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Westworld Scoring Competition


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I wasn't too interested in this whole competition, besides maybe taking pre-existing music and lining it up with the footage for funsies. But seeing the absolute divide from the winner made me really curious in wanting to listen to it.

And honestly: I thought it was great? It's definitely the most interesting thing I've heard in ages. That chiptune/electronica/orchestral fusion is really inspired, and gave the scene a particular energy that most modern approaches would simply lack. Might it have been overdone and not fully fitting of the scene? Perhaps, but I'd much rather have something the composer really put a lot of thought into than something that feels like it came out of the factory. The initial laugh that I had (that seems to be a recurring first reaction) was more out of joy than disbelief over what I was hearing. It actually made me interested in hearing what else this guy did, so kudos for that.

Quite frankly, I do wonder if a lot of the backlash is people being too accustomed to the scores of today. Considering the most exposure the average peep has over any film music now is whatever seemed "epic" to them, is anything that's not just your regular action music too ludicrous? Like there was one video I saw a while back that slammed Ottman's X-Men theme, but absolutely adored Jackman's First Class. It just makes me go to what I've wondered about recently, if music has simply gotten too serious these days. The runner ups sounded alright, but they were mostly in line with what you'd expect from someone who's looking at modern sensibilities. Maybe that's why the winner appealed to me so much, since it has that sense of fun that I find is just missing so often now.

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This situation is getting parodies now:    

HBO & Spitfire Audio recently teamed up for a worldwide scoring competiton. It was a great opportunity to score a car chase. This is my entry:     I posted a breakdow

Quoted for reference:  

19 minutes ago, HunterTech said:

Quite frankly, I do wonder if a lot of the backlash is people being too accustomed to the scores of today. Considering the most exposure the average peep has over any film music now is whatever seemed "epic" to them, is anything that's not just your regular action music too ludicrous? 

I think that's exactly what it is.  Young composers who take themselves too seriously and have very basic dramatic instincts.

"I'm gonna make this car chase so epic and emoshunal!!"

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You know when I found out that there was over 11,000 entries I was, as a composer, overwhelmed with despair. How could I compete in an industry with so many others? Then I saw the vitriolic reaction a good half of them had to the winner and I suddenly felt a lot better about myself. The sheer lack of awareness is staggering. The whole thing is a microcosmic producer/director/composer relationship in a nutshell; they're literally disagreeing with the judgement of the show's creators and think they know better. They'll never break in with that attitude.

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34 minutes ago, Docteur Qui said:

You know when I found out that there was over 11,000 entries I was, as a composer, overwhelmed with despair. How could I compete in an industry with so many others? Then I saw the vitriolic reaction a good half of them had to the winner and I suddenly felt a lot better about myself. The sheer lack of awareness is staggering.

 

Not only lack of awareness, but complete lack of a) originality and b) knowledge of CONTEXT (i.e. what the episode is actually about, and what goes on inside Aaron Paul's head). Most of the entries I've seen took the scene at face value, with superficial action tropes we've heard a million times before. The winning entry dared to be both original and take the context into consideration, and then play around with that.

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I'm absolutely aware that I didn't walked a new path here. But besides the 8bit sound the winner didn't too. I love it btw. I have to say I wasn't interested in the context of the scene to the series and it was my intention to only score whats on screen. So the whole drug thing wasn't important to me as no single take in that scene was from the guys perspective. Just curious, would you classify my track as generic? I tried to avoid sounding like a Hans Zimmer clone but maybe I failed!

 

 

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The only real thing I disagree with (or find out of my place) regarding the winning entry is the use of that Spanish trumpet that intervienes a couple of times. I don't understand what the hell is doing there :lol:

 

But apart from that I've been humming the main melody since I've heard it, so no complaints from me.

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13 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

The only real thing I disagree with (or find out of my place) regarding the winning entry is the use of that Spanish trumpet that intervienes a couple of times. I don't understand what the hell is doing there :lol:

 

But apart from that I've been humming the main melody since I've heard it, so no complaints from me.

 

Do you also think French horn only should be used in French music? :P

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1 hour ago, Muad'Dib said:

The only real thing I disagree with (or find out of my place) regarding the winning entry is the use of that Spanish trumpet that intervienes a couple of times. I don't understand what the hell is doing there :lol:

 

But apart from that I've been humming the main melody since I've heard it, so no complaints from me.

 You may like this too ;)

 

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Coming back to it again, I do like the melody (though it seems that's not necessarily quite his), it's the sound effects recreations that are just stupid, and the end that breaks into this epuc swelling orchestra finale for... that total nothing ending where they just... stop and get out of the car so they can do nothing while the motorbike takes out the nonthreatening unclear car slowly chasing them for them. That feels like a major misscore.

 

Also if we're simulating the industry, they should realise the scene is shit, trim 90% of the shots, reorder a part, hack up the music accordingly, patch it over with unrelated pitchshifted segments or just leave the tempo mangled, replace it at one point with the crap original temp they edited to, and tell the composer he can only get his money if they can now replace the video with the new version forever.

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I still have very mixed feeling about the whole fiasco. But I will admit David sure did have some balls.

 

It strange and kind of ironic; normally I look down at conformity, and constantly shit on people like Hans who write more derivative/modern/bland music. Yet at the same time I found myself shitting on David Kudell for doing something so strangely different and unexpected. I've thought about it a bit the last few days... shouldn't *art* be unique and different? Isn't that the whole point of it, for artists to have their own voice? Yet I was complaining that it didn't sound the way that *I* wanted it to sound, or thought it should sound. And I'm still not a fan of David's cue, and I still think it's a bizarre choice... but at the same time, isn't that a good thing? It's just a really weird situation that Spitfire has put us in. It's like they purposely chose this music to make us all think.

 

Another thing that made my think: Ramin Dwaj- voted for this piece. Ramin, the guy we poke fun at for writing the same crap as Hans, and for seemingly not having an ear for melody. Yet he thought this was the best choice for the scene. It made me think; what if Ramin isn't as shitty of a composer as we sometimes think of him as? What if the reason his music is so bland and contemporary is because the directors he works for typically want his music to sound that way? And perhaps this is the judges' way of saying that don't support that uniform style of writing the same type of music over and over again like mindless drones.

 

Any way, I just woke up and I'm half asleep, so that's why I went on this strange rant.

 

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The thing is, I have no hard feelings towards the winner. His entry is pretty cool. Just didn’t think anyone truly expected that to win. It’s a scoring competition. You wouldn’t truly hear that on a tv show like westworld. And give me a break Christian, comparing the winning entry to Stravinsky and saying Kubrick and all those other directors would have voted for that entry. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Heh, just watched the wining video, and I thought it was fun, and now I got the main melody running through my head...

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Well the YouTube comments under both videos - the winning entry and the Spitfire's guy response to the reaction - are sure interesting. A few peope are pissed that the winner had worked with J.J. Abrams before, others are pissed their submissions never got viewed/listened to, and others are pissed at the Spitfire guy for saying "rules are made to be broken" refering to the rules of his own competition. Fascinating readiing!

1 hour ago, pete said:

A few peope are pissed that the winner had worked with J.J. Abrams before

 

The composer addressed that in a tweet. Said he never met J.J. and J.J. would have no idea who he is. He was just one of 100s of people working on one of the MI films. Sounds reasonable. 

Screenshot in this video at 10:40:

 

 

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