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Hans Zimmer is one of the biggest film composers working in the industry today.  He won an Academy Award for his work on The Lion King, and has been nominated for six other films including Gladiator, The Thin Red Line, and As Good As It Gets. With The Last Samurai he celebrates his 100th film score, and SoundtrackNet had an opportunity to talk with Hans a few weeks ago during a rare break in his busy schedule working on Something's Gotta Give.<br><br>You've scored many projects during your career, and The Last Samurai is being touted as your 100th film score…<br><br>Well, I'm terrible with math, so I'm not doing the counting. It could be more, it could be less – but apparently it's the 100th.<br><br>So how did you get involved with the project?<br><br>If you're lucky enough to get nominated for an Oscar, you get invited to the Oscar nominee's luncheon where they hand out these little nomination certificates. There are usually 150 people standing there, and people are invited up in alphabetical order, starting with the As. By the time they get to the Cs, everybody's already back at their table chatting and eating, and while the first people called get thunderous applause, you can imagine what it's like when your name starts with Z!<br><br>So Ed Zwick and I were standing there, waiting at one of these luncheons about four years ago, and we started talking to each other. I asked him what he was working on and he told me about this movie called The Last Samurai, which I thought sounded interesting and I asked him to send me a script. After the script arrived, I didn't hear from him for a long time and I thought he'd forgotten about me, not thinking about how difficult it is to set up a samurai movie these days. The other thing I liked about the project was that Tom Cruise was involved, so it was like returning home, since I've scored a bunch of his movies – I knew we were going to have a good time.<br><br>Did it end up that way?<br><br>Ed and his editor Steve Rosenblum are such gentlemen, so together and professional, and they basically did one cut of the film, screened it, and everyone loved their work. So after this, they had plenty of time to come and hang with me, and while I usually love the re-cutting process because it's a diversionary tactic to keep the director and editor out of my life, these guys were great to have around. <br><br>Of course, my sense of paranoia made me think that something was going wrong all the time, waiting for the other shoe to drop, as it were, but it never happened. Ed phoned this morning and I thought, "Oh my god – rewrite!" It's just how my brain works. But I think he and I feel a bit odd now: we've been seeing each other every day for months, and suddenly we're done. I completely understand why people have a problem finishing a movie, because there's something really nice about the process – completion is far more boring.<br><br>For Samurai, you used Japanese percussions and ethnic woodwinds, without getting too 'Japanese'.<br><br>My problem is that I feel Japanese music is really inaccessible to Western ears, and I was really struggling with this film initially, trying to figure out what I was doing. This idea popped into my head for using Western-style themes, but applying a Japanese aesthetic to them, which sounds great of course, until I had to ask myself what I meant! Actually, I think it's just my way of not overloading certain things with too many colors, or being geometrically precise about my cues and not making them too flowery.<br><br>The Tom Cruise character is one of those nasty drunks at the beginning, who obviously has some serious problems he's trying to deal with, or not deal with. He's obnoxious and restless, suffering sleepless nights and is very un-Tom. For me, this character's journey was about his need to earn tranquility and peace, so within the score there's this very romantic, overblown and passionate theme. It's like a juvenile way of dealing with life and death – the pain and liebestod.<br><br>However, to contrast with these very relentless themes, there are a number of stark, formal and sober pieces, because I wanted to take Tom's character on a journey. He comes from America and ends up in this foreign place where he doesn't speak the language or understand the culture. But at the end of the movie, I want the audience to think that there isn't a more beautiful place for him to be, that he is at home in Japan and finally at peace.<br><br>There are many useless acts of bravery we do out of misguided romanticism, and this movie is full of courageous and dignified acts of bravery. So I wanted to play off these acts, since both the American and Japanese cultures have a concept of heroism, and I just wanted to see if I could play with the nature of the two different concepts.<br><br>So you didn't want to do the stereotypical Japanese thing...<br><br>Absolutely not! Take Akira Kurosawa's Ran, for example, which has this brilliant score where Takemitsu writes Western music, but with an Eastern accent. Somebody asked me a few days ago why As Good As It Gets was European – why did I write a European score for a quintessentially American story? For me, it's because Jack Nicholson was crazy in the movie, and I felt one of the great things about America is how they always think we Europeans are crazy. So by writing a European-styled score, it's my way of saying that Jack is crazy, but it's alright!<br><br>How do you feel about people who criticize your work for not fitting into the time period, like Gladiator?<br><br>The reason I take these jobs is because I'm interested in foreign cultures, and every time I get to work on a movie I'm thrown into the adventure of whatever that culture is, the time, and wherever the story's taking place. So one of the things I'm very careful about is not to be historically correct to the culture, but, on the other hand, not to insult the underlying aesthetics of that culture either. I remember watching Chariots of Fire and thinking how brilliantly the music worked, never missing that it wasn't period instruments! I grew up listening to Bach played by a symphony orchestra – it's the wrong sized orchestra with the wrong instruments, but I don't think that's the point.<br><br>With Gladiator, Pietro Scalia brought in a CD saying "this is Ancient Roman music," and I said, "Says who? You went to the Ancient Roman music store and bought an Ancient Roman music CD? Bullshit!" We're not anthropologists. Look at he costumes Ridley Scott had: they were more Napoleonic than Roman, which was perhaps fitting since Napoleon had stolen all of his good ideas from the Romans regarding how to make his generals look cool – and so did Hitler! So I got criticized for making the "Entry into Rome" cue too Leni Riefenstahl – but that was the joke! I am allowed to have a sense of humor in my music!<br><br>Earlier this summer your credit on Pirates of the Caribbean was "Score Overproduced by". What was the deal with that?<br><br>Well, I thought honesty was a virtue! But seriously, Jerry Bruckheimer quite rightly asked me not to give him "that old-fashioned Pirate music," and Gore Verbinski, who I adore and did The Ring with, said, "Well, it is a pirate movie, so we have to disguise it." In the end, I spent a day and a half writing tunes, Klaus Badelt wrote a lot of stuff, and we rolled up our sleeves, got drunk, behaved in a debauched way, and produced a score!<br><br>There was a lot of criticism regarding that score, but in the end it had to serve the film - which it did. You seem to get a lot of criticism on any project you do.<br><br>I had the misfortune of going onto the Film Score Monthly web site recently to look something up and vanity made me type in my own name. I suddenly realized that you can't ever get it right. Who do people want me to be? The guy that writes Matchstick Men? Or the guy that writes The Rock? Or the guy that writes Driving Miss Daisy? My need is ultimately to write for myself. I mock myself and I'm ironic about the way I speak about it because if I take it too seriously, it would be a pompous and boring thing to do. But at the same time I take each note I write very seriously – none of them are random.<br><br>The Internet Movie Database always lists you as being attached to multiple projects, so I was curious, what's Sharktail?<br><br>I complained to Jeffrey Katzenberg that I couldn't cross any more Red Seas, or deal with any more horses that can't speak – I wanted to do one of the fun animated movies instead. There's also a hip-hop element in Sharktail, and I haven't been there yet, so it's new territory! King Arthur is still in production, and I literally just got the first bits of footage just before you came here.<br><br>Are you working on all of these projects simultaneously?<br><br>I'm thinking about them! I'm also working with Jim Brooks on his new comedy, Spanglish.<br><br>And speaking of comedies, you recently did Matchstick Men for Ridley, which had a very Nino Rota vibe to it....<br><br>And I gave him credit! I thought, what if Nino had written the theme and I was just doing the variations? But I bet I'm going to get criticized for that because it's not like Gladiator.<br><br>So when did you last have a vacation?<br><br>Well, I went to Japan for a couple of days at the end of November for the Japanese premiere of Samurai, but look, I love what I do! In January I'll travel to Morocco because Ridley will be shooting his next movie, Kingdom of Heaven, so that's like a holiday!<br><br>My family and I are going away at Christmas, and what we used to do would be to rent a house in the mountains and go on these skiing holidays. It would be a crappy house, not as nice as the one we live in, my wife was still going to the market, and we're still washing our plates – so it wasn't a vacation, it was a lot of work! It's taken us a long time, but we just figured it out: we're not practical with vacations – we're staying at hotels! But while the Zimmer family isn't talented when it comes to vacations, we're talented when it comes to work!<br><br>I sat through Samurai the other day, and for the first time watched the whole movie from top to tail with everything finished and completed. It felt really good, better than a vacation. But luckily there were enough things wrong for me to think that I learned something from the experience, and now I can't wait for the next project to try these new ideas out.<br><br>The soundtrack to The Last Samurai is available from Elektra Records, and the film is currently in theaters. Matchstick Men is available on Varese Sarabande Records.<br><br>With thanks to Chet Mehta at Chasen & Co, Jason Cienkus at Warner Brothers, and Nina Lynch and Mark Wherry at Media Ventures for helping with this interview. And, of course, special thanks to Hans.Mulan get his release... through Disney+, 4th September.Mulan is being released on sept 4th. Can't wait to hear Harry's score!!!!Here's an interview about Last Samurai from Soundtrack.net https: //www.soundtrack. net/content/article/?id=112You can find an interview with Hans on his process for TLS on soundtrack.net somewhere, back in 2003 or 2004
The tracklist they posted has 58 tracks and yours contains only 54<br>interesting thing, He never really spoke about Last Samurai. but you have to realize, even when He speaks, its not always the truth. <br><br>The only thing I know, in 2013 doing press for Rush, He really said the hardest job was Last Samurai, well its not true according to himself, if you watch the behind the scenes stuff from Matchstick Men from 2003, right there He says that he was working on 3 huge films, (tears of the sun / Pirates / last samurai) and Mathstick men was the absolute hardest for him.<br><br>also Ed Zwick talks about working with Hans on the dvd commentary sometimes, but nothing really fancy.<br><br>Im sure there is an interview for this film with him, since he was at the premierI am struggling to find an interview where Hans speaks about this soundtrack. Does it even exist? <br>I spent the last hours digging but nothing. I always desired to hear some comments about it, like he does for the other works he's done.<br>I know it's a far stretch for Hans To release docu scores, but am really curious as to what Brave Miss World, Believer and Jalous of the Birds sound like...<br><br><br>@Mephariel<br>You can find Great Bear Rainforest on bleedingfingersmusic.com under Anze RozmanMondo only offered to send me a return label and a refund. No info yet on if they plan to fix it. :-/
Mine arrived today and is definitely sped up.LOL klaus badelt hardly composed pirates 1You know what? I love the booklet credits! Klaus Badelt is the same guy who scored Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.Thanks Hybrid soldier for the good news<br>I can't wait to see the documental film and hear the score of lorne balfe & hans zimmer.A score will be released.<br><br>You can always count on Lorne for that. It's in the works.
What was the last Zimmer documentary score that they released outside of BBC? <br><br>I am still waiting for The Great Bear Rainforest.I hope they can the soundtrack release for "Rebuilding Paradise" composed by Hans zimmer & Lorne balfe, including an original song for the film. I hope there is a possibility that they will release the score.How to get this at all?Any news about Rebuilding Paradise soundtrack?@Hybrid:<br>Any news about a release for Ron Howard "Rebuilding Paradise" soundtrack by Hans ans Lorne. The documentary airing today. Any info will be much Appreciated.
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Hans ZimmerLorne BalfeAndrew ZackBob Badami
ComposerAdditional MusicScore CoordinatorMusic Supervisor
Sherlock Holmes
Label: WaterTower Music
Length: 54'40
HZimmer.com rating:        4/5
Fans rating:     rate at 1 out of 5 rate at 2 out of 5 rate at 3 out of 5 rate at 4 out of 5 rate at 5 out of 5   2/5 (26968 votes)
  1. Discombobulate (2:25)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  2. Is It Poison, Nanny? (2:53)
    Lorne Balfe
  3. I Never Woke Up In Handcuffs Before (1:44)
    Hans Zimmer
  4. My Mind Rebels At Stagnation (4:31)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  5. Data, Data, Data (2:15)
    Hans Zimmer
  6. He's Killed The Dog Again (3:15)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  7. Marital Sabotage (3:44)
    Hans Zimmer
  8. Not In Blood, But In Bond (2:13)
    Hans Zimmer
  9. Ah, Putrefaction (1:50)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  10. Panic, Shear Bloody Panic (2:38)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  11. Psychological Recovery... 6 Months (18:18)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  12. Catatonic (6:44)
    Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe
  13. Holmes (Hans 'n' Guy Version) (2:14) *
    Hans Zimmer
*Buy tickets in advance for Sherlock Holmes and receive a free exclusive of the song Holmes (Hans 'n' Guy Version) by Hans Zimmer on iTunes.
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Enrico reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
I CAN'T BELIEVE!!! GO HANS!!! SHOW THEM WHO IS TH EKING OF THE WORLD!!!

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
And The Academy Award for best Original Motion Picture Score goes to.....JAMES HORNER for AVATAR....I can see the Future....

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
Giacchino will win. "Married Life" is better than this whole score.

Enrico reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
Maybe, but we must hope...Avatar has been escluded from Golden Globe & Grammy Award...

Enrico reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
Yes Giacchino has made a wonderful score but I think you are in mistake...Sherlock Holmes has a great ideas that have never been used before!

Jon reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
Yes, way to go, Hans! It's great that he gets the recognition he deserves. It's about time to have him nominated again since Gladiator.

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy for you Hans, totally deserve it, I'm soooooooooooooo happy for him.

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
I CAN'T BELIEVE!!! GO HANS!!! SHOW THEM WHO IS TH EKING OF THE WORLD!!!
------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------

Exactly.

Mikel Siw (a fan from Spain) reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
oh Yes Yes Yes!!!! :___:

ZimmerFan from Italy reply Replies: 0 || 2010-02-02 00:00:00
Finally!!!
Congratulations to Hans!!!!

Amber reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-29 00:00:00
I hate to admit that I am only recently (being in the last two years) a fan of Hans Zimmer, but only because I didn't really learn to appreciate the music in films until then. Now, however, I love Hans Zimmer more than anything and his music brings me to heights in which I cannot even describe. This soundtrack is no acception...it is simply incredible. I love the new techniques he uses with not having necessarily the "big band" sound, like in the Pirates movies, but with single instrumentational sounds. It just blows me away. He is the definition of a musical genius.

Daniel reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-29 00:00:00
Adrian,

Thanks for the reply. If that is the case, that is unfortunate because that means I'll probably never get a copy of the track. :-/ If anyone else has any thoughts on the issue, I'd love to hear them.

As for Dredger, I think he actually *is* French, and Sherlock knew that from the first word that Dredger speaks (English, but with a French accent) upon his arrival in the midget's house. The joke then, is that the 'muscle' of the bad guys is actually quite cultural and respectful of honor. I think this is the case given his look of respect when he sees that Sherlock can fight, as well as their continued banter in French. Plus, think about it - why would a London street level thug speak French if he was English? ;)

~Daniel~

Adrian reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-28 00:00:00
@ Daniel
If I'm correct the dude is not French, he just happens to speak French... How would Sherlock even know he is French? I think that's joke! Or am I wrong?

As for the music... When I heard it, I assumed it was Hans... The score in the film is million times longer than on this CD, so the chance is big it's a Zimmer-piece that wasn't put on the disc.

marcelo reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-27 00:00:00
the cd is fantastic

Daniel reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-27 00:00:00
I'm a bit confused, and would really appreciate any help anyone could give. In the movie, during the 1st fight scene with Dredger (the big Frenchman), an Irish-sounding piece of music plays. It has no lyrics, and is not credited separately in the credits at the end of the movie. Is this a piece that HZ wrote that he just didn't put on the soundtrack? I really enjoyed it, as short as it was, and if anyone recognized what it is I would really appreciate your help.

~Daniel~

Plz note: I'm *not* talking about Rocky Road to Dublin.

gaber reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-26 00:00:00
i like this movie too mach

Dzingiskan reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-24 00:00:00
Hans Zimmer has again given a proof how brilliant composer he is...

RJ reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-24 00:00:00
the soundtrack is what made the movie so sensational. "discombobulated" is brilliant. i cant wait for the sequel of this movie. i hope the soundtrack in that is equally good as well..

Jayita reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-24 00:00:00
The movie was absolutely brilliant, and the music by Hans Zimmer was even more so. Totally loved it.

Miles reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-23 00:00:00
@kakashi:

It's "Not In Blood, But In Bond."

bavly reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-23 00:00:00
gooooooood

Benjie reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-23 00:00:00
My goodness this score is amazing... Psychological Recovery.....6 Months introduction and approx. 3 minutes... sensational! Huge fan! <3

Asi reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-23 00:00:00
Wow,the movie was fantastic and the soundtrack too!!totally loved it!!!

kakashi reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-22 00:00:00
which track has the music when watson is caught in the explosion.

ogga reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-22 00:00:00
the movie is greaaaaaaaat....i wanna the sound track of it cause i couldnt find it plzzzzzz

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-22 00:00:00
its a magnificent soundtrack")pulls you rite in the middle"" strong and so energytic" am always been a fan of a good jig" and i woud like to know the irish song when sherlock is fighting"" i don think he is on the soundtrack

jerrymui reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-20 00:00:00
About Sherlock Holmes 5.1

File this one under "Why Even Bother?!" As per the instructions included in the CD;

Instructions For Downloading and Playing 5.1 Surround Files

1. Go to exclusive website using enhanced CD and click on button to download 5.1 Surround Sound Files
2. Unzip the file "SherlockSurround.zip"
3. Import WAV files and burn audio CD using any burning software (iTunes, Nero, Toast, etc.)
4. Play disc in any home theater system that supports 5.1 Dolby Pro Logic ll audio

Don't waste your time. The actual CD sounds virtually indistinguishable from the "PLll surround encoded" burned disc. Both played via HDMI (PCM stream) to receiver with PLll decoding. Comparing the wav file images from both enhanced CD and dowloaded files (via Wavasaur) reveal no difference - they are both stereo 16/44 files. The music itself while I'm sure complimentary to the viewing of the film, does not really stand up well on its own (IMO).

If you want to enjoy multichannel download files you are much better off buying the grammy nominated David Huber's "Colab" disc from CD Baby (there is also a DTS CD available). The 5.1 MP3 files are actually multichannel and decode VERY discretely.

You would think that with the resources available to Warner Bros and multi Acadamy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer, they could come up with something more sophisticated than this fairy dust - especially when compared to the efforts of someone like Mr. Huber who is self released and has what appears to be very limited resources.

Anonymous reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-19 00:00:00
Totally understand you there, Matthew. Sometimes there'll be a lot of music in an actual movie that isn't in the released soundtrack, which is also the case with all three of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, sadly.

Mich reply Replies: 0 || 2010-01-17 00:00:00
Was someone saying Hans Zimmer had something to do with the Avatar soundtrack? I thought James Horner composed that?
I can't see Mr. Zimmer doing a movie like Avatar. Dunno why, but it just doesn't seem his thing.

And Matthew, I'm not sure what sound exactly you're referring to, but I can tell you different instruments make all kinds of weird sounds when played different ways, so there's really no unique sound that "belongs" to any one movie. More specifically, every composer has unique styles and quirky techniques, so maybe you're hearing some similarities between the two tracks, which is completely possible.

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Sherlock Holmes soundtrack - Hans Zimmer 2009