Not available in stores: the custom touchscreen solution, running an original sampler, that turns Hans Zimmer's musical ideas into reality. Mark Werry is the person who made it all possible.

Interview: Mark Wherry, Man Behind Hollywood’s Digital Musical Instruments, Hans Zimmer Collaborator

Computer innovator Alan Kay famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Mark Wherry is doing as good a job as anyone of inventing that technology. Powering scores from the latest Batman films to Inception, working closely with Hollywood’s leading meastro Hans Zimmer, the work Wherry is doing really does invent instruments in order to invent sounds. New samplers, new touchscreens, new rigs all have to come together just to keep up with the feverish sound design demands of film and game titles. And with sophisticated surround delivery, at a time when studio veterans complain …

READ MORE →

From MGM’s Music Master, a View of Sound in Technicolor

Now that digital technology allows rapid creation of new interfaces for music and sound, the question of how to represent those elements visually has new life. But whether digital or not, practitioners of music have long been interested in applying further descriptions to music, from the Baroque Doctrine of Affectations to the involuntary association of color in Synesthesia. Applying colors to the notes of a musical scale is one particularly common idea, but the late master composer/orchestrator Arthur Lange had a different idea: why not give colors to range? Building on ideas from orchestrators Francois Auguste Geveart and Rimsky-Korsakov, he …

READ MORE →

Tron, Redux Redux: Trailer with Daft Punk Music, New Reaktor-Reason-Live Score

In a Hollywood overrun with remakes, a new Tron has quite a daunting challenge. The original film may be a cult hit for its 80s arcade cool, but it also was a seminal moment in the evolution of computer animation, at the nexus of obsessive-compulsive optical effects that came before and digital effects that came after. (Google Perlin Noise, if you must.) But where the bits of the effects look uneven or dated alongside the brilliant, it’s nearly impossible to top the genius of Wendy Carlos’ score. Her deft blend of choirs, orchestras, organs, and rich electronics wasn’t just forward …

READ MORE →

Electronic Film Scoring: Waiting for Godard

Estesvan Carlos Benson sends along this film score he created for Godard’s Vivre sa Vie. Keep watching — he’s got a fantastic sense of picking up the rhythm of the actress. He explains: It was basically produced with a Korg N364 and Sonar, back in 2004. Conceptually I just felt drawn to this scene. The original music created a stark irony (it was swing jazz I think). Additionally, and for whatever reasons, Anna Karina wasn’t quite dancing to the original rhythm. I was aiming for a tone that dealt with the larger aspect of the movie and her character, within …

READ MORE →