Photos by Charles Reagan Hackleman. Hans Zimmer brought out the one and only Pharrell Williams at Coachella. Wearing white shades and a pastel yellow sweatshirt to perform “Freedom,” Pharrell concluded his cameo by bowing down in admiration for Zimmer, who then took to the mic to do the same for Williams: “This guy is the most gracious brother I have ever had. This guy lights up the world with peace and love and freedom.”
For “Hidden Figures,” the largely unknown story of African-American women working at NASA during the early 1960s, it was already a given that multi-Grammy-winning Pharrell Williams – a producer on the film – would contribute songs. Williams then called Hans Zimmer, with whom he had worked on several films dating back to “Despicable Me.” “I knew that he would have the right playbook,” Williams says. Zimmer in turn recruited English composer Benjamin Wallfisch, who had contributed additional music to Zimmer’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice.”
“An Englishman, a German and an American walk into a bar,” quips Zimmer. “What do they do? They start talking about music.” Williams’ songs came first, says Zimmer. “The score draws from the songs all the time.” Prior to the film, Williams happened to be working on songs that, for no particular reason, seemed to have a 1960s vibe. “When we got the call about this project, all of a sudden it was, now I understand why I’m doing all this early ’60s music.”
In Hidden Figures, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe, and Octavia Spencer play three heretofore unsung black female NASA mathematicians instrumental to America’s victory in the Space Race. Pop star Pharrell Williams pulled double duty on the film, co-producing and writing the score — a blend of stirring, gospel-inflected orchestral passages; bluesy rhythm; and contemporary melody — with composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. Adoring friends and frequent collaborators, Zimmer and Williams spoke with New York about that challenge.
Hans Zimmer: Pharrell had been telling me this story for quite a while. It was a part of history that I didn’t know about. And musically what was interesting to me about it was that we all have an idea about what the music for conquering space sounds like: The Right Stuff, Aaron Copland, Americana. But there is no African-American or, for that matter, female musical perspective on this subject at all. That unknown is where we started from. Is that right, P?
He’s Hollywood’s top film composer but the best night of Hans Zimmer’s life was playing live with a pop god, he tells Katie Law. Hans Zimmer is feeling nervous. The 58-year-old German-born musician may have composed the scores to some — actually most — of Hollywood’s biggest films in the past 25 years, won countless awards and turned in box office sales totalling more than £16 billion. But embarking on a tour to perform in front of live audiences is another matter altogether.
“I get stage fright; I’m terrified,” he admits. Zimmer will be playing with more than 70 musicians onstage, including legendary guitarist Johnny Marr of The Smiths, at 37 concerts over 60 days throughout Europe, beginning at Wembley next Wednesday. “I’m usually in my little windowless room writing music, that’s my life; the thing about recording film music is you get to fix things but this is different.”
It was Pharrell Williams, improbably, who helped Zimmer overcome his nerves when they played together at the Grammy Awards last year. “Pharrell is like my little brother; he goes, ‘come on, Hans, play the guitar at the Grammys’. He knows I get a bit antsy being on the stage. So he was just turning around the whole time, keeping eye contact with me, making sure I was all right. And you know, it was the best night, one of the highlights of my life.” You can read more about the story HERE.
The film Les Bosquets brings the audience in a place where art and the power of image interweave. Based on the story of Ladj Ly and the performance of the ballet Les Bosquets of New York City Ballet (2014) inspired by the riots in the French suburbs in 2005, JR reveals its experience in the ghetto of Montfermeil where he created his first project, Portrait of a Generation.
This film is a continuation of this 10 years project, for which he uses various means of expression and narration : video archives, choreography and testimony. This short film will be presented exclusively in galleries and museum shows. Pharrell did the Music Score together with Hans Zimmer.
Pharrell Williams has been killin ’em once again. Exactly a year ago, Pharrell won 4 Grammy awards out of 5, and this time around, he managed to do the same once again. He won three possible Grammy Awards out of Four Nominations, thats pretty much amazing. He won the Grammy’s for ‘Best Music Video‘ and ‘Best Pop Solo Performance‘ with ‘Happy’, and he also won the ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album‘ for ‘G I R L‘, congrats from the whole Neptunes community Pharrell, keep killin’ ’em!
Best Music Video
– DJ Snake feat. Lil’ John – Turn Down For What
– Arcade Fire – We Exist
– Sia – Chandelier
– Pharrell Williams – Happy (Won)
– Woodkid feat. Max Richter – The Golden Age
Best Urban Contemporary Album
– Jhené Aiko – Sail Out
– Beyoncé – Beyoncé
– Chris Brown – X
– Mali Music – Mali Is
– Pharrell Williams – G I R L (Won)
Best Pop Solo Performance
– John Legend – All Of Me (Live Version)
– Sia – Chandelier
– Sam Smith – Stay With Me
– Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
– Pharrell Williams – Happy (Won)
Album Of The Year
– Beck – Morning Phase (Won)
– Beyoncé – Beyoncé
– Ed Sheeran – X
– Pharrell Williams – G I R L
– Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams – Happy feat. Lang Lang & Hans Zimmer (Live) (15′)
Pharrell & Co. At The Pre-Grammy Party
Hans Zimmer, Alexandre Desplat and Pharrell Williams are the most familiar names among the first nominees that were released by the World Soundtrack Academy. Besides Film Composer Of The Year, the World Soundtrack Academy also published the nominees in the categories for Best Original Film Score Of The Year and Best Original Song Written Directly For A Film. The WSAwards, one of the most prestigious events in the world of film music, is the closing event of Film Fest Gent and will take place on 25th October at Kuipke in Ghent.
In line with tradition, the 41st edition of Film Fest Gent will end with a festive event, the World Soundtrack Awards Concert, the annual film music event that has now reached its 14th edition and that gives the festival its international allure. This year’s guest of honour is Cliff Martinez, American film music composer and former drummer of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The WSA concert will mainly focus on his long-time collaboration with Steven Soderbergh, for whom he is the long- standing composer (Sex, Lies & Videotape, Traffic, Kafka, Contagion, The Limey and Solaris). Needless to say, the programme also includes his two cult scores for Drive and Only God Forgives (both starring Ryan Gosling) by Nicolas Winding Refn, as well as the music he wrote for Spring Breakers by Harmony Korine.
Composer Of The Year
Best Original Film Score Of The Year
Best Original Song Written Directly For A Film
Music & Lyrics by Alexander Ebert, performed by Alexander Ebert
Music, lyrics & performed by Pharell Williams
Music & lyrics by Christophe Beck, Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, performed by Idina Menzel
Music & lyrics by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton, performed by U2
Music & lyrics by Karen O. & Spike Jonze, performed by Scarlett Johansson & Joaquin Phoenix
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