Search Results for : The Composer

Little Women: A 20th Anniversary Conversation with Thomas Newman and Gillian Armstrong

Little Women is one of those scores that just sounds like liquefied Christmas. You put it on and snow starts falling, the smell of pine and burning wood fill the room, and you’re suddenly transported to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord. The music tells its own story—about growing up, family bonds, painful losses and reunions, the passing of seasons and the unforgiving march of time—all set in the particular period of 19th century New England.

Faith in Abstract Ideas: Christopher Nolan and Hans Zimmer on the Interstellar score

Interstellar is a culmination project for Christopher Nolan. It’s both the biggest, grandest blockbuster that films like Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy have been promises of…and the most personal, zoomed-in story Nolan has tackled thus far. It’s as much about mind-bending scientific theories and the entire universe as it is about the love between a father and his daughter.

It was also the culmination of Nolan’s fruitful, rule-breaking collaboration with Hans Zimmer, who has increasingly been invited to begin developing the musical layer of Nolan’s films during their earliest stage. They are collaborators in the truest sense of the word, and are blazing a path of creative symbiosis that defies the often stifling norm of temp tracks and eleventh-hour music shellacking.

Disarming Swatches: Trent Reznor on Gone Girl

I wrote a tiny article for Variety on the Gone Girl score, for which I had the pleasure of interviewing Trent Reznor for a fair amount of time. Reznor is a polarizing and even despised figure in the realm of film score geekdom, but it’s been fascinating to see how his music for the screen has been embraced and lauded by critics and mainstream audience members—most of whom pay little to no attention to film music. That visibility and acclaim is certainly aided by his rockstar status, but I think it’s also a testament to how prominently David Fincher presents and mixes Reznor’s music (which he co-writes with Atticus Ross). Say what you will about the music’s efficacy or intricacy, but Fincher clearly gives his composers the spotlight far more than most directors, which I find extremely commendable. If nothing else, Reznor is shaking up the film world and making people talk about the music. And to that I say: bring it on.

Scoring the Cosmos: A Conversation with Alan Silvestri and Seth MacFarlane

MacFarlaneIt still feels weird that the creator of the wisecracking, puerile, and frequently crude cartoon Family Guy is the executive producer of a series that (in his words) earnestly explores the science of the cosmos. But it seems Seth MacFarlane loves defying expectations as much as he enjoys spinning a dozen plates at once as an undeniably talented voice actor, regular actor, writer, director, and producer (despite your or my opinion of his sense of humor).

John Lunn, Jeff Beal, and Mark Snow on the ascension of TV music

I wrote an LA Weekly piece, posted today, on television music in light of the upcoming concert hosted by the television academy. In it I said that “TV music has largely languished in a sea of forgettability”—and while I admit it’s not totally fair to paint the whole medium with such a broad brush, I do think most TV scores throughout the decades have been pretty bad.

I’m not talking about TV theme songs, which are their own animal. Actual television underscore has suffered from the limitations and weaknesses of the format: short, choppy cues, the repetitive use of reheated “library” cues, and either a busy style that apes manic action or boring, ambient drones.