Our review of the documentary Hans Zimmer, the Hollywood composer on Arte

Among the first to democratize the synth in film music, the composer has become a rock star of which Arte paints a colorful portrait. Hans Zimmer, the Hollywood composera documentary not to be missed this Sunday, May 21 at 11:05 p.m. on Arte.

It’s a studio that looks like him. Fanciful and uninhibited. Made of odds and ends. “ A unique and out-of-this-world place, where samurai stuff sits alongside old club sofas in a Buddhist temple atmosphere “, confirms the director Steve McQueen, in front of the cameras of Arte. It was there, in this complex of studios called Remote Control, which he himself had built in the early 2000s in Santa Monica, that Hans Zimmer gives free rein to his imagination, sometimes without the slightest image, to dress films, documentaries and series of sound universes, each more surprising than the next.

Thunderous percussion

None of his music for the cinema is alike. And yet, ” i can still recognize it says Ron Howard. It is true that he has his signatures. Like this timpani, b drum or other thundering percussion, which ends most of his scores, in the shape of an exclamation point. An imposture, the composer laughs: ” Most of the time when directors arrive at the studio, I haven’t finished the score. So I add a big drumbeat at the end, it hides the fact that it wasn’t over! »


He is like that, friend Hans. Indomitable. Even at 65 years old. Retirement ? Very little for him. On stages around the world where he now replays his music live, he looks like a rock star. In Santa Monica, his brigade of istants follows him everywhere. He involves them in his creative process. Seek their advice. He may have a reputation as Hollywood’s most in-demand composer, but he insists on overseeing every new soundtrack. Always looking for new ideas. Like when it comes to evoking, with a few synth notes, the continuous rustling of the wind on the tundra.
This pion for synths has followed him since the 1980s. In his former London studio in Lillie Yard, near Earl’s Court (shed he shared with composer Stanley Myers, twenty years his senior) is the first polyphonic synth which the two men used to My Beautiful Laundretteby Stephen Frears, in 1985. Will follow The Last EmperorThen Rain Manby Barry Levinson, which will earn Zimmer his first Oscar nomination – and dozens of proposals during the lunch that followed.
You have to see the machine. A synthesizer at least two meters high and three wide. Buttons and cables all over the place. An ode to tinkering and artisanal sounds. Would you believe it? It is in the bowels of this “big beast” that he went to draw the dark atmosphere of the trilogy The Dark Knight the reboot of Batman by Christopher Nolan.

Handcrafted sounds

Only two notes, but hundreds of soundtracks. Like a rustle of wings. A great breath of air. He knew how to distil the essence of the character by simple suggestion“Steve McQueen is still surprised. His colleague Denis Villeneuve, thanks to whom Hans Zimmer won his second Oscar two years ago, for the soundtrack ofDunes is just as admiring when he evokes these “unknown instruments, this sound seems to come from another era » that the composer managed to create by the most improbable mixture of sound textures. “Bagpipes, heavy metal guitars and a woman who yells at you sums up the facetious musician. Quite proud of this second dubbing.

The first ? It was forThe Lion King,and this opening music (Circle of Life ) that marked generations of Disney fans. When he played the demo to the studios, however, he believed that they were going to send him back. “I had to compose for a few seconds to make room for Elton John and the dialogues, but I was so fascinated by these African choirs that I couldn’t stop.The studios would rather redo the beginning of the cartoon than ask him to cut. Like what, at Mickey, we don’t just have big ears. You can also have a nose!

Source link

Leave a Reply