Hans Zimmer – A celebration of sound and vision

Legendary film composer Hans Zimmer took to the stage for the first of three sold out nights at Rockhal on Saturday night.

For the last three decades Zimmer has composed some of the most famous film scores, notching up over 100 movies which have made in excess of $24billion at the box office.

These shows are part of his first ever European tour and the concerts sold out fast, making Zimmer the first artist to sell out three consecutive nights at the Rockhal.

Last night was a celebration of his career so far, as he delved into his repertoire and brought to life the film scores backed by his 20-piece studio band as well an orchestra and choir which brought the number of musicians on stage to over 70.

Despite all those musicians they somehow found space for the man himself, who opened up proceedings with the jaunty light hearted piece from Driving Miss Daisy with the playful clarinet dancing along the top line as the violins and electric guitar all merge in with effortless ease.

As each song began you could start to visually picture the film in your mind, the pounding beat of Tony Scott’s Crimson Tide perfectly encapsulated the tense cold war style thriller building up an epic tension with the orchestra and choir’s fine harmony. Whilst Gladiator evoked the melancholic march with an electronic percussion, pierced by the haunting vocals which carried its own emotional heft to the film.

At around 3hrs (including a halfway break) there was plenty for the Zimmer fans to take in. He was joined on stage by the original vocalist from Lion King, Lebo M, as the orchestra and choir combine once more in perfect harmony taking us on a journey over the plains of Africa.

Throughout the evening Zimmer told stories about the films, directors and even some cast members. He mentioned that he looked into changing the music for the scenes with Heath Ledger after hearing of his tragic death, wanting to give them a less abrasive quality but eventually keeping everything in all its glory. They did play “Aurora” a piece he wrote after hearing of the tragic mass shooting at a screening of the film, this haunting stripped back piece was one of the more poignant moments of the night, brining to it a piece of reality to this fictitious endeavour.

The Dark Knight trilogy was the beginning of another productive and creative time for Zimmer with the likes of Interstellar and Inception following, both of which have become some of his finest work. The sci-fi grandeur and electro crescendo of Interstellar worked perfectly as a companion piece to the epic and tense dreamlike orchestral sounds of Inception.

The evening as a whole took us on a journey of sounds that have helped our viewing pleasure of some of the biggest films over the last three decades and to see first hand the scale of what is involved is quite an eye opener. Next time I watch one of his film I’ll no doubt be paying that bit more attention to just how much is going on off the screen as on it.

21.05.16 – Rockhal

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