Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Whopper Awards 2005 - Part 4

The Nominees For Best Score:
Clint Mansell: Sahara
Bear McCarey: Battlestar Galactica
Steve Jablonsky: The Island
Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard: Batman Begins

When two major and distinctively different composers are attached to the same film it’s normally the case that one of them has been heard to replace the other who failed to deliver what the director or producer wanted. In the case of the score for Batman Begins both composers were hired simultaneously for a collaborative effort to bring a fresh sound to the Batman legend. As Chris Nolan was a completely different director to Tim Burton, he wanted his vision of Batman to have a completely different score to Danny Elfman’s classic score to Burton’s films and also make people forget completely the disaster of the previous two films; blights on the career of Elliot Goldenthal. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard joined together and formulated the most remarkable score of the year, fusing their own distinct styles together to create a sound more unique than either of them could have ever written separately. Resisting the urge to create a bombastic new Batman theme like Elfman did in 1989, they instead did what Elfman did with Spiderman and created different yet recognisable motifs within the score representing different points in the movie. The result is pure musical gold.

The Nominees For Best Theme Music:
Harry Gregson Williams: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Video Game)
Harry Gregson Williams: Team America World Police (Motion Picture)
Trevor Rabin: E-Ring (TV Show)
Hans Zimmer: The Contender (TV Show)

I must give the award to Trevor Rabin for crafting an uplifting and patriotic action-packed theme for the E-Ring TV series that admittedly sounds no different from anything else he’s written, but it works for this and practically anything Jerry Bruckheimer is attached to.

Up Next: Writing and Directing...


Anonymous said...

Again NO Arguement on the winner of your nominees (Why no King Kong though or Elfmans insane theme for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?)however Galactica?The music is the weakest part on the series and before you start to make your point on how good it is what about the sub standard wannabe Lisa Gerrard opening music? or when Apollo blew up the cylon base and we basically got a chieftains tribute band because the makers decided that Oirish music should be the music of triumph on the show.I'm left wondering when they reach Earth will it be to the music of Foster & Allen or Makem &Clancy , prehaps the crew will don aran sweaters for that moment and form a travelling folk band?

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

In the end, there can only be four nominees. In both cases you mention; I considered both the King Kong score and the theme from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory but both of them fell short of my mark, I'm quite particular.

Okay, so before I tell you how good the score is, I have to tell you how enchanted I am by Caitanya Riggan's voice in the opening is or that I feel proud that I'm Irish when I hear one of Ireland's best traditional Gaelic singers, Lillis O Laoire (yes you fuckin' uncultured muppet Vaughan; THE LILLIS O LAOIRE) does his bit on a score to my favourite Television Show of the year?
Try to think of the colonies as tribes. The music evokes tribalistic themes throughout. Celtic music is a surprising yet ingenious choice to evoke triumph!
Now I'll admit that the music for Battlestar Galactica took a while to grow on me, but I included it in my nominations as now I couldn't imagine the show without it.
Bear McCreary, who is among the handful of select protégés of late film music legend Elmer Bernstein (Jesus, please tell me you at least know who he is???) has written all of the main music for the first two seasons of BSG, I found the music even better than Richard Gibbs' music of the miniseries that preceded it. Not only is the soundtrack rich with low-synth percussion action tracks, but it also employs such genres as opera, muzak, and string orchestral to convey the feeling of a scene. The use of drums in this soundtrack trumps their use in the miniseries with even catchier drum rolls.
The first season prologue initially sets the dark, haunting, tribal-like and emotionally powerful tone, but the main title with its emotionally sad melody intensifies the feeling of just how desperate the small number of surviving humans is in their flight into deep space away from the Cylons.
Most notably, the string orchestral pieces are definitely the best pieces on this non-generic soundtrack. Even with an orchestra at his disposal, McCreary did not write any bombastic score which would have completly ruined everything and instead wrote beautiful soothing melodies that ironically contrast the scenes in which they are placed, making those sequences all the more memorable and enticing.
Battlestar Galactica is successfully breaking free from the shackles of the modern sci-fi genre, and the music which strays so far from the orthodox helps it do so.

P.S. NEVER piss off or argue film music with a man who spends hours writing his own liner notes to his compilation CD's!!!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by googling Travor Rabin, E-ring, and Hans Zimmer. The reason should be obvious - although I like Traveor Rabin, he has basically plagarized Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for Black Hawk Down for the music for E-Ring. On the Jan. 11th show, I would have swore that one piece was lifted directly from the BHD soundtrack. What do you think?

Lieutenant General Creedon said...

Hello there Anonymous in Wisconsin. While Rabin does on occasion produce music which has a Zimmer quality, it would be unfair to say he plagerises it. In fact in many cases Rabin procuces better action music than Zimmer who relies on cultural sounds more recently.
I know of the piece of music you're referring to, when the terrorist is opening his briefcase in New Jersey- it is indeed "Of The Earth" from the Black Hawk Down score- you have a good ear my friend.
Trevor Rabin however only did the Theme music for E-Ring however and another composer (or composers) does the episodic music, but I don't know whom because I never get to see the credits. Zimmer and his compatriots Rabin being one, others include Harry Gregson-Williams, Klaus Badelt and John Powell have composed many hours of music for the films of Jerry Bruckheimer, who of course owns the rights to all that music, so as he produced Black Hawk Down there's not much of an issue with him using it in his TV show is there? I would hope however that credit is given to Hans in the closing credits to E-Ring episode 12.
If you're interested in knowing the history of the professional partnership between Zimmer and his friends a good website is http://www.hans-zimmer.com/ you'll also find a revent interview with Trevor Rabin- worth a read!