The Creator – Hans Zimmer

One of the concepts that has taken the world by storm is the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). The notion of artificial intelligence is not new. It has been around for decades, but with the rise of ChatGTP and other online tools, it has become more accessible for everyday use by a larger group. In addition to being a music critic, I am also a software engineer, and I have some thoughts about the opportunities and threats AI can bring to a composer. I may write an essay about it. The reason why I bring up the subject of AI is that it has strong ties with the recently released movie The Creator, directed by Gareth Edwards. First of all, the movie is a Sci-Fi movie that focuses on the classic concept of AI, that robots have become self-aware and have become a new life-form. Secondly, which is the most interesting for me, is that Edwards tried to let an AI generate the music for it in the style of what Hans Zimmer would have written. Apparently it was, unsurprisingly, not successful enough, and Hans Zimmer himself was approached to compose the music for the film instead.

The music to be heard is less than I expected from a 2+ hour Sci-Fi action movie, with only 44 minutes of music on the album. While the film is about a war between humans and androids, the main focus is more on the relationship between a human war veteran and a small artificial child, which is reflected in the music. There are many moments of no music because the emotions on screen spoke for themselves, and many existing songs were used in the movie as well. When you could hear Zimmer’s music, it was most of the time without the bold sounds that he liked to do in the last ten years. The score for the film is quite emotional and orchestral. It reminded me of the Hans Zimmer from 20 years ago, with his music for King Arthur as an excellent example of reference.

I am very curious about the music the AI had come up with for The Creator. Just to see how Hans Zimmer had outclassed it with his music, but we are talking about Hans Zimmer here. Many composers have tried to write music in his style, and while some of them are getting close to approaching his style, none of them are able to do it at his level, as he is showcasing it again with his music for The Creator. What I love about the score is that there is so little of it in the movie. Sometimes you can hear his sounds subtly in the background, just to provide texture, and when the music is allowed to be prominent, it is there in force, as only Hans Zimmer can do. That is why the tracks “Standby” and “Missile Launch” are by far my album highlights, with their magnificent emotional buildups. I think it will take many decades for artificial intelligence to even approach Zimmer’s level of music, and I am convinced it will never be able to surpass him.

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The highlights are in bold.

  1. They’re Not People (2:19)
  2. A Place in the Sky (2:25)
  3. Where It All Began (4:11)
  4. Surrounded (2:34)
  5. She’s Not Real (2:12)
  6. Standby (6:11)
  7. Missile Launch (3:01)
  8. Prayer (2:47)
  9. The Wounded (3:08)
  10. Lab Raid (4:31)
  11. Heaven (6:57)
  12. True Love (3:30)

Total length: 43 minutes
Hollywood Records (2023)

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