Mar 6th 2012 By: Andy Khouri
Even across five separate installments of ComicsAlliance's The Dark Knight commentary
, we referenced the musical score
by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard only once or twice. This seems unjust, and it is, but the truth is that most media sites like ours don't give music its due in our obsessive analysis of trailers for The Avengers
or John Carter
and the story and art direction elements within. Thankfully, there is a great community
around the business of film scoring, where fans pay just as much care to the musical elements heard underneath a film's spectacular visuals.
I discovered recently that some of these fans like to re-orchestrate or otherwise reproduce
the music heard in films and film trailers. One of them, identified only as heavenbaby06 on YouTube and FFDream10 on the Final Fantasy Shrine forum, was so impressed with the Zimmer music
heard in the Dark Knight Rises prologue
that they took it up themselves to recreate it
so that it could be heard without any of the dialogue or sound effects.
For non-musicians like myself, it would seem difficult enough to recreate just with one's ear alone any music cue from any film, but The Dark Knight Rises
prologue offered our friend an extra challenge in that it's practically unavailable for decent reference. The footage was screened only for the press, some players of the Fire Rises alternate reality game
, and IMAX audiences of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
. In order to hear any of that material again, one would have to find a lot of bootleg phone-cam versions, which is exactly what this person did.
Heavenbaby06 wrote on YouTube
I basically had to use different sources from CAM versions found on the web to make it as identical rythmically & of course musically as I possibly could.
Posting as FFDream10 on the Final Fantasy Shrine board
, this person went a little deep on the subject of scores. I found this passage fascinating because I don't think most of us even consider these kinds of things, or follow composers in these terms. I certainly don't.
Frankly I'm not the biggest Hans Zimmer fan, but i'm probably one of his biggest admirers. He knows how to be effective without just being the loudest out there. I wish certain people wouldn't consider him as just being the "epic sound" guy. He's just someone who is very passionate about film music, knows he's good at what he does, is very intuitive about things and knows when something REALLY fits, and all the more important, he has a very good ear... and that I can relate to.
My [number 1] is and always will be John Williams and to tell you the truth I started listening to him ever since I was 7 years old. 14 years later I feel just as passionate as EVER!
Now, how does this relate to your question? Well I think John Williams represent "emotion and intelligence" at its fullest. So this combination has allowed me to always stay connected to him while more and more developing a sense of how his music functioned, which instrument plays which rythm or melody at a given time (Hook, for example was a great unorthodox teacher for that, as I recall), the "counterpoint" aspect and all that (not academically of course, but in a purely intuitive way, I still plan on learning a lot about that though)...
In the end I can say that it helped me for everything I listened to with other Hollywood film composers, like I was also listening abusively to T.Newman, J.Newton Howard, Elfman, etc... I've trained my ear without noticing, this is what i have now & I'm very grateful for it...
It definitely helps when you have to recreate by ear this kind of score with an average quality clip, it's a combination of focus and feel.
I liked the feel of [The Dark Knight Rises prologue] so I decided to focus on it (yeah, that was cheesy, I know).