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 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Okay this is meant to be one of Thor's meta topics and not an open door to start bashing composers, film scores or even fellow forum members.

Guys, I'm not pointing fingers because I have been guilty of doing this over the last 10 years. And I've been trying to re-assess things in order to be a better person (and hopefully happier or more content).

I would say, for myself, I have disliked certain composers or their music more for reasons of personal taste masked by a higher ideal or principle. As I have moved into my mid-40s, I look back on the posts I furiously made against the evils of RC or Hans Zimmer or Brian Tyler or whomever was the flavor of the month to diss, and wonder "gee, I could have spent that energy on something more constructive". I mean, even when I had ardent supporters of my view points, what did it really accomplish? Did filmmakers stop working with those composers? No. So what was the point?

The other reason why I'm trying to apply a less strict stance on film scores (and hopefully beyond that too!) is one never knows when they will have a change of heart. I've already articulated why I have a newfound appreciation for Brian Tyler's work. Do I really care how his music gets out into the world? We are all potentially clinging to some romanticized notion of the lone composer writing all their masterpieces in solitude. That's just inaccurate. Every film composer, be him Zimmer or Howard Shore has assistants. It's unavoidable. The industry is way to crazy for one guy to do everything (composer, orchestrate, copy, produce, etc). Not possible with the way the industry works and it's been working like that for a lot longer than some think. The big studios had teams of people who helped get a film score out there.

I think the biggest turn around I did as far as perception of music is concerned was the music of Igor Stravinsky. I just could not "get" him for decades. Now, while I never dissed his music or didn't acknowledge his importance in music history, I could not fathom what friends of mine saw in his work. Then it just hit me one day. I watched a Michael Tilson Thomas show on Le Sacre and whether it was the background around the composer's life or the way Tilson Thomas interpreted his music, something just clicked.

It's an interesting dynamic we have. There is often (not always) the reflexive need to support one's own tastes by diminishing another to substantiate it. For me at least, I see this as stemming from an insecurity. And sorry folks but most of us have some level of insecurity- they just might manifest themselves differently.

Anyhow, again this thread is meant to be sort of a self examination, to see if fellow members have any thoughts about this. I'm curious to see if anyone else is self effacing too.

Hope this thread garners some good (civil) conversation. Thanks

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Sometimes, mind you, we just. don't. like. a. composer's. music!

It does not speak to us.

We do not find it functional within the context of the film to which it has been applied (i.e., "music produced by"..etc.)

It's over the top without being interesting or even remotely memorable.

Whatever the reason, it will continue on...

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:39 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I suspect it's less that we hate what we don't like, but that we hate when what we don't like seems to have a disproportionate influence on the field (in the case of Zimmer- (or RC-)haters), or when we perceive that what we don't like has achieved its success on the basis of standing on the shoulders of unacknowledged giants (in the case of Horner-haters).

There are plenty of composers whose work doesn't appeal to me, but I don't hate any of them because I don't take it personally. I just don't listen to what I don't like. But if I didn't like Zimmer's action style and I perceived that my own preferred mode was being squeezed out by that kind of thing, then I might take it more personally.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

David, you pretty much summed up my feelings in your post.

I just don't see any reason to bash or fight windmills anymore just because I don't like something as a result of personal taste and/or a lack of personal relation to certain music (or any other topic for that matter). I concentrate on what I like. This isn't to say that I didn't do that kind of thing before, but as I've gotten older I no longer feel the need to do it. I'm no longer insecure about myself and don't feel the need to tear things down in an attempt to somehow build myself up when compared to others. To paraphrase Sally Fields "I really like myself as who I am, I really do!"

That isn't to say that I no longer want to attack some things which I personally feel are substandard or lacking, but it rarely does any good and just stirs things up with no positive outcome that I can see. Bottom line it doesn't enhance my life in any way or others around me. I personally wish the state of current film music was better (strictly in my IMHO), but it's out of my hands so I concentrate on the music I do like from prior eras or the few current composers whose music I do like. There is more than enough there to keep me busy and happy the rest of my little life.

Sure, I may still be critical because I haven't lost my desire to analyze, reason and to actively participate in meaningful discourse, but I try to do it in a way that is thoughtful and not done to hurt others or for some other hidden (or not so hidden) agenda.

David, your post gives me hope that I might return to this forum as an active participant again if I know there are still some people here on the board like you, Peter, Morricone, Josh, Joan, Yavar, etc. that are still thoughtful participants that can make this place fun and informative.

Thanks for the open and honest post!

Mark

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:47 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Sometimes, mind you, we just. don't. like. a. composer's. music!

It does not speak to us.

We do not find it functional within the context of the film to which it has been applied (i.e., "music produced by"..etc.)

It's over the top without being interesting or even remotely memorable.

Whatever the reason, it will continue on...


Worse than that -- some so-called film composers just. write. crap. It only speaks to cretins with damaged hearing mechanisms and/or no true appreciation of music. The music is not only not functional in the film, it is not functional in the universe.

My considered opinion is that we "hate" mainly because the purveyors of this "crap music" go right on creating it, spurred on by financial incentives from other similarly impaired directors, producers etc.

Somebody, please make them stop!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   McMillan & Husband   (Member)

I suspect it's less that we hate what we don't like, but that we hate when what we don't like seems to have a disproportionate influence on the field

This.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

David, I just want to say I love the threads you've been starting of late. I haven't had the time to participate much, but I think you're really being the change you wish you see in this board. smile

Okay, I'll participate briefly. My Stravinsky was Shostakovich. Most of his music used to annoy me to no end. I just found him incredibly grating and obnoxious. Now he's one of my five favorite classical composers (the only one I really disliked at any point) and the things that used to bug me about his music are reasons I LOVE his music. Go figure!

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 10:05 AM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

Sometimes, mind you, we just. don't. like. a. composer's. music!

It does not speak to us.

We do not find it functional within the context of the film to which it has been applied (i.e., "music produced by"..etc.)

It's over the top without being interesting or even remotely memorable.

Whatever the reason, it will continue on...


Worse than that -- some so-called film composers just. write. crap. It only speaks to cretins with damaged hearing mechanisms and/or no true appreciation of music. The music is not only not functional in the film, it is not functional in the universe.

My considered opinion is that we "hate" mainly because the purveyors of this "crap music" go right on creating it, spurred on by financial incentives from other similarly impaired directors, producers etc.

Somebody, please make them stop!


You are forgetting one thing: film scores are not first and foremost a medium for artistic expression. They are a part of a commercial product for entertainment purposes.

Would I prefer them to be of the quality you are missing in some scores?

Of course. But let´s not kid ourselves. To expect that kind of quality and to get angry or dismissive whenever that level is not reached is akin to running against a wall again and again and being surprised that there is a wall.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 10:17 AM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

YOR hates film music that destroy a movie that could be good or at least enjoyable with a decente score.

That is why YOR hates Zimmer, most of his clones and a few other composers.

Simple because the majority of their scores ruined a lot of movies that YOR could like.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

As for me, when I was young I needed for everything to be presented in black and white terms. It frustrated me if it wasn't, as if I couldn't comprehend any other terms. Everything had to be John Wayne. When I grew up and realized John Wayne didn't exist, he was invented by directors like John Ford and Howard Hawks, then I could figure out how the world really works.

It made the world more human. Jerry Goldsmith was a human being who tried to improve and expand his art, sometimes not always doing stellar work but doing the best he could at all times. Early on I was frustrated by Elfman's efforts that were highly derivative. But over time I saw he learned and expanded his horizons to the point I can admire some of his best work very much. I have learned myself that it is a matter of the journey of a composer being fraught with obstacles, and the degree of success is from recognizing those and how much you can overcome them. It is not a matter of one composer being great and doing great things and "bad" composers doing bad things. At the same time, it is not like I can't hate a piece and feel it is a waste of time. It is that I spend more time seeing how extraordinary and rare a good piece of work is, and how hard it is to arrive at it. Especially for this generation. Goldsmith and his ilk bounced off the European traditions that the Golden Age composers established but these current composers have a precedent of musicmakers who have explored every nook and cranny of music out there. So it is even harder for them to break new ground or even do original work with such giants claiming such a vast landscape before them. So when I see a Desplat or a Roque Baños or a Michael Giacchino attempting to stake out a territory for themselves and make some strides I root for them all the more, because what they are trying to do is harder than what their predecessors attempted.

I do this positive focus rather than hate others who haven't managed to find their own path so handily.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 10:20 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Short answer:
A perceived insult or hatred already received from another.
Frustration or exasperation with that which is perceived to be inferior.
Fear of the unknown.
Ignorance/un-enlightenment in some intellectual or emotional area of interest.

Long answer:
...Way too long for here! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   Adam S   (Member)

Interesting question. I think one aspect can be the inability or lack of maturity to understand that reasonable people can have very different opinions. When a person has an emotional attachment to their particular point of view for some of the reasons people have mentioned, any contrary statement is received as a personal afront and suddenly the discourse turns hateful beyond any sense of proportion to what actually matters in the world. Something can seem completely obvious to one person and they're stuck lashing out if they can't have the imagination and empathy to truly hear out another point of view. Lots of different aspects to the question though.

- Adam

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 11:29 AM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

I never "hate."

I just laugh at incompetency, and any effort to mask said incompetency.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I think David's original posting is a refreshing "mea culpa" and a very nicely said.

Personally, I don't "hate" anybody (but I do 'hate' illness and very hot weather, and the thought of impairment in the aging process!). Vigorous dislike of people and culture; sure. You find plenty of people on the internet whom you CAN dislike because of the manner in which they present themselves. I've had the experience, in my 3.5 years contributing to music message-boards, of half a dozen very disturbed individuals - one in particular - with such rage inside them, despite being intelligent, that it was nearly impossible to conduct any kind of civil discourse in all but the most superficial way. My response is always the nice way, but some people deserve firm treatment and active avoidance. You'll all have had this experience, I'm sure.

David talks about personal insecurity and how that is tied to notions of self-belief through cultural likes/dislikes. It sounds like David is learning lots in his musical evolution and this is what happens with intelligent people - they keep growing.

At my stage in life - retirement - my ideas are still open to change (I hope), but many of my peers are rigid in their ideas once they leave the workforce. It's as if they're retired from life and all that's left is their ailments and "the past". And one of my pet peeves is people who are only interested in the sound of his or her own voice. I think we're all very bored by that. Oh, and childishly excessive attention-seeking: there's lots of that on the internet too.

A place like this messageboard is one where we can 'test' our own beliefs and sometimes be found 'wanting'. This, I'm sure, is the cause of frustration and insecurity. The important thing is to keep having the conversation and to continue learning all through life. There's a lack of grace and politeness on the internet which represents a general tendency right through-out society, very sadly. Not all of us have to sign up to that!! I like to think that when I'm discussing something with another person or persons on the internet that we're sitting opposite each other in a coffee shop, making eye contact!!

Best, Regie.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 11:54 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Guys, thanks for these posts. I think they all are great. I appreciate YOR's post because I certainly can relate. And it's fair to say you don't like composer A or score B because it made a film experience not as enjoyable. Totally valid.

I have had a couple of those of late. But I have to remember that while it would be heaven to have every film scored with the perfect composer, it's just not how life works. When I was extremely frustrated with Patrick Doyle's Rise of the Planet of the Apes, instead of spending time on forums listing all the problems, I booted up Digital Performer 7 and composed this because it's the music I heard in my head for that film:

http://snd.sc/10qcpy4

Or when I was bugged by Prometheus, I sketched out this little thing:

http://snd.sc/18lmrTN

Or when I wasn't too hot on Thomas Newman (a composer who I actually really normally dig!) score for James Bond, I messed around with a couple thematic ideas of my own in a John Barry style.

http://snd.sc/Z8M82O

http://snd.sc/Xlsd3B

Anyhow, I recognize that not everyone can compose music themselves but for me, this is a better use of my time than lamenting over music I either don't like or the decisions made by filmmakers for upcoming projects.

Keep up the great responses guys. I have enjoyed reading them all. BTW- it took me a while to like Shostakovich as well. His scoring for winds always sounded shrill and his harmonic motion was puzzling to me until I began to enjoy the places his music would turn to. smile

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Sometimes, mind you, we just. don't. like. a. composer's. music!

It does not speak to us.

We do not find it functional within the context of the film to which it has been applied (i.e., "music produced by"..etc.)

It's over the top without being interesting or even remotely memorable.

Whatever the reason, it will continue on...


Worse than that -- some so-called film composers just. write. crap. It only speaks to cretins with damaged hearing mechanisms and/or no true appreciation of music. The music is not only not functional in the film, it is not functional in the universe.

My considered opinion is that we "hate" mainly because the purveyors of this "crap music" go right on creating it, spurred on by financial incentives from other similarly impaired directors, producers etc.

Somebody, please make them stop!


You are forgetting one thing: film scores are not first and foremost a medium for artistic expression. They are a part of a commercial product for entertainment purposes.

Would I prefer them to be of the quality you are missing in some scores?

Of course. But let´s not kid ourselves. To expect that kind of quality and to get angry or dismissive whenever that level is not reached is akin to running against a wall again and again and being surprised that there is a wall.


Jeepers. Somebody took me seriously. I was just satirizing the kind of mindlessness that might cause one to "hate" something as superfluous (in the grand scheme of things) as film music. Sorry. Good topic, David.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 12:36 PM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

Jeepers. Somebody took me seriously. I was just satirizing the kind of mindlessness that might cause one to "hate" something as superfluous (in the grand scheme of things) as film music. Sorry. Good topic, David.

Film music is not superfluous, as Dr. Strangelove want us to believe.

YOR loves film music more than any other kind of music.

And that is why he is here.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

There is an inverse relationship between how successful someone like Zimmer is and the 'hate scale'. The more successful, and the more scores they do the more hate-able they are. Unquestionably if Zimmer has not done so many popular films, and not talked so much he would not be up there in the hate scale. The huge success of the films he has scored just further emphasizes how average and unremarkable most of his scores are, and score fans are really not that happy about average and unskilled talents having raging success, while a brilliant man like Robert Folk, Eidelman etc work away on minor pictures and no one really knows who they are.

I mean you really do not here anyone hate on Joel McNeely, or Cliff Eidelman, because while they have careers, they are not that popular, and they have not scored huge mega-hits, and they also have actual training and skill. So if they did score a mega-hit perhaps there would not such hate?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

There is an inverse relationship between how successful someone like Zimmer is and the 'hate scale'.

...

I mean you really do not here anyone hate on Joel McNeely, or Cliff Eidelman, because while they have careers, they are not that popular, and they have not scored huge mega-hits, and they also have actual training and skill. So if they did score a mega-hit perhaps there would not such hate?


There you go. People "hate" certain composers under the following two conditions: (1) they scored some mega hit/won Oscar; (2) they are actually incompetent/one-trick pony/not deserving their success.

See, e.g. Tyler Bates (300, Day the Earth Stood Still, etc.), Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, etc.), Marc Streitenfeld (every recent Ridley Scott film).

The AMOUNT of hate is proportional to the product of two factors: (1) how un-deserving said composer's success is; (2) how many said composer achieves such un-deserving success.

McNeely and Eidelman generate ZERO hate because (1) they don't have any mega hit/Oscar; (2) they have the chops so they deserve some success.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2013 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)


To expect that kind of quality and to get angry or dismissive whenever that level is not reached is akin to running against a wall again and again and being surprised that there is a wall.


"There is a wall" is a descriptive statement.

"The wall is fucking annoying" is a judgment of value.

The two are different.

When I hit a wall, I'm gonna curse at it, and proceed to warn others about said wall.

And I'll laugh at those that repeatedly run head first into the wall, but loves (or "do not hate") the wall nonetheless because they are either really docile or don't know better.

 
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