Well I totally skipped last Tuesday for my lists of awesomeness… So maybe this will be bi-weekly? Or, even better…whenever I feel like it? Sounds about right.
This weeks list is composers! I’m not limiting it to any certain genre, the only criteria is that the composer is alive [there is one exception to that on this list, but he died at a relatively young age and would be an awesome composer if he were still alive today. he really should be alive, he was born in 1960.]
Let’s get started, shall we?
My picks for the Top Ten Composers of Our Time [so far that is…]:
10. Philip Glass — Composed for Secret Window, The Truman Show, and The Illusionist
9. Clint Mansell — Check out Requim for a Dream. It was also reworked/remixed for the Lord of the Rings trailer [Two Towers if I recall correctly]. Awesome piece of music right there. He’s done a few other movies as well.
8. Klaus Badelt — The REAL composer of some of the most widely recognized scores from Pirates of the Carribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Yes, Hans Zimmer overproduced [as in, looked over Badelt’s shoulder] for POTC1, but didn’t actually compose until the second two films. So there.
7. Howard Shore — this dude is crazy. His most widely recognized work can be found in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he’s also working on an opera based off of the 1958 and 1986 films The Fly. No, I’m not kidding. I don’t really like opera, so I can’t say much about the music [I suppose it’s good for an opera] but the whole idea is just plain weird to me. Nevertheless, the LOTR soundtrack is shweet.
6. Jonathan Larson — He’s the exception. He died in 1996 shortly before his musical RENT opened. But he had less successful works before RENT that were also pretty amazing. And he should be alive. He really should be. So I included him on this list, even tho he didn’t meet my original criteria. [it’s my list, I can do what I want.]
5. Hans Zimmer — I love his choral version of Spider Pig. There’s more, obviously [The Holiday is a good example] but that list could go on for quite some time. I think Spider Pig is a hidden treasure in Zimmer’s portfolio.
4. Z. Randall Stroope — Most of you have never heard of this man. But I met him, and he is brilliant. His choral compositions and arrangements are absolutely bril. BRIL! Some of his greatest are: Arise, My Love, My Fair One[satb], The Conversion of Saul[ssaattbb], Lamentations of Jeremiah[satb], and Dies Irae[ssaa]. And I just saw that he did an arrangement of I Carry Your Heart With Me that isn’t out till March…which is the poem I was gonna compose to. Now I’m sad. But still! He’s a genius and a great conductor and I am very glad to have worked with him.
3. Eric Whitacre — Another choral dude. Also amazing. When David Heard. Listen to it. Set aside 15 minutes and listen to the most amazing thing ever. And his opera is good too. And I don’t even like opera.
2. John Williams — of course he’s on this list! Pretty much the greatest film scorer/composer/whatever-er to date. You know what he’s worked on, you know his stuff. Even if you don’t know you know it…you do. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, the Olympics Theme!, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Harry effin Potter, E.T., The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, Superman, and Jaws for goodness sake. If you can’t hum at least 5 of those famous tunes well…I don’t even know.
1. Stephen Sondheim — you totally knew that was coming, didn’t you? The man really is a genius. He’s the reason I’m going into composition. He writes about some topics that you don’t normally hear about, especially in the world of theatre. And he’s ridiculously relatable. Even if it’s a song from a show about something that is on the opposite spectrum of your life…you can probably relate to it. I mean…gah. Words cannot even describe the impact that Stephen Sondheim has had on my life.