Speaking Through Music
By Stephanie Jorgl
Audiohead Interviews Tech Tips Events Goods and Gear Featured Music
German-born composer Hans Zimmer has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, including his music for Gladiator, As Good As It Gets, Crimson Tide and The Preachers Wife. In 1998, he was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Dramatic Score for The Thin Red Line and Best Musical/Comedy Score for The Prince of Egypt.
After working on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron last year, Zimmer decided to take on a darker adventure by scoring The Ring, a remake of the Japanese horror movie.
After I did this kids film, I needed an antidote to the sweetness I had to go over to my dark side, he says with a wicked grin. I usually spend more time on my dark side.
Zimmer is also working on director Ridley Scotts latest film, Matchstick Men, as well as The Last Samurai, an epic that takes place in the 1870s. Its like Gladiator in Japan, he says.
Working With Lisa Gerrard
Zimmer pauses to reflect on the Gladiator experience. He and Ridley Scott lured eclectic music goddess Lisa Gerrard known for her work with Dead Can Dance and as a solo artist into helping with the score. Lisa didnt really want to do it when we first phoned her, he says. So Ridley did what every good director does he sent her the film and said, Lets wait and see what she says after she watches the movie.
Well, she phoned up straight away and said Im on the next plane from Australia, he recalls. Gerrard was originally supposed to come over for three days. But she ended up staying for three months.
Things started loosening up in the studio, he says. Lisa wasnt just singing my things, she was really contributing and writing her own stuff. It was so great.
I like working in a collaborative way, says Zimmer. Im not very ego-driven about being The Composer. Whoever brings in great ideas should be welcomed. I think it was really good for Lisa tough, but sort of fun, too. And Ridley is great to work with.
After I did this kids film, I needed an antidote to the sweetness I had to go over to my dark side, says Zimmer, with a wicked grin.
The great thing about Lisa is that sometimes shed be in my room and Id be writing differently because her presence and influence were there, he reflects. So that was great. Lisas got all these computers, but I think in a secret way she fights the technology all the time.
Next page: Learning The Craft of Sound