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And the Oscar Goes ...
Last post Sat, Oct 22 2011 by Errikos, 87 replies.
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Posted on Mon, Feb 28 2011 10:25
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102

Down the Toilet:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM0ULDJhCRY&feature=related

And you know what? I'm glad it did. It's a huge slap in the face of what soundtracks have become today: Facile cliched beat/arpeggio-driven crap with some chords played on top for the most part. So, why not go straight to the crap-source that is this music, instead of again rewarding run of the mill hybrids like the soundtracks of 'Inception' or 'How to Train Your Dragon'. I hope next year the Academy will just withhold the Best Music Oscar for lack of any eligible nominations (something they should have done this time).

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Mon, Feb 28 2011 22:55
by kleinholgi
Joined on Sat, May 09 2009, Posts 171

Couldn´t believe it.

He gets an Oscar for that ?

I´m absolutely not against Elektro, House, Techno or the use of arpeggiators et. al. Also Trent Reznor is usually not the worst of the producers, but there are at least 100 sound themes on my mind better than this, that would or have fitted as film music.

Clubbed to death , Future Sound of London, Jones & Stephenson, Jam & Spoon, Trentemöller and the list goes on...

"We are on the express elevator to hell - going down"

Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 00:02
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5701

.

Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 00:32
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102

Perhaps I didn't come out clear enough. By changing the order of William's comment around I must say that I also somewhat liked this as a track and found it somewhat cool, but feel it shouldn't win an Oscar - except to slap current film-composers (and their directors) hard in the face saying "Wake up you turds! This otherwise "cool" track would never win this award 20-30 years ago! What's wrong with you?! Do you really want to eventuate and hasten the burial of orchestral soundtracks for good?! Because that's where we're going. By ever treating the orchestra as a pad with occasional loud brass-farts over - tearfully cliched by now - taiko off-beats, you're ever sending it to the background of oblivion where its potential variety, colour, and breadth of expression will be dumbed by your genetically welded ineptitude! And there will be a point that the orchestra will sound so drab and boring in the near future that I can hear the first producer who will say "Do we really need to hire an orchestra? They don't seem to be doing much more than (insert King Turd's name here) is perfectly capable of doing with his keyboard and with one hand on the mouse at that!" And that will be the beginning of the end...

So go ahead, give next year's Oscar to a DJ while Williams and Morricone are also nominated; let's speed things up!

P.S.: It was a really sad case of affairs to see the photograph of the recent 'Tech Dinner' that Obama threw for some industry giants. Steve Jobs sitting to Obama's left, while the chair to his right was reserved for Zuckerberg's butt...

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 01:53
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5701

.

Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 11:56
by mosso
Joined on Thu, Jun 23 2005, London, England, Posts 376
Errikos wrote:
"Wake up you turds! This otherwise "cool" track would never win this award 20-30 years ago!

Sure
- that's why in 1980 'Fame' beat 'The Empire Strikes Back' for the award of Best Original Score. Take off the rose-tinted spectacles...

Martin Thornton
<a href="http://www.mosso.co.uk/" target="_blank">www.mosso.co.uk</a>
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 16:03
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102
mosso wrote:

Sure
- that's why in 1980 'Fame' beat 'The Empire Strikes Back' for the award of Best Original Score. Take off the rose-tinted spectacles...

I'm not wearing any rose-tinted glasses, things were incalculably better back then. Your point is well taken and I concede it, but that is the only eye-gouging aberration I'm aware of in the last 50-60 years. Of course there can be endless debates about how scores should have prevailed over other scores and how Morricone and North should have been awarded multiple Oscars etc., but there is nothing like the steady decline of the past few years, especially in what the current token soundtrack sounds like compared to that of 30 years ago, even compared to Gore's 'Fame'! This year's Academy Award merely made that official.

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 16:08
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102
William wrote:

Your point about the total destruction of orchestral scoring is undeniable and in this day of Hans the Zimmerian, Warlord of the Fiefdom of Universalis Homophonicus.

I really liked that!

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 17:07
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582

I don't watch the Academy Awards anymore but this year I'm glad The King's Speech did as well as it did.  I think it should have done better but maybe that's why they don't let me sit on the Academy.  The King's Speech is one of those rare gems that doesn't rely on special effects and digital wizardry.  Instead, it runs on pure dialogue and well written dialogue.  In fact, it was almost like watching a play on the screen. 

Although I haven't heard his score Trent Reznor, nor his band Nine Inch Nails, never really impressed me all that much and I grew up listening to that type of music.  I never heard anything innovative or cutting edge that he did in the analog synth world that hadn't already been done before yet everybody claims that he is a pioneer.  To me, he seemed to emphasize style rather than substance and I like it the other way around but that's just me.

Errikos wrote:

And there will be a point that the orchestra will sound so drab and boring in the near future that I can hear the first producer who will say "Do we really need to hire an orchestra? They don't seem to be doing much more than (insert King Turd's name here) is perfectly capable of doing with his keyboard and with one hand on the mouse at that!" And that will be the beginning of the end...

This idea is pretty much a clay pigeon Erik because the players' unions shoot it down every time.  Yes.  it's been thought of before.  However, I wouldn't put it past the Z Man to have his entire 100 piece orchestra playing little MIDI controllers instead of their respective instruments.  So instead of sliding the bow across the strings the violinists would just press the required note on his keyboard with his right hand and change the articulations of the loaded solo violin sample with the left hand.  Of course if they are just playing pads then there isn't a whole lot of articulation switching there.  I could see the unions going along with that. 

 


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 18:08
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2371

Think about when orchestral scores came back into vogue and what the film was that featured a flat-out orchestra. And also try to understand how the oscar academy works. I can't go on repeating this shytte.

Bernard Herrmann won an oscar in 1940 not for Citizen Kane but a now very much lesser known film called The Devil & Daniel Webster. Very clever scoring with the use of 4 overdubbed solo violin performances. Highly original as was the score to Citizen Kane. From thereon, to 1974 Herrmann never won another oscar for filmscoring. Why? Because they didn't like him as a person. They thought he was a rather common, rude person from New York and in Hollywood, talent doesn't really mean anything when it comes to awards. 

Talented people only really come to the fore years after the original project has been done and dusted and is then rediscovered by new generations. Why anyone would care about baftas or oscars is beyond me, unless of course you are the recipient and your salary/fee goes up.

If those wankers in Hollywood are telling me that Herrmann was only worth one oscar in 34 years of filmscoring and for instance, John Barry was worth 5, then I'm telling them their oscars are nothing more than a payscale fix.

Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 18:40
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102

You're right Paul in that the Oscars are not some kind of ultimate designators of the highest standards, not just in music, but in most categories. And yes, Herrmann deserved many more awards, as did Goldsmith, Morricone deserved at least one if not five or six ('Cinema Paradiso' with an opening title which is arguably the most inspired melody ever composed for film wasn't even nominated), and a host of others. And there have been innumerable occasions when one score should have triumphed over all others and didn't.

However, until this year there has never been such indigence of talent, such penury of originality and character (at least among the nominees), where it made sense to give the award to something different, rather than select one among the yet again tawdry symphonic scores. That I considered a well-deserved and long over due slap in the collective face of composers. And I don't mean that the winning soundtrack must by definition be symphonic; it could be traditional, regional, black metal, anything as long as it served the film and was inspired and characteristic (as opposed to *#&$(@^ generic). I would have wholeheartedly awarded Ocean's 11 and 12 in lieu of something interesting in the orchestral domain in the relevant years.

Jasen, would you care to elaborate regarding the music unions? I don't understand how they can force a producer to hire live musicians as opposed to just have the token Z-clone press buttons. I hope you're right by the way, I just can't make sense of it.

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 19:35
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

Errikos wrote:
...run of the mill hybrids like the soundtracks of 'Inception' or 'How to Train Your Dragon'...

Have you even heard the soundtrack for Dragon?



mosso wrote:

Sure - that's why in 1980 'Fame' beat 'The Empire Strikes Back' for the award of Best Original Score. Take off the rose-tinted spectacles...





Bingo.  People really think this is something new?  And it's not the only example by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 20:29
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102
mike connelly wrote:

Errikos wrote:
...run of the mill hybrids like the soundtracks of 'Inception' or 'How to Train Your Dragon'...

Have you even heard the soundtrack for Dragon?


mosso wrote:

Sure - that's why in 1980 'Fame' beat 'The Empire Strikes Back' for the award of Best Original Score. Take off the rose-tinted spectacles...


Bingo.  People really think this is something new?  And it's not the only example by any stretch of the imagination.

I heard the no.1 track on the wretched YouTube before I posted this thread, and wasn't impressed at all! However, I admit my haste to have judged a book by its cover, so following your question/admonition I went back and listened to a few more tracks. Although it is not my cup of tea and I didn't hear anything characteristic no matter how many styles this consummate composer threw in the music, I certainly heard a lot of fresh writing; this man has more talent in one braincell than 'You Know Who' has tracks in his most obfuscated and turgid mix. At last, someone with technique to spare, although judging from his penchant for too much eclecticism and popish rhythms he must be young, which means he could mature into an extraordinary composer in today's climate. So, with all contrition I withdraw this score from my list of current 'run of the mill' soundtracks.

However, I maintain that this year's Academy Award for music is the biggest slap ever delivered on current film-music's ugly face, and that the 1980 aforementioned example is the only one that comes near it. All the other "injustices" were far less outrageous when compared to 2011 (twenty eleven).

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Mar 01 2011 23:17
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582
Errikos wrote:

Jasen, would you care to elaborate regarding the music unions? I don't understand how they can force a producer to hire live musicians as opposed to just have the token Z-clone press buttons. I hope you're right by the way, I just can't make sense of it.

 

Hopefully, somebody a little more knowledgable in the subject than me will correct any erroneous information that I may post as I don't claim to be an authority on this but the way I understand it is the players unions have agreements with the major studios wherein if a composed score requires acoustic instruments then the studio must hire living breathing musicians (union members) to perform.  They are usually on contract with the studio anyway.  Although the composer may use sample libraries for mock ups the studio can not then use those mock ups as the master score recording to be synced to the film.  There are some rare exceptions here and there; Danny Elfman has been known to use samples in his scores.  Now I'm probably overgeneralizing this but that's how I understand it.  There are similar agreements for live theatre orchestras too.

AFAIK this just applies to the major studios such as Disney, MGM, etc.  Smaller independent studios and producers are free to use samples, mock ups or whatever.  Generally, smaller studios hire nonunion players where they can anyway.  In fact, if they can afford it they tend to go overseas, especially Eastern Europe.         


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2011 00:21
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102

I'm sure glad to hear what you say but only insofar as it preserves live playing in a way. On the other hand it sounds totalitarian to enforce any private party to hire people when they weren't planning on hiring any. Come to think of it I believe there are some of us who would be ecstatic to hear that orchestrators decided to go on strike (if only) like the writers did a few years back. That would certainly illuminate the new "emperors'" clothes we've been forced to admire for the past 10-15 years since those charlatans wouldn't be able to resort to their musical wheelchairs (Cinescamples etc.) according to your theory...

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2011 06:14
by pringlestar
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2008, SoCal, Posts 29

I was personally hoping that John Powell's score would win for How to Train Your Dragon.  I loved the music and the film.  It worked really well together, and the music is enjoyable and entertaining on its own--separate from the film.

As far as Zimmer is concerned, whom I tend to, I guess, despise, I have to say that I liked the film Inception, and I like the music with the film.  But unlike Dragon, the music does not transcend the picture, which to my mind makes Dragon a better candidate.  Zimmer's music was powerful, but it had no heart to it, no real earnestness.

As far as Social Network, again the music works with the film, but apart, it's just loops and textures that don't mean a lot without something to look at.  Am I the only one who feels a similarity between the Social Network's main theme and the song "Passenger Seat" by Death Cab for Cutie?  It's those piano notes...

Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2011 15:18
by mike connelly
Joined on Wed, Apr 28 2004, Posts 260

He didn't say they were stock loops.  I'm sure Reznor took the time to create his own loops, but that doesn't change the fact that they are loops.

I agree that creating new synth patches is an art.  However I didn't notice any that were remotely original in the film, maybe he took lots of time to create new sounds from scratch but the end result was patches that sounded like a million other existing synth patches.  Reznor does have some amazing work under his belt.  But a score should be judged on its merits, not given a pass based on past work.  There's plenty of NIN material that I'd consider award quality, but this soundtrack wasn't even in the same league, a major step down for him.

Posted on Wed, Mar 02 2011 21:28
by pringlestar
Joined on Sun, Mar 02 2008, SoCal, Posts 29
vibrato wrote:

Its very ignorant of you to say that Reznor's music is just loops and textures as if you were in his studio to see that he was just chopping off loops and using stock Omnisphere textures.

Fair enough.  How about if I said, "modern minimalism isn't my cup of tea" instead?  I didn't mean to imply he used prefab loops, as was indicated, and I don't own Omnisphere--probably couldn't afford it right now anyway--just that he seemed to repeat himself a lot.  Perhaps there was a reason for it and he was playing upon the filmmaker's suggestion of borderline Asperger's that Zuckerberg exhibited, and the kinds of repetetive ticks associated.  It worked with the film--I'm not arguing that, just that I personally and subjectively felt that it doesn't translate to the enjoyment of repeated listenings separately from the film in the same way that Dragon does.  I had an emotional connection to the musical material that transcends the movie, and I didn't with the Social Network.

Posted on Thu, Mar 03 2011 00:10
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1582
vibrato wrote:

I find most forums slightly elitist towards symphonic Film music. I love it and write just that kind of music most of the time but most people kind of look down upon most other kind of music in films. Zimmer for instance is constantly hated (specially on VSL) because of his unique use of the orchestra and heavy use of electronic sounds.

 

 

Well I don't hate Zimmer (the Z-Man).  In fact I enjoyed his earlier scores thinking he was going to be the next Vangelis.  Wishful thinking.  He does what he does and if people are willing to pay him for doing what he does then good for him.  I think the disdain towards Zimmer and his imitators on forums like this come from the belief that what he does isn't film scoring it's just swaths of sound that can't stand on their own without a visual.  Thus the intellectual war between sound designers and composers rages on.

vibrato wrote:

Everyones opinions are respected! I am usualy suspicious of the tone other people write off electronic music with. I just dint think that Reznor's score was not deserving at all or anything like that.

Who's writing off electronic music?  I think electronic loops playing over and over are as mind numbing as a 100 piece orchestra playing the same chord progression over and over again.  Vangelis is one of my favorite composers.  Gorgio Morodor's score for Scarface gets plenty of air time in my mp3 player as well. 

Regarding Reznor.  As I said before I don't have anything against him I just think he's over rated a bit.  When I composed electronic music exclusively people like Nicky Ryan were more of an influence on me while all my contemporaries were worshiping Trent Reznor.  I never quite understood it.  Who the hell is Nicky Ryan?  He's one third of Enya.  He's her producer and the one credited for creating her distinctive sound.  Now there's a master composer of synth pads.  He's uses nothing more than Enya's voice heavily processed through some antiquated samplers.  And you won't hear any mindnumbing loops in her music, electronic or acoustic.     


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Thu, Mar 03 2011 01:36
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1102

Time again for some perspective in this forum...

Orchestral music ranges from Beethoven's 9th to the occupant of the bottom rung of the talent-ladder from Hell of 'You Know Who'"s imitators; they both score/d for orchestra; but what an immeasurable difference... And may I also mention the almost immeasurable amount of composers that fill the void in between?

Same goes for electronic music. I'm sick and tired of people referring to electronic music as the domain of "creative DJs" and so-called "sound designers", "producers", whatever, who buy the truly illustrious Omnisphere and because they tweak a couple of knobs which change the sounds they delude themselves into believing they're creative??!! If you think you know anything about synthesis start from a raw sine wave in Csound or a simple sample and impress me without using other people's algorithms; that's exactly what all those composters are doing with those ready-made orchestral chunks on the other side of the spectrum. They use their mouse-riding index finger to trigger already sequenced aptly orchestrated blocks and just put them together with maybe an asinine "melodic" line of their own on top of other people's work; bravo!... bravo!... What invention!... Same with those insignificants that lay down a beat slightly filtered and keep adding loops (even their own - who cares really...), and by twisting a knob every few seconds, or drawing automation (you need a Ph.D for that) they create musical modulation, i.e. interest... bravo again.... I wonder do any of these people have any idea what real inventive electronic music sounds like? What uncharted vistas of sonic universes are possible? Would they have heard the names of Xenakis, Lansky, the work at IRCAM, etc.? 

As long as we know what we are talking about maybe we can get somewhere in a discussion, so long as people broaden their academic horizons a little and learn how to apply nomenclature. Yes, the quirky, "cool" score of the Faecebook film was electronic music as there were no acoustic instruments involved, but let's not taint that enormous and important musical genre by elevating such basic, puerile and marginal works as representatives of that genre; we might as well refer to Giacchino's Star Trek soundtrack as a token example of 'Classical Music' because a live orchestra was employed...

Perspective!

P.S.: Yes, a lot of us hate the 'Z''s music, but I don't think we hate him specifically, as a person. However, I hate his imitators more (pilferers), and most of all, the directors that hire them and keep them from immediately starving in the anti-Darwinian fight for "survival of the unfittest" (actual destroyers of culture).

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
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