Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dynamic Duo Scores Big With Batman Begins

Batman Begins CD Cover ImageAlong with my love of movies comes my passion for soundtracks and film scores. From Jerry Goldsmith's moody Alien, to Max Steiner's adventurous King Kong, to John Barry's epic Zulu, easily half of my music collection is music from the movies and television shows. There's certainly a long list of composers who rank high on my list of favorites, including Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.

Both have produced some outstanding work. Howard's Atlantis: The Lost Empire spotlights rousing adventure themes while his Peter Pan score conjures fantastic imagery to compliment P.J. Hogan's film. Unbreakable grounded super heroes in reality and Howard's music made us believe in a caped crusader named David Dunn.

The Rock Original Motion Picture Score ImageAlong with the great John Williams, Hans Zimmer has contributed to the rise in the popularity of film scores with the listening public. Imagine Gladiator (on which he collaborated with Lisa Gerrard) without Zimmer's waltz-inspired battle themes and the film easily loses half of its impact. African-blended music in his soundtrack to The Lion King helped the film roar worldwide and segments of Zimmer's scores for The Rock, Backdraft, and Crimson Tide have been used in nearly as many movie trailers as Enya's works.

When I saw the Batman Begins movie standee last month, the first thing I looked for was who composed the music. Seeing both Zimmer's and Howard's names as collaborators on a film featuring The Dark Knight Detective had me excited at what could become a great audio treasure. features this great story about the pairing and what we have to look forward to...
Zimmer and Howard repaired to Air Studios in London, where they began work last year. They buckled down for 12 weeks of serious writing in February. The pair often would work from 10 a.m.-3 a.m. Zimmer says with a chuckle, "As soon as it was time to go home, I'd get an idea."

Zimmer says of their collaborative method, "We started pecking away on the same keyboard for a while." Howard adds, "As stuff started sticking to the movie, we intentionally started working on each other's material."

The pairing has resulted in a splendidly dramatic score in which each writer's hallmarks -- Zimmer's percussive rhythms and keyboard flourishes, Howard's ravishing strings and horns -- are immediately recognizable.

Pre-order the Batman Begins Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at Thanks to for the great link!

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