Friday, September 26, 2014

Hans Zimmer, The Great and Powerful

Many times in life we look for something to inspire us, something to give us some kind of guidance. And for many of us, music does this. It is meant to create something within us to make us want to look for more, or to not give up, or even to help us mourn. Music covers everything and it is our best friend who is always there for us. It picks us up when we have fallen. It teaches us to stay motivated and go for our dreams. It tells us stories of heart break and death, things we relate to. Music does it all, and it does it for every single person in this world. 

When I was little, most of the movies I was attracted to were mainly disney movies. Most of these disney movies were musicals. But some had some kind of sound track that helped build the plot. As I got older I obviously watched more than just disney movies, and I found myself looking at more than just the film. The music that played during the story helped me believe more in what I was watching. And I found myself looking up several different soundtracks, composers, and downloading all of the songs I had witnessed during the films. These songs stuck with me so much that I wanted to listen to them everyday. And I can tell you right now, had there of been no music in these films, I probably would not have liked the film as much or felt as connected to them as I did, and still do.

Obviously there are many different composers and each of them have their own style.
However one of my absolute favorites would have to be Hans Zimmer. Hans Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films! And that’s only films. He’s also done television in his lifetime. If you have seen Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean, 12 Years a Slave, or the classic disney movie The Lion King, then you have been graced with the music of Hans Zimmer. Hans had his big break when he composed for Rain Man in 1988. The movie deals with two brothers 
whose father has just died. The father leaves one of 
them a huge amount of money, and leaves the 
other one close to nothing, so they decide to travel across the country together. Being that this movie takes place mainly on the road, Hans wanted the movie to be different than any other road movie. Normally road movies are found to have a lot of music containing guitars, or stringed instruments and so he wanted to create something new. He did this by using mainly an electronic keyboard, and he also incorporated flutes into it. The soundtrack was very airy and misty that created a bit of sadness that the film needed, and it matched the emotion of the story completely. The film’s soundtrack was nominated by The Academy for Best Music, Original Score. The film definitely got him much attention because it led him to many other projects.

Another soundtrack that got him much attention was Disney’s, The Lion King. Hans worked with Elton John, as well as Tim Rice, and he produced a score. This soundtrack is very well known throughout the whole world. It was made in three different countries, and it is known as the best selling soundtrack album in an animated film in America. It has sold over 7 million copies. More than half of those copies were sold the same year it came out, in 1994. Hans won an oscar for this film for best music, and original score in 1995. However, one of my favorite scores that Hans has done would have to be his work on the Pirates of the Caribbean. Hans was originally asked by Director Gore Verbinski to work on the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl. However he was working on another score, so he did not officially work on it, he only helped the other composer Klaus Badelt with it. However once the second movie came rolling around, he couldn’t help himself and he completely immersed himself in the score. He worked on the1st,  2nd,  3rd, and 4th of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. I loved his work in these movies because he was able to catch the life of a true Pirate and somehow not make it corny. And while doing all of that, he also helped build each character. Depending on what race they were, he could have influences from many different cultures.

"You try to treat each film as an autonomous movie, but at the same time, there's great fun in revisiting old friends, as it were. We now have Penélope Cruz playing Angelica, who's Spanish, so I felt that there could be some Latin influences in the score for On Stranger Tides. I've been a big fan of Mexican guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela for years now, and I asked them if they wanted to come and play with us. We've been having a really great time with them being part of the musical world this film gets to inhabit.” -Hans Zimmer, Pirates Wikia

He was nominated for these movies several times and won many awards. For Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, he won the ASCAP Film and Television Music Award in 2012. He was also nominated by the World Soundtrack awards in 2011 for Soundtrack Composer of the Year for his work on Pirates, Inception, How Do You Know, Megamind, The Dilemma, Rango, and Kung Fu Panda 2. For Pirates of the Caribean: Dead Man’s Chest, he won the ASCAP Film and Television Music Award in 2007. He also won it the same year for The Da Vinci Code. He was also nominated for his work on the 2nd Pirates film by the Grammys in 2007 for Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture. And for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, he won the ASCAP Film and Television Music Award in 2008. Needless to say Hans Zimmer’s work on Pirates was awesome. I'm curious to see if he works on the new Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which is suppose to come out in theaters July 2017. Fingers crossed he does work on the film score!

 Hans Zimmer is one of the best film composers out there. His music never fails to be different each time. He is able to create such a specific sound for each story and represent each character differently, yet keeping them similar at the same time. If you haven’t payed close attention to the detail of his music, then I suggest you start. What makes Hans so great is that he does this because he loves it and I think that shows in his music. He isn’t doing it for the money, or just because he has to, he is doing it because he chooses to. He loves it and will continue to share his love for it with the ears of the world. 

"If something happened where I couldn't write music anymore, it would kill me. It's not just a job. It's not just a hobby. It's why I get up in the morning."- Hans Zimmer

Check out the best of Hans Zimmer in the video below, you won't regret it!

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