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It’s the Same Score


The Goldsmith Companion Kickstarter finished at a whopping $171.207. I am so happy for the author and publisher—and all of you, who will soon get to read it!


I am actually not surprised. I know from experience that there are at least 1,500 die-hard Jerry Goldsmith collectors. And the campaign finished with 1,444 backers.


Still, getting the word out was a big challenge.


It comes down to one thing...there is, nearly 20 years after his passing, still a devoted and dedicated audience for Goldsmith’s music.


His scores are great! They entertain, they delight—they have a voice, and wonderful melodies, and imaginative sounds. We love listening to them!


They are, above all, the work of a singular artist.


I had a funny moment yesterday that acted as good contrast. I was channel surfing with my daughters (twins, they’re eight). I was briefly on Avatar 2, on HBO...as reverent choral music played for a scene of ecological tragedy (doesn’t matter which one).


The kids saw Spider Man: No Way Home on the channel guide and asked me to turn to it.


So I did—and reverent choral music played for a scene of one of the Spider-Mans losing his mind in grief and beating the crap out of a defenseless Green Goblin.


I said, “It’s the same music.” The kids listened a sec, and laughed: “Yeah, it is!”


I haven’t gone back to compare the cues—but sonically, they really did sound like the same cue. I mean, they might have even been in the same key. (I’ve been told lots of film cues are in D minor because it’s easy to play, with only one flat.)


In the old days, there was occasionally “temp track love” that would result in similar sounding cues.


But this was even deeper than that: it was, on a conceptual level, the exact same cue.


And that’s film music today on the blockbuster level. It’s like there are three or four different cues: joy, suspense, tragedy, action. Just pick one and tailor it to the timings.


And each score is effectively written by eight or nine musicians, working under the “brand name” of the guy with the track record who supervises.


It’s really the only kind of score that fits this business model—and, make no mistake, it is a business, and a huge one at that.


I don’t think it’s a surprise that the “multiverse” films are the last big mega-hits being squeezed out of these “franchises.” They’re just a kind of comic book that we all used to read: the “team-up.” Three different Spider-Mans! Two different Batmans! Old and young Indiana Jones, together!


It really feels like the end of something.

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Pedro Ferreira
Pedro Ferreira
Jun 16, 2023

My problem with the music today. It all sounds the same. It's a Hans Zimmer team project. No attempt is made to use different instruments to create something that is catchy and sticks with you.

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Robert Knaus
Robert Knaus
Jun 18, 2023
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The same "chugga-chugga" string ostinato repeated endlessly, the same "BWAHHHHHHHHHHHHH" foghorn bleats, the same deafening taiko drumming...it's impossible to tell any of the Zimmer Pet scores apart. Only John Powell has distinguished himself in any way,

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David Kay
David Kay
Jun 16, 2023

Lukas, are planning on doing book similar to Goldsmith but for John Williams? I would happily contribute to that kickstarter!

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Lukas Kendall
Lukas Kendall
Jun 16, 2023
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I would contribute too! I don't know of any such book, sorry!

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