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Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste - SOUL (2020)


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2 hours ago, Raiders of the SoundtrArk said:

I would agree if they'd have share it with Jon Batiste but yeah it was the best one among the nominees.

I haven't heard it. Wasn't MANK better?

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1 hour ago, filmmusic said:

I haven't heard it. Wasn't MANK better?

Well I've only listen once to Mank which I haven't seen while I've heard three times Soul and seen the movie, so I'm not sure of being quite objective. All I'll say is that I really like the jazz part from Soul while Mank didn't get much of my attention... But I'll have to listen to Mank again to be certain.

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Both MANK and SOUL are fine scores, but for very different reasons.

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8 hours ago, Raiders of the SoundtrArk said:

I would agree if they'd have share it with Jon Batiste but yeah it was the best one among the nominees.

 

What do you mean? Batiste is part of the group. He's not being left out.

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The score just received another award, now of the Society of Composers and Lyricists.

 

http://moviemusicuk.us/2021/03/03/scl-award-winners-2020/

 

Resznor, Ross and Baptiste can celebrate: the Academy Award is already theirs. 

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On 3/1/2021 at 2:13 AM, Raiders of the SoundtrArk said:

Just for the FYC and the suggestion of movies that I don't heard of.

They send out FYC for the GG?

2 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

 

 

Resznor, Ross and Baptiste can celebrate: the Academy Award is already theirs. 

BatisTE

I'm looking forward to seeing this when it comes to video.

I've avoided trailers and music clips so it will be fresh!

I'm looking forward to seeing this when it comes to video.

I've avoided trailers and music clips so it will be fresh!

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"For Your Consideration" albums are not created for 1 specific awards, they are a promotional release to present the score for consideration for any award

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was listening to the Soul director's commentary. As already guesses, this was "suite scoring" as well.

 

In that the modern approach, composers write suites and send to film-makers. Film-makers apply it as wallpapers and for some scenes do some syncing.

 

Nobody really "scores" to the picture today it seems. You just write suites which are edited it in at will.

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I always assumed that suites were written, the filmmakers use those as temp music and then the score is written based on where the filmmakers put material they liked from the suites...is that really not the case?

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2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Nobody really "scores" to the picture today it seems. 

 

Good. It encourages music to be written beyond just functionality for a scene. It's great when composers get to distill their whole take on a film, its language, its character and aesthetic into absolute pieces of music. And from there, work on shaping it to the nitty gritty beats of the picture. I think there's more artistry to that than just having a composer show up 3 weeks before a deadline and create sonic wallpaper for the film (which a lot of more "traditional" film composers do a ton of these days)

 

Also, it's animation. They've always demanded music as early as possible, and long before a proper cut is assembled. You can hear Newman talk about writing pieces of music to pages, or just pre-viz sketches. The composer needs to help dictate a rhythm for the animators to work around.

 

And fyi, I thought Reznor/Ross' score was just functional and definitely does not deserve the Oscar. They should have hired Newman and had him work with Batiste (who created the best parts of this score). But I can totally understand why they'd want an edgier sound with the duo. I just don't think they necessarily delivered on that expectation.

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55 minutes ago, KK said:

But I can totally understand why they'd want an edgier sound with the duo. I just don't think they necessarily delivered on that expectation.

 

I'd go one step further and say it sounds as if their salary was tied to the avoidance of any motion or musical idea whatsoever.

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Doctor explicitly addressed this in the commentary. He said Pixar has a typical sound - typically orchestral scoring for the most part, he said they wanted to throw the audience for a loop and show that Pixar could do something different as well.

 

As a side note, while the film has some nice ideas, it is a really lame and tired film compared to usual Pixar. Definitely one of their thinnest stories in years.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/17/2020 at 6:28 PM, LSH said:

 

Like I said, I'm intrigued. But from what I've seen from the trailer and clips.... it looks very PIXAR. And I want it to make me cry.

It made ME cry.

😊

On 12/17/2020 at 7:53 PM, TheUlyssesian said:

Pixar has definitely lost their magic a bit. Their run from 2007 to 2010 - with Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 is a skull-crushing string of genius -  magnificent movies all of them.

 

Inside Out came close to them - again a very good, and frankly quite an elaborate and complex film. Soul definitely looks to be their most original since Inside Out.

 

 

This is actually a little bit embarrassing for a composer I might imagine. Namely that they hired a composer for the film, but they had to hire a different composer to address the main milieu of the film - like Jazz.

 

Let's be honest, if they had hired Gia - he would write the entire music. Or maybe even Tom Newman. Can you imagine hiring JW for a project like this - based around jazz music and he isn't allowed to write the jazz music?

 

 

The main character is a jazz pianist.

BatisTE is a jazz pianist.

Good casting in my.book!

 

I don't know how it was mixed for cinemas, but the UHD 5.1 put the electronic music in.the surrounds- so it REALLY stood out-

Especially since they were installed in baffles in the ceiling!

One would think this would please Jwfan where complaints about " drowned out " scores are common!

 

I really liked what RR did. If you find it ' uunmusicl' I guess you dislike Ravel, Satie, Debussy etc

 

 

I see it got a CD release!

😄

I also see it's just a collection of cues-45!- with no attempt to.make a cohesive album, like Zimmer always does.😞

I can't win.😥

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On 3/22/2021 at 7:52 AM, TheUlyssesian said:

Was listening to the Soul director's commentary. As already guesses, this was "suite scoring" as well.

 

In that the modern approach, composers write suites and send to film-makers. Film-makers apply it as wallpapers and for some scenes do some syncing.

 

Nobody really "scores" to the picture today it seems. You just write suites which are edited it in at will.

 

I think the endless edits of today's filmmaking world has something to do with that. Why score to picture when you will make 1000 edits afterwards to the scene?

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2 hours ago, Mephariel said:

 

I think the endless edits of today's filmmaking world has something to do with that. Why score to picture when you will make 1000 edits afterwards to the scene?

 

True that. One problem causes the other.

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14 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

It made ME cry.

😊

The main character is a jazz pianist.

BatisTE is a jazz pianist.

Good casting in my.book!

 

I don't know how it was mixed for cinemas, but the UHD 5.1 put the electronic music in.the surrounds- so it REALLY stood out-

Especially since they were installed in baffles in the ceiling!

One would think this would please Jwfan where complaints about " drowned out " scores are common!

 

I really liked what RR did. If you find it ' uunmusicl' I guess you dislike Ravel, Satie, Debussy etc

 

 

I see it got a CD release!

😄

I also see it's just a collection of cues-45!- with no attempt to.make a cohesive album, like Zimmer always does.😞

I can't win.😥

 

 

On 3/22/2021 at 9:59 AM, TSMefford said:

I always assumed that suites were written, the filmmakers use those as temp music and then the score is written based on where the filmmakers put material they liked from the suites...is that really not the case?

Well, the ' suites' are mock-ups.

So, when it comes to spotting the film they are usually rerecorded - at least in orchestral scores

 

 

Is this legit?Screenshot_2021-04-04-13-26-43.png

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Another award for Soul. Geez, this thing will win every prize for film scores imaginable:

 

 

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Well deserved.

 I ' love' it when JWFAN

whines and walls  over scores that DESERVE to win awards.

BLACK PANTHER

GRAVITY

JOKER

SOCIAL NETWORK....

 

Don't ask me why😅

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Frisbees like this one is why the soundtrack genre is dying. 

There's no reason why you would pay any double digit price for a disc pressed full of irrelevant ambiance. 

 

I don't believe for a second that any of these people who voted for this listened to even one minute consciously. 

 

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15 hours ago, gkgyver said:

Frisbees like this one is why the soundtrack genre is dying. 

There's no reason why you would pay any double digit price for a disc pressed full of irrelevant ambiance. 

 

I don't believe for a second that any of these people who voted for this listened to even one minute consciously. 

 

 

I think it is the opposite. I think if anything, they are the ones that actually watched the film and listened to the music there.

 

Ross and Reznor were writing for a million dollar movie, not for a disc. That is someone a lot of film music fans still don't understand.

16 minutes ago, superultramegaa said:

Well, decided to listen to this score after looking through this topic and seeing many here give praise to it. Jon Batiste should have done the whole score, without a doubt. I'm sure he could have made some heartwarming orchestral / jazz pieces that would have worked brilliantly. I'm in agreement with @TheUlyssesian that Thomas Newman has danced circles around the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score before it was even written (if you can call loading in a bunch of Logic instruments and playing basic harmonies and looping melodies written). 

 

"Pursuit/Terry's World" is the only Reznor/Ross cue worth a damn. Where it mixes the Jazz style, and beautifully/seamlessly mixes it into a similar sounding synth piece. The rest is the same simplistic, pleasant, ambient piano and synth that people like Hans Zimmer or RCP composers in general, Thomas Newman, and various video game composers have done again, and again, and again, often doing it better.

 

It's not impressive, it's not revolutionary, it's not interesting to listen to, it's not special, it's typical. It's the new generic. The fact that these type of scores that work fine in the film get awards as often as they do, is a testament to how low people's standards for music have gotten. This is a score I and many other amateur composers could have written within a month at most, if I spent a day on each cue. 

 

"Well it worked really well in the film." Sometimes silence works really well in films. Doesn't mean we should praise the music for not existing. A more melodic score for this movie probably would have worked as well, would have had more effort and skill put into it, and would've been a more rich listening experience in film and outside of the film. These 2 composers were chosen because they're associated with a lot of really good movies, and many audiences, critics, and directors follow a very simplistic logic for film music. If the movie sucks, the music sucks because it emphasized crap writing. If the movie is great, then the music was great and fit the film perfectly. 

 

I disagree with this. The strength of the movie is that it doesn’t have a conventional narrative. If this movie is about a princess going on an adventure slaying a dragon, then a more traditional, melodic score would make sense. You want the music to guide to you through the action and triumph/heartache. But while watching Soul, I had no idea where the story was going other than to expect a happy ending. Everything was conceptual and abstract and there were many twists and turns. The music that Ross and Reznor did reflected that. It never gave hints to the consequences of each action.

 

So no, I don’t necessarily agree that a more melodic score would have worked better. Like it or not, film music exists to serve the director’s vision. They don’t exist for film music fans.

 

With that said, I agree Soul is not a revolutionary score. It is a good score that wasn’t close to being a top pick for my top 10 of 2020. But certainly, it is not as bad as people made it to be either.

 

Lastly, I am glad they didn't go with Thomas Newman. It didn't have to be R&R, but at least they got someone new. Disney needs to stop being so risk adverse. 

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27 minutes ago, Mephariel said:

I disagree with this. The strength of the movie is that it doesn’t have a conventional narrative. If this movie is about a princess going on an adventure slaying a dragon, then a more traditional, melodic score would make sense. You want the music to guide to you through the action and triumph/heartache. But while watching Soul, I had no idea where the story was going other than to expect a happy ending. Everything was conceptual and abstract and there were many twists and turns. The music that Ross and Reznor did reflected that. It never gave hints as to what consequences of each action.

 

First, orchestral music with themes can have ambiguity and not necessarily tell you where it's going. LOTR is a quintessential example of an epic orchestral operatic score, and there are times where the music leaves the audience wondering where it's gonna go. That's almost the definition of musical tension that people like Wagner perfected in. It doesn't have to be simplistic. The Sixth Sense also succeeds in this (yes I know a lot of people say certain themes give the twist away, but the themes in that movie I think are purposefully hard to assign a label to). 

 

Second, even if you still think it needed a more unconventional style, what is jazz often most known for? Being an often strange and unconventional musical style that often gives nothing away of where it's going to go. This is why I also think that they should have just had Jon Batiste compose the whole score if they didn't want a traditional orchestra. I think Ross and Reznor just went with the most obvious approach, with "Ooh, weird ambience that doesn't convey much! Whoo! How mysterious!" 

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11 minutes ago, superultramegaa said:

First, orchestral music with themes can have ambiguity and not necessarily tell you where it's going. LOTR is a quintessential example of an epic orchestral operatic score, and there are times where the music leaves the audience wondering where it's gonna go. That's almost the definition of musical tension that people like Wagner perfected in. It doesn't have to be simplistic. The Sixth Sense also succeeds in this (yes I know a lot of people say certain themes give the twist away, but the themes in that movie I think are purposefully hard to assign a label to). 

 

Second, even if you still think it needed a more unconventional style, what is jazz often most known for? Being an often strange and unconventional musical style that often gives nothing away of where it's going to go. This is why I also think that they should have just had Jon Batiste compose the whole score if they didn't want a traditional orchestra. I think Ross and Reznor just went with the most obvious approach, with "Ooh, weird ambience that doesn't convey much! Whoo! How mysterious!" 

 

What you said about LORT and Sixth Sense is fine. But I think Soul is more abstract than those movies. Those movies are far more straight forward telling their emotional journeys. The whole point of Batiste not composing the whole score is to contrast the different realms. They wanted two different soundscapes for two different worlds. I don’t understand how using electronic ambience is any more obvious than using Wagner techniques, especially since Disney hasn’t really gone this route before with their Pixar films.

 

Again, I am not sure their way of scoring is the only way that can work for this film, but for what it is, I think it is fine. I think people overact because it is Reznor and Ross.

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I think you're misunderstanding or overlooking the purpose of the score here, superultrasomething. The point is that the afterlife (or pre-life) is a sort of tabula rasa; their story isn't written yet. So a stark, ethereal, "blank" electronic landscape perfectly mirrors that existence. Vice versa, the jazz music stands in warm contrast as full of life. It's the contrast between the two that makes the score, and the story, and the film.

 

I've never understand this tendency to wish scores were in a preferred musical idiom, without taking into consideration the particular purpose and theme of the film the music is accompanying.

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I think the point is - even take the movie's premise is a given - what's delivered by R & R is extremely basic - video game and youtube video level accompaniment and not worthy of a thousand awards.

 

It's the kind of score Thomas Newman could have written in his sleep with his brain 90% lobotomized. And you can bet he still wouldn't have won an Oscar for it.

 

The bar for these "new" composers is really low.

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I don't find it basic at all. I find the R&R cues to be very sophisticated. They were perfectly cast for this, and I'm thankful Newman was nowhere near this. I mean, I love him, but I'd rather have specialists in that particular idiom doing it.

 

R&R are great composers who have really pushed the envelope in recent years - especially with MID90s, MANK and SOUL. Showed a range I hadn't heard before. God bless 'em!

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6 minutes ago, Thor said:

I think you're misunderstanding or overlooking the purpose of the score here, superultrasomething. The point is that the afterlife (or pre-life) is a sort of tabula rasa; their story isn't written yet. So a stark, ethereal, "blank" electronic landscape perfectly mirrors that existence. Vice versa, the jazz music stands in warm contrast as full of life. It's the contrast between the two that makes the score, and the story, and the film.

 

I've never understand this tendency to wish scores were in a preferred musical idiom, without taking into consideration the particular purpose and theme of the film the music is accompanying.

No I get what both of you is saying. Once again, you can easily do this with orchestra and jazz, or a Thomas Newman-like approach. Composers have found many ways of conveying different worlds and moods through many different instruments. I like electronic music. I don't just like one musical idiom. I even said I thought "Pursuit/Terry's World" was very well done. The issue is the electronics never get to that level of sophistication in the writing ever again. 

 

I think the issue is, electronic music is relatively recent, so we think the most basic progressions and sound design are more impressive than they really are. I firmly believe any amateur composer could have cranked the R&R part of this score out in a month at most. I know what my ears hear, and what they hear is barren, simplistic music.

 

You want to say the barren, forgettable music is the point and made for artistic reasons? Fine, I get that, that makes sense. To praise this score however as anything but serviceable to the movie? I can never agree. 

 

11 minutes ago, Thor said:

I don't find it basic at all. I find the R&R cues to be very sophisticated. They were perfectly cast for this, and I'm thankful Newman was nowhere near this. I mean, I love him, but I'd rather have specialists in that particular idiom doing it.

 

R&R are great composers who have really pushed the envelope in recent years - especially with MID90s, MANK and SOUL. Showed a range I hadn't heard before. Good bless 'em!

Newman isn't a specialist? There are plenty of Newman ambient tracks that sound almost identical to this style.

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27 minutes ago, superultramegaa said:

No I get what both of you is saying. Once again, you can easily do this with orchestra and jazz, or a Thomas Newman-like approach. Composers have found many ways of conveying different worlds and moods through many different instruments. I like electronic music. I don't just like one musical idiom. I even said I thought "Pursuit/Terry's World" was very well done. The issue is the electronics never get to that level of sophistication in the writing ever again. 

 

I think the issue is, electronic music is relatively recent, so we think the most basic progressions and sound design are more impressive than they really are. I firmly believe any amateur composer could have cranked the R&R part of this score out in a month at most. I know what my ears hear, and what they hear is barren, simplistic music.

 

You want to say the barren, forgettable music is the point and made for artistic reasons? Fine, I get that, that makes sense. To praise this score however as anything but serviceable to the movie? I can never agree. 

 

Newman isn't a specialist? There are plenty of Newman ambient tracks that sound almost identical to this style.

 

What does that mean though? I would argue that most active composers in hollywood can duplicate each other even if we are talking about an orchestral score. You don't think Elfman can do Ready Player One? You don't think Giacchino can do Mulan or Aquaman? 

 

There are very few scores in history that I think achieve technical brilliance to a point that another composer cannot duplicate.

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29 minutes ago, Mephariel said:

 

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most acclaimed action films of the last decade. You know what the plot of that movie is? A woman stole a truck with a couple of other women and they are being chase by crazy people. That is literally the plot. I could have come up with that. But I bet I wouldn’t be able to execute that vision the way George Miller did. Art is not about complexity. It is about execution. If you think R&R didn’t execute correctly, that is fine. But this isn’t a complexity contest. If they claimed to be symphonic concert experts, then you have a point. As of now, they are film composers.

 

This is neither here nor there. For what it is - Fury Road is a 150 million dollar elaborate movie.

 

You want stripped down - Paterson as a bus driver drive his bus around.

 

A Gentle Creature has a woman trying to deliver a package.

 

Jeanne Dielman has a woman cooking and cleaning her house for 3.5 hours.

 

Ulysses is a man walking around for a day.

 

The simplicity is not the problem. Its unremarkability is (if it ain't a word it should be). 

 

Third man is a simpler score than Soul. But is it arresting and remarkable.

 

So simplicity ain't got nothing to do with it.

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One more time.

People who vote for these awards are not score fans or music scholars. They are filmgoers.

The scores that tend to win are the ones that STAND OUT. In other words music that moved people while watching the film.

Scores that may sound " unmusical or " simple" often are the ones that get the viewers attention.

Scores like GRAVITY and JOKER command the listeners attention while more sophisticated/and or subtle scores might not be noticed.

 

 

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1 hour ago, superultramegaa said:

Newman isn't a specialist? There are plenty of Newman ambient tracks that sound almost identical to this style.

 

Yes, but Newman didn't do it. R&R did. Instead of focussing on what you think the score should have sounded like in your head, or who should have been the composer, I think it's more fruitful to look at what it actually is and what they're trying to accomplish. You're free to dislike it, of course, but I disagree with your assessment. It is the very lean electronic sound that makes it so effective. Anything more "complex" would completely have defeated the purpose. I'm glad I didn't get Newman's take on ambient electronic music in this film; I'm glad I got exactly what I got - R&R's take on it.

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32 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

One more time.

People who vote for these awards are not score fans or music scholars. They are wankers. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Yes, but Newman didn't do it. R&R did. Instead of focussing on what you think the score should have sounded like in your head, or who should have been the composer, I think it's more fruitful to look at what it actually is and what they're trying to accomplish. You're free to dislike it, of course, but I disagree with your assessment. It is the very lean electronic sound that makes it so effective. Anything more "complex" would completely have defeated the purpose. I'm glad I didn't get Newman's take on ambient electronic music in this film; I'm glad I got exactly what I got - R&R's take on it.

Sure, but my point is similar to @TheUlyssesian. There's so little going on, so little to distinguish it, so little style, and so little to get out of it that the fact that R&R made it means basically nothing to me. I understand that with the film the musical style change probably works wonders, but I've never been more bored listening to a piece of music than when listening to R&R tracks. They're not just simplistic, they're barren.

 

I understand they're not catering to me, but it's so mind-numbingly bare that I don't understand how ANYONE gets something out of it. Good for you for being able to enjoy it, but I just don't understand what there is to like about it. 

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22 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Yes, but Newman didn't do it. R&R did. Instead of focussing on what you think the score should have sounded like in your head, or who should have been the composer, I think it's more fruitful to look at what it actually is and what they're trying to accomplish. 

 

Instead of focussing on what you think a relationship should be like, or what kind of woman you want, I think it's more fruitful to look at what your miserable wife actually is and what she's trying to accomplish. 

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There is a scene at the very end when the protagonist in his earthly or cat form has an epiphany.

I won't spoil it but the.music combined with the images made me cry.

If that's not great scoring I don't know what it.

Nuff said!

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