The composer I chose to research about is Hans Zimmer. Hans middle name is Florian and he was born September 12, 1957, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Today, he lives in Los Angeles, California, with his second wife and his three children. Hans began his music career in London under his mentor Stanley Meyers who was a famed composer at that time. He played keyboard early in his life and he even played for several bands in Europe and even in Mexico. He soon began to work on several successful solo projects where Hans used both old and new musical technologies in his music. One of the greatest accomplishments in his career was in 1988 when he was asked to create a score for the movie Rain Man directed by Barry Levinson.
Some people say today that Hans created his own form of composed music. In his style of composition, he combines electronic and instrumental arrangements together. The movie Rain Man actually won an Oscar for Best Picture of the Year. Hans Zimmer also won his first Academy Award Nomination for that movie for the Best Original Score.
And that’s how Hans’ career began. The first choral piece by Hans Zimmer I chose is “Aurora”. This song was written in 2012 and is completely a cappella. I chose this song because of the emotion behind the song. Hans wrote the song because of a shooting that took place at a theatre which featured a movie with his music in it called The Dark Knight Rises. He wrote it for the people who were victims of the shooting, the ones who survived, and for the loved one. When listening to it, I can hear the sadness in it welling up, and the tragedy of the shooting. It makes you sad, but it is so revealing at the same time.
It reminds you of the evil out in the world and the sorrow that comes in life. “Aurora” was written as a SATB, or mixed choir, and as I said before, a cappella. When I first listened to this song, I was surprised by just how sad it was. I’m not totally sure if there are any words, but that almost adds to the emotion in my opinion. The song’s a cappella has such good notes working together that I like how there are no words. Anybody from any country can listen to it then and still hear and understand the sadness that comes from it.
https://www.alfred.com/aurora/p/00-41809/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oTbyENpX58″Shadowland” is the second song I chose that was composed by Hans. I chose this song because I like how it uses a unique strategy of switching between English as well as African phrases. Hans Zimmer also had some help composing this song in 2002 with Mark Mancina and Lebo M. who is a musician.
The song was used in The Lion King: The Broadway Musical and has been sang in a few different forms. It has be sung as SATB, SAB, as well a two-part with a piano. The one I listened to had a SATB form, I believe, and used a variety of African percussion in the background. One of my favorite parts of the song is how well it uses the percussion instruments to sound like real wildlife sounds such as water drops or just feeling like you’re in Africa.
The overall feel of the song feels encouraging, happy, and almost like a prayer going out to someone. I believe that one lyric even says, “let this prayer, be your guide”. I would not say that this piece is entirely fast, but it is also not overly slow. It just has a feeling of a journey that’s beginning and a travel to a land that is unknown. https://www.
halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=8742179,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WCV_8AgbT4 The final piece I chose to listen to was composed by Hans Zimmer and arranged by Eric Whitacre. The original instrumental song “Time” was written for the movie Inception in 2010 but later Eric asked Hans if he could rearrange it in 2015 with his Eric Whitacre Singers. I chose this piece because I have actually seen the movie Inception and thought it would be fun to research and learn about it. I found that I actually enjoyed the arranged song by Eric Whitacre more than the instrumental version mainly because of the choir that it is it.
Even though it is different the movie-used version it still feels like you could put it into any part of the movie. It would just totally fit in. The piece is a SATB and, in the video I listened to, actually has Hans Zimmer playing the piano along with the singers. Other than the piano there are no other instruments in it. One interesting part about this song is where it sounds as if one section of the choir is rushing and singing a faster beat than the bases, but somehow they always come back and land together on beat one. Another part that really stands out is towards the end there is an amazing soprano part that goes very high is just spot on. This song is definitely a slower song, but at points at has some faster parts overlapping the steady slower notes. I don’t believe that the singers actually use words but rather just sounds which sometimes I actually enjoy more.
This piece might actually be my favorite of the three I listened too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX_CFHR14PU In the end I kinda actually enjoyed doing this research. I had fun learning about the songs that Hans Zimmer composed and learning backstories for some of them is really quite amazing and interesting to me. I find it crazy the wide range of music that Hans has composed in his life.
He has slow ones, emotional ones, fast ones, and even some adventurous ones. Today, Hans composes many instrumental pieces for movies and is considered a very good composer. One of my favorite movies that features his music is The Dark Knight Trilogy. There are a few other movies I’ve watched that include his music such as Inception and Interstellar and honestly I feel as if his music makes the movie that much better. I’m hoping in the future to watch more movies that include his pieces.