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 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 7:17 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I don't listen to any pop music from my youth. Some have called me a snob when I've told them this. To me, the music just doesn't speak to me anymore, and I've moved on.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)


Yes I have: James Horner
Many years ago I used to think he was the worst example of classic plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Probably because I trusted older film music fans than me and their authoritative opions.

Now he is among my favourite authors and think he is one of the finest.
I love 100% his aesthetics.
(and also believe a lot less in "ipse dixit").


Interesting. I was quite excited about Horner early on, to the point I foolishly claimed in a review of BRAINSTORM that he had exceeded John Williams. I was young, got a bit carried away (and was a bit down on Williams' Indy Jones scores and getting nominated every year no matter what). Loved TESTAMENT and SOMETHING WICKED, liked a lot of his STAR TREK scores except for that appropriately nautical but very wan-sounding main theme (yes, I know I'm alone on that one, but I have next liked it).

I have a ton of his stuff, almost all 80s and 90s, but rarely listen to him anymore. I think he's immensely gifted, but most of the time just seems to be coasting and going through the motions - outside of the annoying plagiarism and self-plagiarism you mention!

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 4:42 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

I don't listen to any pop music from my youth. Some have called me a snob when I've told them this. To me, the music just doesn't speak to me anymore, and I've moved on.

That's how I feel too, even with stuff I still admire. I have moved on a musical sensibility that is less about short bits (3-4 min songs with vocals) and to more complex orchestral and instrumental pieces (classical of all types, and film music). And I was always into the latter (since junior high), but just gave more space to the former in my teens and twenties...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I don't listen to any pop music from my youth. Some have called me a snob when I've told them this. To me, the music just doesn't speak to me anymore, and I've moved on.

That's how I feel too, even with stuff I still admire. I have moved on a musical sensibility that is less about short bits (3-4 min songs with vocals) and to more complex orchestral and instrumental pieces (classical of all types, and film music). And I was always into the latter (since junior high), but just gave more space to the former in my teens and twenties...


As I write this, I am listening to "The Beatles Second Album." wink

I suppose I make exceptions occasionally! wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

TO ONYA BIRRI -Me too except for rare songs I like to move ever forward with something new all the time of all type of music.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)




So you decide what "better" is then? We should all follow your standards of what quality is and what steps one should take up the "evolutionary ladder" as you put it?


You seem to be a man of certain musical education.

I wonder if you dare tell your professor, that all the sophisticated musical techniques are useless, because, you know, in some people's "opinions", a monkey playing with a coconut shell can be legitimately considered "better“ music.

No my friend. "Opinions" do not provide the safe harbor for ignorance, or stupidity, or bias. Even though I don't get to decide (hell no single person does), but some things are inherently "better" than others, otherwise humans would be still living in caves and munching on bananas.

This is called evolution, not degeneration.


I'm sure you can search through these pages and find plenty of soap box preaching by myself over the years. I was full of piss and vinegar about what was well written music and what was half baked. Then, at one point, almost ALL film music, even well written film music, just fell flat for me. It all seemed "meh" to me. So I stopped posting here (though I would check in from time to time) and visited orchestral concert music. I listened more to the works of Stravinsky, Sibelius, Shostakovich and I learned a lot! The composer and musician in me will always be impressed by technique- I don't think that will ever abandon me. I concentrated on my own music for concert hall as well.

I only recently came back to the film score fold and I'm trying to embrace a greater variety of music now. Something like Tyler's Now You See Me I genuinely find very enjoyable and well written. I do wish he'd still have a little more cohesion to his groove based scores but that's a personal preference. I love Williams' War Horse, way more than Lincoln. A little more than Tintin.

I recently had a chance to see a couple Don Davis rejected/alternate cues from his Matrix Reloaded score and frankly I was floored. While I'm not going to apologize for liking MOS or even Pacific Rim (because I do), the depth of Davis' skill sets left me in awe. Being able to write a swashbuckling pirate fight cue for the Chateau scene but still maintain the vocabulary of The Matrix world, well, I just about pissed myself with joy. THAT represents a high water mark for applying music to imagery. Same goes for scores like Greenwood's There Will be Blood though I suspect it was more PT Anderson than Greenwood who did so well at marrying the music to image.

So after all this rambling what does it mean? Like that quote by Bruce Lee I used earlier, the idea to be free of constrictions of thought is appealing. It doesn't mean I'm going to vehemently argue that Zimmer is on the same level of musicianship as Don Davis. that would be ridiculous. but can he score a film as effectively. I would say, at times, yes. Even with his simpler music language.

As far as evolution and all that, we have witnessed revolution against overly complex things. Minimalism evolved out of a reaction against the Boulez/Stockhausen complexity that sprung from Schoenberg's lineage which in of itself came from Mahler who came from Wagner. Minimalism brought back harmonic simplicity but offered rhythmic complexity in its place. We saw Neo Classicism rail against the enormous orchestral forces and indulgent lengths of late 19 century Romanticism.

Things move in cycles. I'm sure we will once again see more melodic, harmonically vibrant and theme driven scores in the future. There will be a renaissance of sorts at some point.

Wow, this was so totally OT it's not funny. My apologies.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 8:15 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)


Yes I have: James Horner
Many years ago I used to think he was the worst example of classic plagiarism and self-plagiarism. Probably because I trusted older film music fans than me and their authoritative opions.

Now he is among my favourite authors and think he is one of the finest.
I love 100% his aesthetics.
(and also believe a lot less in "ipse dixit").


Interesting. I was quite excited about Horner early on, to the point I foolishly claimed in a review of BRAINSTORM that he had exceeded John Williams. I was young, got a bit carried away (and was a bit down on Williams' Indy Jones scores and getting nominated every year no matter what). Loved TESTAMENT and SOMETHING WICKED, liked a lot of his STAR TREK scores except for that appropriately nautical but very wan-sounding main theme (yes, I know I'm alone on that one, but I have next liked it).

I have a ton of his stuff, almost all 80s and 90s, but rarely listen to him anymore. I think he's immensely gifted, but most of the time just seems to be coasting and going through the motions - outside of the annoying plagiarism and self-plagiarism you mention!


Are you the same gentleman who also wrote : 'that over-rated conjurer of pompous and pretentious bombast' ?

People who speak ill of Mr. Williams in that fashion are prime candidates for a tar and feathering big grin Glad to see you've come around since.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 9:20 PM   
 By:   Elmo Bernstein   (Member)

I idolized Jerry Goldsmith as a teenager. Today I hardly listen to his music at all. Every so often I'll pop-in a Goldsmith CD only to turn it off after maybe ten minutes. I find most of his work has no standalone appeal. Maurice Jarre on the other hand was a composer I hated in my teens, now I enjoy his music much more than Goldsmith's, and frankly find him the more interesting and inventive composer.

It's also hard to enjoy Goldsmith's music in the films, since he scored so many bad movies. Jarre on the other hand scored a lot of good movies and a few of the best ever made.

 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2013 - 10:32 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)


Are you the same gentleman who also wrote : 'that over-rated conjurer of pompous and pretentious bombast' ?

People who speak ill of Mr. Williams in that fashion are prime candidates for a tar and feathering big grin Glad to see you've come around since.


Sheesh, what a memory!

That was probably me, for sure, I 'fess up! But I have to tell you, I always disliked those Indy Jones movies, thought they were wildly overrated and still do. I don't get the appeal of those films, the reputations they have always enjoyed, given there are so many other better action movies out there. As with so many Spielberg films, it has often struck me as a case of the emperor having no clothes. And part of it for me, was the John Williams scores, though certainly he having to score the films that were there. Just as it would have been nice to see Goldsmith not score so many lousy films, it would have been interested to see Williams' career if he hadn't done so many films with Spielberg, whose best film I still feel remains one of his earliest, DUEL.

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 3:53 AM   
 By:   Uhtred   (Member)

Dimitri Tiomkin. When I was led away from 80's and 90's film music by Tadlow's recording of El Cid, one of the first Golden Agers I tried was Tiomkin. His music (from 55 Days at Peking) was so lush and extravagant that I just couldn't get my head round it compared with what I was used to. I persevered due to all the praise from people on this board and grew to appreciate then love his music and by extension, other composers of that period. Am now listening to the LSO's recording of The Greatest Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin and it is glorious.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)



I'm sure you can search through these pages and find plenty of soap box preaching by myself over the years. I was full of piss and vinegar about what was well written music and what was half baked. Then, at one point, almost ALL film music, even well written film music, just fell flat for me. It all seemed "meh" to me. So I stopped posting here (though I would check in from time to time) and visited orchestral concert music. I listened more to the works of Stravinsky, Sibelius, Shostakovich and I learned a lot! The composer and musician in me will always be impressed by technique- I don't think that will ever abandon me. I concentrated on my own music for concert hall as well.

I only recently came back to the film score fold and I'm trying to embrace a greater variety of music now. Something like Tyler's Now You See Me I genuinely find very enjoyable and well written. I do wish he'd still have a little more cohesion to his groove based scores but that's a personal preference. I love Williams' War Horse, way more than Lincoln. A little more than Tintin.

I recently had a chance to see a couple Don Davis rejected/alternate cues from his Matrix Reloaded score and frankly I was floored. While I'm not going to apologize for liking MOS or even Pacific Rim (because I do), the depth of Davis' skill sets left me in awe. Being able to write a swashbuckling pirate fight cue for the Chateau scene but still maintain the vocabulary of The Matrix world, well, I just about pissed myself with joy. THAT represents a high water mark for applying music to imagery. Same goes for scores like Greenwood's There Will be Blood though I suspect it was more PT Anderson than Greenwood who did so well at marrying the music to image.

So after all this rambling what does it mean? Like that quote by Bruce Lee I used earlier, the idea to be free of constrictions of thought is appealing. It doesn't mean I'm going to vehemently argue that Zimmer is on the same level of musicianship as Don Davis. that would be ridiculous. but can he score a film as effectively. I would say, at times, yes. Even with his simpler music language.

As far as evolution and all that, we have witnessed revolution against overly complex things. Minimalism evolved out of a reaction against the Boulez/Stockhausen complexity that sprung from Schoenberg's lineage which in of itself came from Mahler who came from Wagner. Minimalism brought back harmonic simplicity but offered rhythmic complexity in its place. We saw Neo Classicism rail against the enormous orchestral forces and indulgent lengths of late 19 century Romanticism.

Things move in cycles. I'm sure we will once again see more melodic, harmonically vibrant and theme driven scores in the future. There will be a renaissance of sorts at some point.

Wow, this was so totally OT it's not funny. My apologies.


This is a LONG post man! As such, only a comparatively long post in response should be appropriate.

I agree with you on a lot of things. Film score is of course inferior in terms of complexity compared to classical music. But brilliant film scores have one distinct advantage, which drives me to listen to them instead of Shostakovitch:

Film score is allowed to be REALLY EXPERIMENTAL: e.g. Marco Beltrami used "plucking of cactus" as an instrument in Three Burials, or theremin to represent the otherworldly Elder Gods in Hellboy. I don't think such things are done regularly in classical music. Even if they are, I find it difficult to search for those kind of innovations among all the obscure avant garde music. Film scores (good ones of course, by the likes of GOldsmith and Beltrami) provide such unique innovations.

On the other hand, I do enjoy some guilty pleasures. Zimmer's MOS is good listening when jogging or washing my car. And I find it quite effective in the film itself. But would I dare to call it "better" than the aforementioned genuinely good stuff? Hell no.

As for "things go in cycles," well if one can give highly rational basis for composing "simpler" music (e.g. Philip Glass' minimalism), maybe such music is not "SIMPLE" per se. It just appears simple to unsuspecting ears. In fact, from the relatively simple Philip Glass' minimalism, evolved John Adams' neo-minimalism, which is anything but "simple". (Don Davis' Matrix is basically a (good) rip off of his music).

A piece of music is "simple" and stupid when it does nothing more than appealing to the lowest of the low of the sensational needs, without a bit of intellectual stimulation. Such is the McDonalds' of music and is to be looked down upon, even though one is not prohibited from eating some McDonalds'. It's just, they're not healthy so don't eat too much.

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 1:13 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Good post facehugger. Herrmann was probably the first composer who radically changed orchestration for the 20th century by recognizing recording techniques could balance instruments differently than th tradition view of the orchestra as it was presented in the concert hall.

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Sheesh, what a memory!

That was probably me, for sure, I 'fess up! But I have to tell you, I always disliked those Indy Jones movies, thought they were wildly overrated and still do. I don't get the appeal of those films, the reputations they have always enjoyed, given there are so many other better action movies out there. As with so many Spielberg films, it has often struck me as a case of the emperor having no clothes. And part of it for me, was the John Williams scores, though certainly he having to score the films that were there. Just as it would have been nice to see Goldsmith not score so many lousy films, it would have been interested to see Williams' career if he hadn't done so many films with Spielberg, whose best film I still feel remains one of his earliest, DUEL.



I hear ya. While I generally enjoyed the Indy flicks, I did abhor the second installement. Big time!

I also agree with you in large part that Mr. Spielberg more a less reached his peak with DUEL, not yet having formed many of the bad habits that plagued several of his future projects(obnoxious kid, ADT plotting and and general overabundance of syrup... etc), but that is a matter of taste and not of fact of course.

And for the record, I was in almost complete accord with your Brainstorm review, which was a very impressive early effort by Horner - made even more impresive by the outstanding re-recording by Varese Sarabande. However, I soon became disenchanted with the (then) relatively young composer, who not for one moment made me doubt Mr. Williams vast, vast talent.

And yes, perhaps Mr. Williams oeuvre would have benefitted from the odd break from Spielberg, but that we will never know.

Anyway, thanks for a fun trip into the, seemingly, distant past. smile

PS. You wouldn't happen to have a copy of that review lying around would you?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Haha! Some posts here have turned out some comedy gold. Threads like this should be called "How Elitist Can You Be?"

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 3:23 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Haha! Some posts here have turned out some comedy gold. Threads like this should be called "How Elitist Can You Be?"

What an odd thing to say for a veteran of this board big grin

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 3:53 PM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

evolved John Adams' neo-minimalism, which is anything but "simple". (Don Davis' Matrix is basically a (good) rip off of his music).

again this questionable statement yet to be proved.
A clever use of quotes to pontificate and cleverly hide incompetence.

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

And yes, perhaps Mr. Williams oeuvre would have benefitted from the odd break from Spielberg, but that we will never know.


I think we DO know pretty well . . . if we've seen enough Oliver Stone movies.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 8:30 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

evolved John Adams' neo-minimalism, which is anything but "simple". (Don Davis' Matrix is basically a (good) rip off of his music).

again this questionable statement yet to be proved.
A clever use of quotes to pontificate and cleverly hide incompetence.


I suggest you give a listen to John Adams' "Harmonielehre" a listen. It has all the proof you'll ever need, even for any incompetent person.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 8:31 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

Haha! Some posts here have turned out some comedy gold. Threads like this should be called "How Elitist Can You Be?"

Well if I say instead I'm dumb and proud of that, would you also be entertained?

 
 Posted:   Jun 30, 2013 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Haha! Some posts here have turned out some comedy gold. Threads like this should be called "How Elitist Can You Be?"

Dude, that should be the name of this whole site these days.

That, or BFD: bitch-fest-daily

 
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