Download Booklet and Album Artwork (Login to get Access)
From Rain Man to The Lion King or Black Rain, Backdraft and Thelma & Louise, Hans Zimmer's career has been that of a shooting star.
Hans was born in 1957 in Frankfurt. He was introduced to music at a very early age: when he was three, he attended classical concerts and began practicing on the family piano. Within two weeks of having started lessons, his piano teacher gave up trying. At six, Hans already knew "he wanted to become a composer".
Twenty years later, after having studied in England, Hans Zimmer joined Air Edel to write advertising jingles. He made an acquaintance there that would later turn out to be his ticket to entry in the music world. His name was Stanley Myers. He recalls: "I was his assistance, and thanks to him I really learned to appreciate all the various aspects of orchestral music. Actually all the films Stanley did not have the time to work on, I would begin for him." Hans Zimmer explains how from then on he was attracted to synthetic music: "I think", he says, "because I come from the rock and roll world that I am not a classical musician. In such a world it is considered a good idea to make use of technology. Indeed, it is difficult to harbour an orchestra at home, and yet that is exactly what you can do by using technology. Besides, all that is very easy for me: some may have no affinity with computers, whereas I am on rather good terms with all these machines". (laughs)
Accordingly, after one of the first films he scored alone, A World Apart, Barry Levinson unexpectedly offered him Rain Man: "Helen, Barry Levinson's wife, saw A World Apart, bought the CD and played it to her husband, who then asked me to work on Rain Man!" As everyone knows, the film was a great success, and Hans received his first Oscar nomination.
Since then, Hans Zimmer has asserted himself as one of the most sought after composers of film music. He has a patented sound of his own that is inspiring to others: "It becomes more and more difficult to compose music that is novel. It is not so much that one lacks ideas, but look, for instance, at what happened after Rain Man and Black Rain: some composers took to imitating the sound style and character, I can therefore no longer use them. So I have to continually change styles because try to imitate them."
Beyond Rangoon is proof of this. By skillfully mixing a cyclical theme on percussions with breathtaking phrasings on ethnic flutes, and livening it with an ethereal voice, Hans Zimmer undoubtedly offers us an inspiring piece of work.
Hans then pays tribute to John Boorman: "What I try to do is to work with people who bring me something more in life, and that, John has really done. He is such an inspiring man. Don't forget that each piece of film music owes as much to the director as it does to the composer. In some way it is a joint writing effort! I must say I was very worried, as John is very knowledgeable with respect to music. From my point of view he has an outstanding intellectual gifted with remarkable sensitivity."
Hans recalls his recent Oscar for The Lion King and comments: "The strange thing about it was that everyone around me was saying 'Bravo, it's wonderful, you did a really good job', and meanwhile I was struggling to finish another film. Indeed, the harsh reality of life reappeared the next morning!"
So, what did Hans do with his Oscar? His answer will tell you something about his genuine character: "I must have put it somewhere in the house, but I don't know where! When I have finished working on my new project, Nine Months, I'll look for it!" (laughs)
— Translated by Jean Clément
Critically acclaimed director, John Boorman, well acquainted with the action genre and with the challenge of shooting in exotic locations, returns to them to tell to tell his story of friendship and courage set against a backdrop of local unrest.
Tormented by the tragic events of her past, young American doctor, Laura (Patricia Arquette) accompanied by her sister, Andy (Frances McDormand), travels to the Far East on vacation. She finds herself captivated by the exotic sights and sounds of the country and impressed with the quiet dignity of the people.
When her passport is stolen, Laura is separated from her tour group and finds herself alone in a strange city until a replacement can be prepared.
A local guide befriends her and offers to take her on an "unofficial" tour of his country and thus begins a suspenseful, dangerous journey through a foreign land. On the way, Laura not only learns the true meaning of friendship and courage but, most importantly rediscovers in herself a powerful will to live.
Music Composed by
Assistant to Hans Zimmer:
Recorded at The Snake Ranch and Air Studios / Lyndhurst, London
Special Thanks to