How to score a sequel…

It has been a long time since I originally posted about Geoff Zanelli. In that time he has worked on a number of films, taking on an increasingly prominent role. When I heard that he was taking over as lead composer for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film (Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar’s Revenge), I was excited to listen to the result. Just over a month ago1 I was lucky enough to see the film2 and I was not disappointed.

An extract from some Piratey music I wrote back in 2008. © 2008 Mark Hogan.

An extract from some Piratey music I wrote back in 2008. © 2008 Mark Hogan.

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  1. I’ve been busy writing music for an event, otherwise I would have finished this post much sooner. []
  2. I’ve seen it twice now: once in an IMAX screen and once in a more normal screen. I won’t go into the visual merits of one screen over another, but the soundtrack was unexpectedly much more vibrant in the IMAX screen. []

An early look at Pirates of the Caribbean 5…

Joachim Rønning, one of the directors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, recently posted this brief but exciting video of the score for the movie being recorded. A sneak peak of the start of the movie can be seen in the background: most is not too interesting (the usual Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films logos), but you do get a few seconds of the first scene.

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Alternative cues…

I really love it when alternative cues from soundtracks, like the one below, are leaked. It’s nice to hear “fresh” developments and explorations of themes, and some of the different aspects of the corresponding scene that the composer was trying to reflect, performed and recorded to the same standard as the original soundtrack. Personally, I think they should be officially released in a similar way to some of the other “behind the scenes” elements of films, like conceptual art and deleted scenes. They’d certainly make a better addition to the soundtrack album than the remixes that some albums inexplicably include.


I’ve had a very vague draft of this post lying around for ages. With Pitch Perfect 2 about one year away from a cinema near you, it seems like a good time to start getting back into the spirit of a cappella with some voice-only reproductions of soundtracks by Hans Zimmer. Enjoy! 🙂

Honor Him/Now We Are Free – Eight Beat Measure

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“3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage.”

Check out the result below.

Score Spider-Man 2…

Over the last few weeks, an interesting opportunity has been available: to sit in on the final composing session (with an orchestra) with Hans Zimmer as he scores The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Entering the competition to get this opportunity required a donation to Not On Our Watch, a nongovernmental, international relief and humanitarian aid organization.

The video below gives details of the competition, the film and the cause, contains some good shots of his strange studio and is the first YouTube video scored by Hans. While the competition is now over, the cause continues and would appreciate your help.

On a related note, there’s a day of screenings of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl coming up at the Royal Albert Hall, with a live orchestra. Another unusual event, though one that you don’t have to be lucky to go to.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary…

It’s impressive when a television programme reaches a large milestone – particularly a fictional television programme (chat shows are a bit easier to keep going, and the news and weather don’t count). Coming to cinemas worldwide and television screens in the British Isles next month is an episode of Doctor Who to celebrate the show reaching its 50th anniversary. The trailer below, which has a nice but brief take on the iconic theme music, celebrates Doctor Who’s long history, featuring relics from every era of the show along with an impressive re-animation of characters (and Doctors) past and present. I can only hope that on the 23rd of November, the 50th anniversary episode does the show equal justice.