Hans Zimmer

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  • Topic: Film score, Hans Zimmer, Film
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  • Published : April 23, 2012
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Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer was born in Frankfurt, Germany in September 12, 1957. As a child, he began playing piano since he was three years old. Although he was receiving piano lessons, he quickly became uninterested after only two weeks of piano lessons. Even more astounding he decided to become a composer at age six. His father died when he was six and that is when he decided to become serious about music, because it was his refuge as he quotes, “It was my way of calming the demons in me or at the same time sometimes letting them roar, letting them rip, letting the monster out and seeing that it wasn't so scary being able to look it in the eye," (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers 2). His family has been moving all over Europe until finally they have settled in London. He was fourteen years old at the time (Contemporary Musicians 2). Throughout his childhood, he has been expelled by many different schools because he preferred to study music over his schoolwork. His music career started when he finished his schooling. He started by writing jingles or commercials and by playing in rock bands, “In 1979, Zimmer, along with Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, put together a band called the Buggles,” (Contemporary Musicians 3). The Buggles recorded the album, “The Age Of Plastic,” which contains their greatest hit Video killed The Radio Star. The song’s music video was actually the first video to appear on MTV. Although the band was becoming very successful, Zimmer did not enjoy the recording process with the Buggles, because he was not happy with just playing with only one type of style of music. "I used to be in a band, but that got to be boring," Zimmer later recalled to David Kohner Zuckerman in Brtnwd magazine. "Now I have bigger bands for shorter periods of time," (Contempoary Musicians 3). He left the Buggles, and he decides to start a new type of music which is film score. He started working for the composer Stanley Myers who began to teach him more about scoring films. Zimmer says that, “From the first day that I was his assistant, he just let me write things.... I thought it was great that there was that system in place whereby someone who really knew a lot would give you room and support, and bring you up and give you a chance,” (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers 3). Thus begins his change in style and starts composing film score music. Hans Zimmer and Stanley Myers set up the Little Yard Studio in London. They collaborated on many film scores such as Moonlighting, The Lightship, The Castaway, and My Beautiful Launderette, (Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers 3). During this stage, he was using a more classical and electronic style of music. His first solo work was the score for Vardo which was in 1986. He later teamed with David Byrne and Ryuichi Sakamoto to produce the soundtrack for “The Last Emperor.” By the mid-1980’s, his career as a film composer was well on its way but in 1988, his career really took off. Zimmer continued with solo work to work on the score for the groundbreaking film, “A World Apart.” It is based in South Africa and he made haunting tribal anthems for the score. After that, his music quickly caught Hollywood’s attention, and within the next year he received Oscar nominations for the film scores of Rain Man (1988) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Zimmer credits his break into Hollywood to Barry Levinson, he mentions, “When you are European wanting to break into the Hollywood film business you don't stand a chance. But Barry Levinson gave me a shot in Rain Man, and that was very gracious and courageous.” (Contemporary Musicians 4). Afterwards, his really big break into Hollywood came. Continuing his African rhythms, he was music supervisor, song arranger, and producer for the film The Lion King (1994). The movie earned him his first and only Academy Award. That took him about three and a half weeks to compose the music. The Lion King also won a Golden Globe, Chicago...
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