The strength in a film score

Photography by Wes Hicks | Unsplash

I watched Superman when I was a little girl, with Christopher Reeve and when I heard the music start up, I cringed. You could hear it was an orchestra playing to the film. Decades later I realised the problem, Hans Zimmer took the reigns of the soundtrack with Henry Cavill as Superman and the manuscript written by David S. Goyer, –Superman has never been stronger.

New type of film music

If you look at the evolvement of soundtracks over the years, they have been somewhat close to classical music which entertains the listener whilst evoking a feeling of romance, suspense or sadness.

With the rising level in fiction production and not to mention the popularity of the genre, not only fiction geeks are awaiting the premiere dates with suspense, they are now a household genre. With this popularity, a new type of film music has found its place and Hans Zimmers methods have everything to do with it.

Ten years ago I went to the movies and was forever a changed woman. I have been a cinephile since I was around six years old and I have loved most genres of music, but this was a whole other level of artistry. Hans Zimmer collaborates with known artists, adding instruments from popular music and sounds from his computer to find the right fit for the film.

The sound

Through the whole movie, my chest was slowly moving in fascination and deep breaths of the sounds that demanded my attention to the movie Inception. By chance, the only seat available was on the first row and I never loved sitting there as I did then. Instruments I wasn’t used to yet, although I had heard this sound before in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, blew my mind. I tend to watch movies several times if I like them and this one was every day for a week and then some.

They even have a name for it: the Inception Horn, described as a distinctive sound created as one sound with five different instruments. The French horn, the Bassoon, the Trombone, The Tuba and the Timpani. A deep dive into the design behind the sound was written by in 2014.

A new era in composing film music

No wonder three years later, Superman Begins was launched and a mix of horns was again one of the trademarks, and it has ever since, not to mention Wonder Woman Theme by Tina Gao.

It wasn’t John Williams fault that I cringed at the early Superman movies, he worked with what he had available and what he does best. I loved the soundtrack of The Post which is where I find him more fitting, in a drama genre.

Superheroes are a different beast to tackle when it comes to soundtracks. Others like Michael Giacchino with the soundtracks of Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (the Jyn Erso & Hope Suite is amazing), Star Trek Beyond and Star Trek Into Darkness has continued with music taking the space of the supporting actor it has become.

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