO?

 

Definitely!

 

2 minutes ago, Sandor said:

For many it might have been their first ever film music concert, heck; perhaps even the first time to see an orchestra perform live. 

 

Or even a synth performed live, too!

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That I can agree with. Purely as a composer I wouldn't say Zimmer is all that versatile.

 

2 hours ago, Sandor said:

 

For us: yes. But these concerts tend to draw audiences greater than just the die-hard film music fans. For many it might have been their first ever film music concert, heck; perhaps even the first time to see an orchestra perform live. 

 

Very true. If they organized concerts with a program only designed to please die-hard soundtrack fans ticket sales would be non-existstant. 

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2 hours ago, Luke Skywalker said:

So who did win?

 

With the concert program...it's clear :P

 

Must have been a relief to hear the superman march after the man of steel drone suite....

 

Oh, Williams won by a mile. Of course aided by the fact that almost all of the HZ arrangements were lacking the power of the original versions (brass in particular), whereas the Williams pieces are exquisitely orchestrated and were designed from the ground up for that ensemble. ;)

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I don't think you can separate "producing" from "composing" anymore, especially in film music.  

 

When you just look at the overall aesthetic flexibility of both composers, of the diversity of the types of ensembles and harmonic languages and overall styles used, one of them definitely does have a more varied, versatile, output.  

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1 minute ago, Prerecorded Briefing said:

I don't think you can separate "producing" from "composing" anymore, especially in film music.  

 

Ridiculous!

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John Williams can compose a brilliant score using just a piano, pencil and paper. Zimmer needs a whole host of technology to do the same.

 

It's completely clear who's the better composer, and its not even a case of apples versus oranges!

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How is that ridiculous, Jay?  The ubiquity of technology has made it necessary for any composer to also have some measure of facility with the various aspects of music production as well.  Some have equal facility with both.  Some utilize those things as a part of their fundamental creative process, as popular music people have been doing for decades. 

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15 hours ago, Prerecorded Briefing said:

Both masters of the craft.  What a joy it is to be able to enjoy them equally!

 

You said it. Totally agreed.

 

Wish the Zimmer part was heavier on the 90s and 80s stuff, but other than that -- looks like a great concert!

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40 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

You said it. Totally agreed.

 

Wish the Zimmer part was heavier on the 90s and 80s stuff, but other than that -- looks like a great concert!

 

Yes, would love to have heard the likes of Crimson Tide (with synth drums overdubbed) or Driving Miss Daisy. Guess people just don't know those as well. The Batman Begins suite was nice although I'm pretty sure the melodic parts are JNH-written.

 

On Williams, the only thing I would change is Throne Room. If only they could've scheduled in Princess Leia's theme at the last minute as a tribute (although Pete Harrison the conductor did dedicate Throne Room to Carrie Fisher). 

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4 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Yes. Zimmer's music doesn't always come out well translated to a standard orchestra performance. He doesn't often write like that.

And the weird thing about that is that often the ones most frequently dismissed as produced by Zimmer sound infinitely better with a live orchestra.  Dead Man's Chest live to projection was one of the best concerts I've ever attended.

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15 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

Well, he is a more versatile composer...

 

8 hours ago, Prerecorded Briefing said:

  

 

When you just look at the overall aesthetic flexibility of both composers, of the diversity of the types of ensembles and harmonic languages and overall styles used, one of them definitely does have a more varied, versatile, output.  

 

Yes in your minds.

 

Versatility is not if you use some different computer program of different ensemble. It is there in the composition. But of course you cannot hear the difference.

16 hours ago, Quintus said:

I do enjoy the music of both Hans Zimmer and John Williams

 

Yes 11% of hansu and 94% of

Johnny

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On 12/28/2016 at 10:46 AM, Prerecorded Briefing said:

I don't think you can separate "producing" from "composing" anymore, especially in film music.  

 

On 12/28/2016 at 10:47 AM, Jay said:

Ridiculous!

 

On 12/28/2016 at 10:51 AM, Prerecorded Briefing said:

How is that ridiculous, Jay?  The ubiquity of technology has made it necessary for any composer to also have some measure of facility with the various aspects of music production as well.  Some have equal facility with both.  Some utilize those things as a part of their fundamental creative process, as popular music people have been doing for decades. 

 

On 12/28/2016 at 10:52 AM, Jay said:

Composing is composing, producing is producing!

 

On 12/28/2016 at 10:53 AM, Prerecorded Briefing said:

Ok.  Let it never be speculated on why I don't really post seriously anymore. 

 

 

While there are many composers who will get involved in aspects of the music production, and some music producers who will have to do some composing, I don't think its fair to say that they can no longer be separated, that's a Huuuuuuuuuge stretch.  Some, there are some guys who can do both very well, of course.  But there will always be a need to specialists in each, who leave the duties of the other to specialists in that.

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Oh get real. 

 

Thanks for the further response there, Jason.  I do still disagree though - the lines have become incredibly blurred as more and more composition happens in the box.  It's now the exception to find anyone who isn't constantly doing both and being informed in one by what they do in the other.  Of course, Zimmer still hands things off to Meyerson, however good he is on his own.  But so much more production happens these days in the composer's own hands than used to be the case, that I think we have to acknowledge its being as important a part of the process as coming up with the notes themselves.  So Quint's statement, which was all I was responding to in the first place, is somewhat askew to me. 

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The working practice has changed. That hardly means that Zimmer is equal to Williams.

 

Like I said. Williams can write an entire score, or concert work using just a piano, pencil and paper. He needs to imagine what every single instrument will sound like while writing in his office or at home. Everything playing in his head. And not untill he stands in front of the orchestra does he hear the real thing.

 

Modern composers use all kinds of samplers, sequencers, software to basically do much of the work for them. They don't need to imagine what it will sound like. They can click a few buttons and hear a close enough approximation than and there. They don't need to anticipate in the way John Williams or other composers who still do it old school do.

 

You can't tell me that thats little more that a semantic difference?

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Stefan, we've all been over this so, so many times.  How many different ways can I say that you're wrong?  I just don't care anymore. 

 

It's a truly shit card to play, I know, but: until you do it, don't assume you understand it. 

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For the sake of anyone actually looking to be informed on the subject, let's cut the BS and acknowledge that it has been discusse many times on here, that the same detailed cases are made every time by all involved, and that one must draw one's own conclusions on what is right (hint: however you best create music is what's right). 

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Actually no. What I wrote is how I genuinely feel about it. And I've yet to be given a compelling argument against it.

 

But if you claim you have attempted several times I won't press the issue. Like Gia on Rogue One, the result isn't satisfying, but you cant blame the effort...

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As much as I respect Zimmer for what Zimmer does, the comparison between him and Williams is akin to comparing Paul McCartney to Mozart. 

 

Put very simply, Williams represents an entirely different culture. 

 

 

 

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