Hans Zimmer and Musicians Friend

This month is a busy one and I have been very busy over here in rainy Lancashire. I spent an evening interviewed by Musicians Friend Website, They are a fantastic website that have loads of  helpful tips for us noise makers. You can really make a go of earning money from your love if you find sites to help you, they are invaluable when it comes to what next and you never quite know when you will find the thing that makes it all worthwhile. If you are like me then why not pop over and take a look by clicking HERE.

and so to my next busy bit…….

When I watch a film, the first thing I look for that determines if I enjoy it, is the soundtrack. You can be immediately transported to a particular period of time, or you can feel the tension with a frantic crescendo. It makes you cry and can often paint a thousand more pictures than the images can. I loved Ennio Morricone for his ability to make a good movie an amazing movie, writing hooks and melodies that will stand the test of time. The Mission Soundtrack is still one of my albums of all time.  There is an art to it, an ability to see past the black and white of the words and colour and shade it with a piano sting or a string swell. There are non more able at this than Hans Zimmer, he has carved out a career that has seen him work on some modern masterpieces in the movie world. I have seen three films alone in the past few months that have had an awe inspiring soundtrack accompanying it, like Man Of Steel or more recently “12 years a slave, ” which seemed even more harrowing as the score progressed.

It is with this in mind that I jumped for joy when I saw the contest to win a place on his writing team. I have thus far written the soundtrack to two independent British feature films, “Dream On” and “Celluloid” both by the same company, but with very different demands from a writing point of view. One was very defined by the decade it was set and won praise from movie critics, who said my soundtrack was a “Delightful soundscape of music  by Andy Oliver”  and that it helped to “transform them back to the 80’s,  but in a modern and completely original way.”

I have loved the whole process, one that saw me unwind a script and get to know the characters, I wrote each of them their own theme and embellished and developed those themes into a coherent side story. I was even more delighted when my second score came in as it was the polar opposite, it needed to enhance the heavy content without over bearing it. I challenged myself more than ever, but was delighted with the results and the invitation to Palm Springs Festival in 2013.


I would love to do this every single day, write things that make them remember a movie with a few bars played or make someone joyful with a delicate melody. I have written my offering as I really wanted to pitch the best I could. The challenge was to take stem files created by Zimmer and use them as the building blocks to inspire you. I simply took the percussion stem, a low rumbling timpani roll that builds throughout. I love to work with vocals and I think that the simple repetition of a phrase can build a lot of emotion and tension. I found the Latin for “Destiny Calling” thanks to Mollie Finch who gave a helping hand. I wanted to keep the music subtle and let a multitude of singing set the mood. I think I have managed to write something that is a worthy contender for the new role.

I believe also that “Destiny Calling” is an apt title as the competition deadline is 5 years to the day that I got sober. If you would like to listen then click the link HERE and when you have listened, please take a second and vote for me, you could make dreams come true and I will never forget what got me started…….

Author: Andy Oliver

I hail from a little town in the north east of England called Hartlepool, famed for its monkey hanging past and its friendly folk. I have been making music over the past few years and have had a fair amount of success, since packing in the demon drink. Its this battle that has been helped by music and by the people who have stood by me. I am forever grateful for their support and I hope you see something in my music, that they have!