I’d like to take a moment to discuss an area of composed music that is frequently overlooked: comedy. Consistent with the attitude of the rest of the industry, comedic music is seen as the cheap, uninteresting little brother of the bold, exciting dramatic score. Want proof? In the 12 years since the Academy stopped giving Oscars for both comedic and dramatic scores and consolidated them both into one category, only one comedic score has actually won (Michael Giacchino’s, for Up.) And only 7 of the 60 nominees in that span were comedies, and 5 of those were animated.
But I don’t even want to discuss music in comedic features. I’d like to draw your attention to a few programs that are doing interesting things with music on the small screen. Comedies on cable are employing music in ways that network comedies and studio features wouldn’t even consider, using it not just to create mood and reveal emotion, but also to set up expectations and then defy them, or even comment on the on-screen action.
Considering that my religious views on Facebook are “Harry Potter and Power Yoga,” I’m downright embarrassed that I waited until the Tuesday after it premiered to see The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Overall I left the theatre happy, with an uncontrollable urge to attack someone with a wand and a desire to re-read the seventh book for the third time.
Forgive me for stating the obvious here, but bringing the Potter Universe to life could not have been an easy task. I think I speak for many, if not all, fans of the books when I say that the world that J.K. Rowling creates is almost more precious to us than the characters themselves. It is a character. Every element demonstrates such attention to detail, from the personalities of the paintings at Hogwarts, to the departments in the Ministry of Magic, committing them all to the screen must have been daunting to every single member of the production team. But what about the music? What does this fantastical world sound like? What sort of genres or artists would be surrounding the characters; what would they listen to? (more…)
Navigating the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, congested with both cars and billboards everywhere you look, staring up Jack Black’s crotch or being forced to accept that Khloe and Lamar are indeed “famously” in love, it’s often hard to remember that being a celebrity used to look quite different.
It’s not that the old Hollywood is gone, you just have to pay attention. Just glance past the flashing lights at the Hollywood sign, drive by Culver Studios, grab a bite at the Formosa Cafe, and even if it’s cheesy, go to the Walk of Fame and see if your hands are as small as Gloria Swanson’s. I might work at a film studio, but sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lights day in and day out, I often feel as close to “Hollywood” as Ron Livingston in Office Space.
So when composer/orchestrator/arranger/all-around-great-guy, Joe Trapanese asked that I meet him on one of the great old studio lots for our interview (I would tell you which, but I’m sworn to secrecy), it was painfully hard to act cool about it. While I probably said something to the effect of, “Great. Please send over parking instructions. Looking forward to it.” In my mind, I was squealing like a tween.
Finally we are coming to the grand finale of awards season, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. If you’ve been following Tadpole Audio’s essential award season coverage, you’ll notice that like the Best Picture or Best Actress nominees, most of the below contenders for the music in film awards have appeared over and over again – at the Globes, Grammys, and consequently on this blog. Chances are you’ve all gone out and seen the movies by now too, so if you didn’t listen to score selections or original songs on this site, you still pretty much know what I’m talking about. Just in case you are still hungry for more:
I wrote this post when Inception first came out in theatres for now defunct blog collective, Strangers in Stereo. Since it no longer has a home there, never had a home on Tadpole Audio, and Hans Zimmer’s work on the score has been lauded all over the place this awards season (including an Academy Award nomination) – I thought I would share it once more!
Who hasn’t been talking about Inception for weeks now? It’s an epic mind scramble that everyone has a different opinion about. You can’t help but want to dissect each seemingly insignificant detail and read every possible theory. And there’s been just as much buzz about the Hans Zimmer / Johnny Marr score collaboration – Marr is featured on 8 of the 12 tracks on the soundtrack and you can even stream their performance at the premiere here. Even the actors gushed brilliant words about Zimmer. But what I’m interested in is Edith Piaf.