You know how laughing tracks play great importance in sitcoms? So do the orchestral music that comes with your movies. Just as it is less funny without the sound of laughter, it is hard to imagine Sandra Bullock struggling in Gravity in the silence of space. Besides a good storyline and lead actor, music is the backbone of any film. While film composers are sadly often overshadowed, John Williams and Hans Zimmer have proved otherwise. And so, this weekend, we celebrate their best works through the baton of Anthony Inglis and a bunch of fellow local musicians. We hear it’s gonna be good, and we absolutely cannot wait.
Why pit two great composers against each other?
It’s not so much of a question as to who wrote the better piece, but the difference between two iconic composers.
How do their styles differ?
Hans Zimmer is very rhythm-based and electronic in style. Earthy, in fact. John Williams, on the other hand, writes for an orchestra with little to no electronic music. He’s more traditional.
Hans Zimmer once said that John Williams is better than him. What is your opinion on this?
Williams has been around longer and is not known by all musicians as “The Master” for nothing.
Would you consider Zimmer and Williams modern day Mozarts and Beethovens?
Yes. Especially John Williams. His style evolves from the traditional orchestral composers of the 19th century, from Tchaikovsky and Wagner to the Eastern Europeans like Max Steiner and Erich Korngold who fled Nazism for Hollywood to write for films. He uses the same composing techniques – large orchestra, lush harmony and searing tunes. Zimmer and Williams will earn their place in history like Mozart did, but in different ways.
Composing a standalone symphony and making something to go along with a film are pretty different. Will their music work even without the films?
Williams has written a sinfonietta and many a concerto. He’s written many standalone scores on top of his film music. But to listen to Zimmer’s music without the film in mind, I’m not so sure. Then again, we all know the films so well that we can visualise anyway.
In terms of the movies they composed for, which is your favourite scene?
The end of E.T., when ET finally goes home and the music crescendos into a heart-breaking emotion. Perfect.
If you could do a similar concert in future, which two composers would you go for?
Danny Elfman for his original Batman score and maybe the late James Horner who wrote the music for the second Star Trek film.
*The answers above are attributed to Anthony Inglis.
Base Entertainment Asia presents the music of Hans Zimmer VS John Williams tomorrow at 7.30pm and on Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm. Get your tickets here at Sistic.