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  • A word on Modern Film music

    I know it's been discussed a bit already, but I feel the need to have clarification

    At the moment I'm listening to the new 'DooM" score .. by Clint Mansel. So far it's all been Technical stuff. You know, the orchestra doing some chords, a few dyanmics and stuff. About as riveting as custard in a sock .. then being swung at a wall .. you'd think the sound would be fun .. but it just isn't!

    So what is it with modern score. I mean take 'The Day after tomorrow', or 'Aliens vs. Predator', these two films incidentally were scored by the same guy.

    It is the height of 'generic hollywood b*ll*cks!' These scores have the simplest melodies and usually rely on that .. getting-oh-so-boring .. tragic american hero thing. And it's not just these, there are others. All of them perfectly recorded and yet are soooooo boring to listen to.

    The DooM soundtrack has a few moments of fun stuff but really it's just the same stuff over and over and over. THERE'S NO MELODY HERE!!!! You know one of the best compliments anyone can get as a musician is that they keep humming your music even if they only heard 10 seconds worth of it. I can't even hum along to this cos it's so unmemorable.

    Take James Horners score for Battle beyond the Stars. Sounds awful on the CD, cos it's off a Vinyl source. The brass is scratchy. some of the players play the wrong note now and again, and yet it sounds a million times better because it has shed loads of melodies in it.

    It is me! That's my question. Am I so cynical and bored by music nowadays that I just can't find any pleasure in them anymore. I think the last score I bought that I really liked was David Newmans 'Galaxy Quest'. (And lets face it he was copying Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner a little). Is anyone else feeling really let down by modern score. Honestly when you feel that you could really do a better job than what's been done it's actually quite disappointing .. because the professionals really should be doing better. Where are all the melody composers!

    Well there you go, a bit of a rant. I know .. it's easy to say you can do a better job of film music when someones already done it .. but some of the stuff I hear lately, gives me pause! Hopefully after hearing some more of this soundtrack (DooM) I'll like it a bit more. This post is a rant on modern film music in general .. I'm not picking on DooM in particular) [:P]

  • The titans are dissapearing from the scène, either because they retire or die. I think the best composers for films are now coming from the videogame are (Michael Giacchino, Christopher Lennertz) or from outside mainstream Hollywood (Desplat, Portman, Doyle, Shore, Kazmareck).

    Hollywood needs to spend less money on projects. Too much money in the wrong hands can kill all creativity.
    And the studio execs need to listen more to their people instead of testaudiences who directly came from kindergarten...

  • You're not cynical, score isn't measured (atleast I don't measure it like that) by how melodic it is, or "how many melodies" it has.
    NOTE - Not talking about THEMES, talking about melodic structures (or humable themes if you'd like).
    You probebly forgot that this is a buisness and the composer has superiors that demands specific ideas and lines (genre if you will), so all that the composer's left with is his way of making it better.
    It doesn't mean that "the giants are all going away", it means that times are different now than they were when Mr. Horner was younger, the audience was difference and the hole Music scene in the world was different.
    You "can't hum the score?" Tried `humming` the "War Of The Worlds" theme? or themes (if you can find "them") - and it's fu#$ing John Williams.
    Now, I know it's not the same genre and that's cool, but that's how it is, a score is not measure by how melodic it is... dude that's lame.
    Holywood has always been like that, and even those GREAT scores, the old and the new, they all, followed by the area and the genre, were pretty much the same, so dude... Cynicizm is great, don't spoil it.

  • Yeah I suppose you're right.

    It's a shame about musical tastes having changed, cos mine are still back in the late 70's - early 80's. And I guess it's true that the composers are forced to do whatever the director wants ..

    Okay my rant is satisfied, someone else can have there's now. (I think we're all entitled once in a while) [:D]

  • It's a function of the 'blockbuster' mentality which began with Jaws but really took off with the Simpson/Bruckheimer films, a generic product that communicates to a fairly low common demonimator. You're going to find a lot of these type of scores around, but if you poke around you'll find stuff to enjoy as well...
    Also as mentioned don't forget that you are generally writing to a brief given by non musicians who often want stuff they can understand.

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on