THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE!!! Sorry for the longer post. The next one is shorter!
Filed under Music
Hey David! Great post. Just had a comment about how you mentioned the composers of movies that have grossed a significant amount of money internationally being considered the finest composers of the US right now by foreign ears. I don’t think this would necessarily be the case. As you said, I believe that the music is a slave to action happening on the screen and in some cases that does not allow for well developed ideas all of the time. This is especially hard when composers are forced to write a 10 or 20 second addition to the piece in 45 minutes before the orchestra hits that red recording light. Naturally, as you mentioned, it will not be a Wagner score but for what they are given, I think some composers do an excellent job of fitting in music with the action on the screen.
That being said, as musicians we experience the movie differently than a non-musically trained person. I think that many people don’t even realize what is happening musically until it is either a very sad moment or a very dramatic moment where the music is in their face. To be honest, sometimes I find myself so captivated by the visual stimuli (and sometimes those quirky sound effects) that I don’t even realize what is happening musically. It seems more plausible that the majority of the audiences around the world are not trained musicians and that if they were to think of a leading American composer that it would not necessarily be from a film score but rather a piece of pop music or a symphonic piece or a jazz tune or a wind band piece depending on their interest and which part of the world we are talking about.
At face value it is possible to argue that the director of the film would be more well known over the composer of the music. I do not know how many categories their are, but how many awards do we give out for international movie music composers as compared to the directors? (I actually don’t know but I assume there are many more for the directors).
I’m not tuning out the possibility of your statement but rather offering a counterpoint to it (see what I did there?) Great post. Keep them coming!
Rich! Thanks for coming by!
I see your point about noticing music as when I saw inception, I almost didn’t know the music was there. Upon second viewing, I thought I was crazy for not noticing some of the loudest orchestral pulsing I’ve ever heard! So great point there!
I also agree with your point about how in most people’s minds that a popular or contemporary jazz composer (and sometimes rightfully so!) is a great contemporary american composer.
I also do believe that you have to be a VERY skilled composer in order to do movies especially on the scale of Inception, or Star Wars, and on and on. But like you said, it is a slave to its other art form. Yet we would agree that just like with popular music, great art is sometimes hard to find in movies.
I should have highlighted that I was speaking more in the orchestral genre. John Williams for example writes for orchestra in movies and so therefore is asked to write for other orchestral groups outside of movies. He’s exceptional, but I think we would all agree on the incredible permanence of his movie soundtracks, not as much his orchestral and chamber works.
And directors are without a doubt known more than the soundtrack composers. Composers rarely make the DVD, although I wish they did.
I feel like the second SNL skit of G W Bush and Al Gore where they just say they agree the whole time.
Thanks again man for coming by!!
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