Hans Zimmer Talks "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows"
Fri, 16 Dec 2011 15:27:55
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The most recent Sherlock Holmes movie, A Game of Shadows, contains an element of enticement that goes beyond what the audience sees onscreen. They can actually hear it…
There's a musical story intricately woven throughout each scene, dancing with the characters and twirling the viewers along with them.
Award-winning composer, Hans Zimmer, impressively transforms his internal ideas into exciting arrangements tailored to fit the latest Sherlock Holmes adventure once again featuring the inimitable Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.
For Zimmer, it was quite the ride. "We had a lot of fun making this movie; we really truly did," he smiles. "It was some of the most enjoyable times I ever had making music or working on a film. So, whatever comes now is just a bonus. Of course I expect the movie to do well, but in this case it really is true the journey was worth it."
In this exclusive interview, Zimmer spoke to ARTISTdirect.com contributor Lexie Sebring about scoring the music for the film and taking trips to Slovakia...
How did the trip to Roma contribute to your work on the score?
It was a lot of fun, but at the same time it was quite serious. On the first [movie], I sort of flippantly thought, "Oh there’s been a hundred thousand Holmes scores made by other people; the character’s been portrayed so many times and he always plays classical violin, what if he played something else?" And so I thought, “What if he played gypsy violin?” And here we are, I’m sitting in front of the script of the second one, and it says: a fortuneteller, closely followed by a line going [to] the gypsy camp and I thought great, but I don’t really know anything about it, look I’m not an anthropologist I just invent things. So, I said to Guy, "Come on, road trip…" And we went to the deepest parts of Slovakia to these ghettos …and listened to musicians and just met people and met a culture that’s basically -- that’s completely misunderstood, that’s completely pushed aside, that’s sort of not proud of the 21st century… So, it became an interesting journey and part of the interesting journey, of course, was that I met a tremendous amount of fantastic musicians who we then put on a train and on a bus and we went to Vienna and started playing together and started learning tunes. And just having that flamboyancy in the score is great.
I think it’s so worth doing these things, it’s so worth going places, it’s so worth it to leave the confines of one’s little world and go out there and see what else is there that hasn’t been discovered yet.
Guy Ritchie talked about how keen he was on returning to Sherlock Holmes because of his many interesting facets. How do you relate to this from a musical standpoint -writing music for a man with so many quirks?
Maybe because I’m a musician that’s surrounded by musicians that are pretty quirky and don’t quite fit into the normal world, I don’t even see him as that odd. What I love about him is how inquisitive he is. I think there's something great about celebrating somebody who has such a thirst for knowledge and has such a thirst for the unusual, that’s the whole reason in the beginning why I thought let him not play classical music, let him go play Roma music. Plus, I thought it was always really important that-he was so smart therefore he would not be pretentious. He would not be pretentious and play a well-known classical piece of music. In fact, it's Moriarty who plays the pretentious classical music.
Do you still feel like you're learning new things?
Every morning, I get up excited about going to the studio and trying something new or meeting with new musicians or just experimenting with sounds or sitting down with the director. One of the things I love about movies is they tell you a story, with me this journey usually starts off with, I sit down with the director and I say to him before he’s even shot the movie, Tell me the story. And that’s a day well spent… somebody tells you a story. And then we start talking about the possibilities of what we can do. I learn a lot from the camera man, I learn a lot from the director of photography because they deal in color, I deal in color, in a way. We deal in light and color, and just how we look at things. But, usually my day is spent hanging out with other musicians who will play something that knocks my socks off and makes my jaw drop. I mean, it truly is a great life in that respect.
— Lexie Sebring
Are you excited to see Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows?