A few months ago I came across the website of Geoff Zanelli. Those familiar with Hans Zimmer might recognise him as a frequent collaborator, often only credited under the heading “Additional Music”. However, the brief descriptions of the nature of his work on various projects on his website and the example music provided has highlighted the fact that my favourite music from Pirates of the Caribbean (probably my favourite soundtracks) includes a significant number of Geoff’s arrangements of themes by Hans1.
The best example is perhaps He’s A Pirate from The Curse of the Black Pearl (reused in every subsequent Pirates film), a collaboration between Hans and Geoff. Broadside, from the same film, is a piece for which Geoff is also particularly well known. Bone Cages from Dead Man’s Chest is fun action music featuring Jack’s Theme while Lift Off and Shipwreck Cove are particularly nice arrangements of the the themes introduced in At World’s End. Palm Tree Escape and Jack’s Escape from On Stranger Tides are among my favourite pieces of music to be written for Pirates yet – the former a great blend of orchestral action with Rodrigo y Gabriela and the latter beginning with a brilliant arrangement of Jack’s Theme leading into the “Pirates” chords/harmonic progression, also featured prominently in pieces such as He’s A Pirate.
It is with the final two pieces of music mentioned above that I leave you (for as long as they remain on YouTube – Geoff’s website should have them for much longer) and the advice to check out GeoffZanelli.com for more examples of his work (including, in some cases, alternative recordings of music you might already know) both in collaboration with Hans and, increasingly, on his own. What do you think of it?
Palm Tree Escape – Geoff Zanelli/Hans Zimmer – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Jack’s Escape – Geoff Zanelli/Hans Zimmer – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
- There is some other music I like from Pirates of the Caribbean for which Geoff does not claim responsibility – Up Is Down, Drink Up Me Hearties and Hoist the Colours Suite from At World’s End and Jack Sparrow from Dead Man’s Chest, for example. [↩]