Why be a film composer

Varsity published an interesting article on film composers and why they chose to be film composers. While there are a number of interesting answers, perhaps the most striking responses are the freedom they feel when composing for film (not restricted by other forms - particularly classical) and the influence of John Williams. "I didn't want to be a purely 'modern classical' composer" or "I liked to write classical music as well, but then I didn't think that I couldn't enjoy this for my life" are some of the sentiments quoted from the article. For me personally, I like writing both, but there is definitely a challenge in writting for film. It is restricted in needing to fit the film and yet freeing as it can be anything - not limited to a concert hall, live performers, form or structure... and yet, it can be all of those as well. I also enjoy story, narrative and try to put narrative (to some form) in everything I write. Film music is all about narrative, fitting the music with the existing narrative of the film and making it say something more than the just images do on their own.

Many of these composers write music very different from that of Mr Williams and yet, when these other composrs mention their favourite score, Mr Williams seems to be top of the list. Perhaps this is because he's written so much. Then again, maybe it's because his music is just that good. While I'm glad to see these other composers branching out to create their own sound, it's also nice to see Mr Williams get some admiration from others in his field. Ennio Morricone also gets a few nods.


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