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Have we reached peak Hans Zimmer?


Panel Discussions

Public, Staff, Students, Alumni, Academics


The Music PG student communities of several University of London institutions have joined forces in launching a bi-monthly discussion group.

Sessions will circulate between institutions and will involve an informal, student-led discussion on one or two articles or a broader topic concerning music research in all its shapes and forms. With this initiative, we hope to spark discussion and community amongst the several University of London music students and their departments. 

Kicking off the initiative are the music PG students of City, University of London. They will be running the first session on Wednesday 25 October, 4-6 pm at City’s College Building, room AG8.

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. Jordan Hoffman’s recent article in The Guardian
2. REYLAND, Nicholas. Corporate Classicism and the Metaphysical Style, in: MSMI 9/2 (2015), pp. 115-130.

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When & where

4.00pm - 6.00pmWednesday 25th October 2017

AG08 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom