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Hans Zimmer: "Filmmaking Is Collaborative, Why Does It Need To Stop When It Comes To Music?"

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist April 4, 2014 at 11:12AM

Hans Zimmer is one of the most in demand composers at the moment, and with that busy schedule, he's called in collaborators to help bring his work to life. The forthcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" score will feature Zimmer working alongside Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski, Steve Mazzaro and Incubus member Mike Einzinger. But that process can sometimes bring into question who is the real writer or author of the score, occasionally creating a minor controversy when it comes to credit (please see the "Inception" BRAAAM debate). But for Zimmer as long as it's his idea, he believes who helps execute that vision comes secondary.
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Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is one of the most in demand composers at the moment, and with that busy schedule, he's called in collaborators to help bring his work to life. The forthcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" score will feature Zimmer working alongside Pharrell Williams, Johnny Marr, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski, Steve Mazzaro and Incubus member Mike Einzinger. That process can sometimes bring into question who is the real writer or author of the score, occasionally creating a minor controversy when it comes to credit (please see the "Inception" BRAAAM debate). But for Zimmer as long as it's his idea, he believes who helps execute that vision comes secondary.

"Filmmaking is collaborative, why does it need to stop when it comes to music? Because the director doesn't have the vocabulary? The musicians I work with speak English as well as I do, we're talking about story, character, pace, editing. We're talking about the film as a whole," he told Thompson On Hollywood.

"I am still an architect. Authorship seems to be more difficult for other people. My head runs over with ideas, I can't sleep at night, I get home and get another idea, go back to studio and do it. I am surrounded by brilliant musicians, it's a give and take, constantly. The original concept is mine," Zimmer continued. "I ask Ron [Howard] how 'Rush' should sound. He'll blame me. We work strictly in collaboration with conversations we've had. I was speaking to somebody yesterday about an idea. Beethoven had an orchestrator. He did it all himself — [sings the "dum dum dum dum" opening of the Ninth Symphony] — then the orchestra would do the rest. He would have been well pissed off if someone said the orchestra came up with [that opening]. At the end of the day the things that is remembered is the big idea, the tune, the hooks in the architecture."

Thoughts? Do think Zimmer's view on writing and composing is correct or do those who help shape an idea need credit? Let us know below.


This article is related to: Hans Zimmer, Clickables


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