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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2017
    I enjoy soundtrack music a great deal. (Obviously, or I wouldn't be here). But the one thing that has continually frustrated me about scores, especially scores for action/fantasy/superhero movies, is the action music.

    Take Spider-Man Homecoming for instance. A great main theme, a great villain theme, a great love theme, wonderful, funky, character music. But the action music (Well over half the album) is just the same thing over and over, thundering timpani, crashing cymbals, dissonant brass bleating, and crazed string runs that always end in that high-pitched tremolo. It's just wallpaper.

    But it's not just Spider-Man Homecoming, it's every new action score, be it Jackman, Giacchino, Tyler, or Shapiro. The battle music is just crazed orchestral chaos, you can't enjoy it.

    My question is this: where did the good action music go? sad
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  1. Could you give a few examples of what constitutes good action music?
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2017
    Sure,
    John Powell, "Battling the Green Death" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIXu45PkbKA
    John Powell, "Hog Chase: Part 2": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVwFLCaIW7o

    (Yeah, I like John Powell).

    Is there any more highly thematic, stylish, coherent action music out there?
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  2. I don't think that you are doing justice to Giacchino's action music. In my opinion good action music has a musical and narrative structure that supports what is going on on screen and supports it emotionally.
    Compared to Williams' / Horner's / Goldsmith's action music today's music might appear anonymous and bland at times. I think that that has to do with the conceptual changes we have seen in action films in general. Sound effects are so dominant today, that the music gets downed out regularly. (Even dialogues are barely understandable.) You wouldn't even notice any musical subtleties. The music is conceived with that situation in mind not with the soundtrack album. One might wish here for dedicated album recordings, but that times are past and done.

    Volker
    "Did you see anything out there?" - "No. Why? What happened?" - "The ship just got herpes."
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2017
    Aidabaida wrote
    But the action music (Well over half the album) is just the same thing over and over, thundering timpani, crashing cymbals, dissonant brass bleating, and crazed string runs that always end in that high-pitched tremolo. It's just wallpaper.


    You just described my total evaluation of Giacchino's music.

    I rarely listen to contemporary action scores anymore. I like a great deal of the action scores from my formative years still, but these days I veer more towards the calmer, soothing, ambient; with interesting textures and rhytmical patterns. Often electronic.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2017
    Thor wrote

    You just described my total evaluation of Giacchino's music.




    I'd say only half the album is the directionless action, there's a few great action tracks (Monumental Meltdown, Vulture Clash), and great themes/character moments. To say that all of Giacchino's music is the same thing over and over is a little silly.

    Part of what makes Giacchino's case more frustrating is that he CAN write good action music - Rogue One had some great action, and Jupiter Ascending was gold all the way through. To see him sink to just dissonant wailing is pretty sad.

    I rarely listen to contemporary action scores anymore. I like a great deal of the action scores from my formative years still, but these days I veer more towards the calmer, soothing, ambient; with interesting textures and rhytmical patterns. Often electronic.


    Yeah, I agree; the three albums I've been enjoying most are Pawn Sacrifice, the End of the Tour, and horner's Amazing Spider-Man (which has like two action tracks)
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2017
    Aidabaida wrote
    I'd say only half the album is the directionless action, there's a few great action tracks (Monumental Meltdown, Vulture Clash), and great themes/character moments. To say that all of Giacchino's music is the same thing over and over is a little silly.


    Not if one evaluates it thusly.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2017
    Thor wrote

    Not if one evaluates it thusly.


    Um, if you "evaluate", that all Giacchino's music is pretty much the same thing, it doesn't make it less silly. I mean, seriously.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We3ht-BskBk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1aQqZJlL_w
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017 edited
    No, what's silly is labelling someone else's evaluation as 'silly', simply because it differs from their own.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017
    Well now you're labeling my evaluation as silly, just because it differs from your own.
    (What I mean is that this line of reasoning is a black hole).

    I do think some evaluations are objectively silly. I think it is objectively silly to claim that a composer who has written everything from waltzes to love themes to action music writes, "The same thing over and over again."

    But now we're way off topic.

    Nobody has suggested good action music yet!
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017 edited
    There can be any number of styles or genres of music, and it can still feel "samey" in the hands of a single composer (it's not about the style of music, but the way it sounds). It's a purely subjective evaluation. But I prefer the term 'non-descript' anyway, which has more specific meaning.

    For the most part, you display an impressive maturity for your age, Aidabaida. But it is in small 'glib remarks' like that (i.e. 'your evaluation is silly') that your age comes through a bit.
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017
    My definition of a great action track, themes, drama all rolled in one...

    Master of Action Music

    Though it's not exactly recent wink
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017 edited
    @Thor: I'm wary about saying "art is completely subjective", because if art were wholly subjective, what point would there be in discussing art? The fact that not every movie has a fifty-percent score on Rotten Tomatoes means that, in the eyes of most people, certain movies are better than other movies. Citizen Kane is, in the eyes of most people, better than Transformers 4, hence why one has 100% good reviews from major critics, and the other has 18%. Clearly, there are some qualities that might be objectively analyzed, story depth, thematic depth, realistic acting, effective dialogue, etc.

    I think we can discuss objectively certain elements of music. I can objectively state, "Giacchino's main theme from Spiderman Homecoming uses an A-minor, D-major, F-Major chord progression", and I can also objectively state "That's incredibly common" (see the James Bond theme, Kingsman theme, Iron Man 3, etc.).

    Where subjectivity comes in is whether or not you personally like that chord progression. But we can objectively say that chord progression exists, and that it is very common.

    So when I describe Giacchino's action music as directionless wailing dissonant wallpaper, and you say, "You just described my total evaluation of Giacchino's music." I don't think this is a purely subjective statement. I think we can objectively say, "No, he's also written seventh-chord based waltzes with no dissonance whatsoever". I think we can look at his ouevre and determine objectively that no, his music is not all the same, when we look at the tonal "menu" of Ratatoullie compared to that of Jupiter Ascending, compared to that of Rogue One, we can say, "No, that is silly."

    I'm not saying Giacchino's music is objectively good (enjoyment of art is subjective), but I am saying that it's not a matter of pure opinion when it comes to matters like "his music is all the same".

    If I say, "lol john williams just uses the theremin over and over again." and you say, "No, that's silly." I can't just respond, "Agree to disagree." Art isn't just a matter of opinions, we can measure it against standards and we can analyze it to see what it does or does not do.
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorSteven
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017 edited
    Timmer wrote
    My definition of a great action track, themes, drama all rolled in one...

    Master of Action Music

    Though it's not exactly recent wink


    I love Goldsmith, and I love his action music. But oddly enough this score, and even that track, has never done much for me. It's always sounded a bit... harsh.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017
    It is fairly harsh sounding, Steven, but the trumpet part is incredible.
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  3. Oh yeah. I wonder if the player survived this.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017
    Goldsmith always comes off as a loveable guy, but he could write some of the most ferocious music I've ever heard.
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  4. Two esteemed members of this message board managed to meet him at his somewhat less lovable. I love how Jon introduced that particular story in a very PG-13 way.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2017
    I liked Goldsmith's story about how he was scoring Psycho II and made the director turn off the movie while he was conducting; it was scaring him too bad!
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017 edited
    Aidabaida wrote
    Where subjectivity comes in is whether or not you personally like that chord progression.


    Not at all. Subjectivity does not end at 'liking' and 'not liking'. It would be a terribly boring world if those were the only adjectives and reactions available to it. It's also very much about how we can hear and experience things differenty. To me, most of Giacchino's music that I've heard comes off as non-descript (which is a word I prefer over 'samey'). Doesn't matter what style the music is composed in (which is something that can be relatively objectively established), but how it comes across to me within that particular style.

    It's a purely subjective evaluation, and while you may disagree with it, it doesn't give you the right to call it 'silly'. That rarely opens up a constructive discussion climate.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    @Thor: Well now you've moved the goal posts. You're saying, "Giacchino comes off as nondescript", which is fine, and subjective, whereas earlier, I described blaring dissonant action music and you said, "You just summed up all Giacchino's music"...which I still maintain is silly, it's pretty much objectively provable that all of Giacchino's music is not all "thundering timpani, crashing cymbals, dissonant brass bleating, and crazed string runs that always end in that high-pitched tremolo. "
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017 edited
    Aidabaida wrote
    @Thor: Well now you've moved the goal posts. You're saying, "Giacchino comes off as nondescript", which is fine, and subjective, whereas earlier, I described blaring dissonant action music and you said, "You just summed up all Giacchino's music"...which I still maintain is silly, it's pretty much objectively provable that all of Giacchino's music is not all "thundering timpani, crashing cymbals, dissonant brass bleating, and crazed string runs that always end in that high-pitched tremolo. "


    I agree that my first post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek and deliberately broad, while in reality it's mostly applicable to his action stuff (which -- you have to agree -- he does a LOT of). I thought that was fairly obvious, since most people here know I hate Giacchino, and your description was too tempting to pass up. It was the later emulgation of the discussion I had an issue with.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    Well then, I don't think we have any problems with each other smile
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  5. And you can objectively say some music is good or bad in terms of actual technical qualities of the music. For example there may be some crazy people claiming Bach is awful, but according to all the objective criteria you can think of, he's a great, one of the best composers to ever grace this planet..
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    Steven wrote
    Timmer wrote
    My definition of a great action track, themes, drama all rolled in one...

    Master of Action Music

    Though it's not exactly recent wink


    I love Goldsmith, and I love his action music. But oddly enough this score, and even that track, has never done much for me. It's always sounded a bit... harsh.


    I agree with your second statement in that I don't like the recording. The score I love but you're obviously mental and can't be helped.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    PawelStroinski wrote
    And you can objectively say some music is good or bad in terms of actual technical qualities of the music. For example there may be some crazy people claiming Bach is awful, but according to all the objective criteria you can think of, he's a great, one of the best composers to ever grace this planet..


    I've never liked Bach, actually. cool
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
  6. When it comes to action music, Goldsmith, Williams, Silvestri, Poledouris, Horner, Arnold and Zimmer and some of his minions have all written outstanding pulse-pounding cues that have never been bettered by any of the current (younger) crop of composers.
    "considering I've seen an enormous debate here about The Amazing Spider-Man and the ones who love it, and the ones who hate it, I feel myself obliged to say: TASTE DIFFERS, DEAL WITH IT" - Thomas G.
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      CommentAuthorAidabaida
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    Oh, thanks for reminding me. INTO BATTLE from VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER by David Arnold is great action music!
    Bach's music is heartless and robotic.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017
    Aidabaida wrote
    I've never liked Bach, actually. cool


    Duh...guh...buh...wuh?
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2017 edited
    applause

    First lol of the day biggrin
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt