Hans Zimmer is often associated with loud, bombastic scores, sometimes to the point of parody — or, perhaps, even self-parody, depending on who you ask. But that’s not always true, as pointed out by Dan Golding. There’s been a contemplative, gentler Zimmer seen in recent years, and that’s examined in the video essay, “The Meaning in the Music: Hans Zimmer and Time.”
Focusing on his healthy working relationship with director Christopher Nolan, Golding looks at how their shared common theme of time in their work plays and pulls different musical ideas. This is seen notably in “Inception,” as you can imagine, particularly in how each layer of the dream is reflected with slower, more drawn-out music, which helps to anchor us during the complex journey through multiple inner dimensions along with Edith Piaf’s slowed-down rendition of “Non Je ne Regrette Rien.”
READ MORE: 6-Minute Video Essay Explores ‘The Epidemic Of Passable Movies’
Time is stretched in the world of “Inception” while in “Interstellar,” that idea is taken even further with music that is unhurriedly unraveled. Meanwhile, Zimmer’s clever approach to melody is also explored, with the composer’s knack for working with the familiar themes, such as in the score for “Man Of Steel,” getting some shine.
The scores might be loud at time, but they’re also very meticulous in their design and dynamics. Check out the video below, and let us know what you think in the comment section.
Composing Your Dreams
If you’ve ever seen any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, or watched the Academy Awards this year, you’ve heard the music of Hans Zimmer. He has composed music for The Ring, Kung Fu Panda, and everything in between. Before he wrote music for The Dark Knight, Zimmer was composing music for Air-Adel Associates – specifically, ad jingles.
I’m always fascinated by people who have achieved their dreams and can still look back fondly on times they had before they “made it.” It’s more than remembering where they came from. Many celebrities and successful people can reminisce about their struggle to get to the top, but precious few remind us of a very important fact of life: enjoying the journey won’t keep you from reaching the destination.
While reading up on Hans Zimmer, I came upon this quote in reference to writing the theme music for a UK game show:
“[It] was a lot of fun. It’s the sort of stuff you do when you don’t have a career yet. God, I just felt so lucky because this thing paid my rent for the longest time.”
It’s this positive, humble attitude – even moreso than his music – that makes Hans Zimmer a great man to watch and listen to.
A few months ago I was filing – the low-level employee’s bread and butter – when I came upon a balloon with the company logo printed on it. Before I knew it, my supervisor had cranked up the music and declared that the whole department was to get up and dance. We played a game of “keep it up” and got the balloon stuck in the light fixture. As I watched a tall coworker poke at the trapped balloon, I felt a pang of despair that I was leaving this wonderful place for grad school in the fall. A jolt of panic shot through me – was I letting myself get distracted from my ultimate goal of being a college professor by an entry-level position, my very first job out of college? How could I possibly achieve my goals if I allowed myself to be sidetracked by such frivolity? I thought I couldn’t afford to love anything less than my absolute dream job.
Hans Zimmer’s big break came when he composed the score for Rain Man. Looking at his profile on IMDB, it’s hard to believe he had enough time to put his pants on in the morning what with all of the movies, tv shows, shorts, and more that he’s composed for. For all of that, his greatest achievement is getting to the top of his profession while loving what he was doing along the way. He kept his focus and was grateful for every opportunity to learn and grow (and pay the rent). Thanks to Hans Zimmer, I have realized that my dreams won’t go up in smoke just because I spend the occasional lunch break eating out with my coworkers instead of sitting in my car reading critical essays. I hope you will take a page from Hans Zimmer’s music stand, dear readers, and embrace every opportunity. You never know which one is going to be your Rain Man.