“Have we reached peak Hans Zimmer?”

Hot on the tails of our recent post about the BRAAM, comes an announcement of a one day workshop exploring the influence of the work of Hans Zimmer. The workshop looks to be an interesting day of talks taking place at City University.

“Have we reached peak Hans Zimmer?”

Wednesday 25/10, 4-6 pm
City, University of London
Music Department
College Building, room AG08
280 St John St, London EC1V 4PB

Jordan Hoffman’s recent article in The Guardian asks what many media composers are inwardly thinking: have we reached peak Hans Zimmer? The film composer has, along with his numerous acolytes, inadvertently altered what every blockbuster is supposed to sound like these days with propulsive, repetitive themes, timbral motifs, and increasing use of ‘shepard tones’. Nicholas Reyland likens the rapid spread of Zimmer’s particular style and aesthetics to ‘a McDonalds or a Starbucks colonising the world’s high streets and displacing local variety with generic conformity and a profitably limited product range developed, through hyper-efficient processes, from a few highly standardised ingredients’ (Reyland, 2015: 122). With Zimmer’s company, Remote Control, having provided many of today’s top screen composers their big break in the industry, many perpetuating their mentor’s scoring tropes, Hoffman questions, ‘maybe it’s OK to let someone else have a turn from time to time?’ (Hoffman: 2017).

The two articles that will be discussed are:
(1) https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/sep/18/hans-zimmer-blade-runner-2049-film-composer
(2) REYLAND, Nicholas. Corporate Classicism and the Metaphysical Style, in: MSMI 9/2 (2015), pp. 115-130.

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