Author Topic: Danny Elfman  (Read 3923 times)

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TheVoiceOfNick

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Danny Elfman
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2003, 11:52:56 AM »
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Danny Elfman is the man (though, suprisingly, not an elf...)... I love most of the work he's done. Most of his themes are easily recognizable, like John Williams' are (although I always get JW's theme's mixed up, Elfman's are easily distinguishable), but they are much darker.


Nick

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Danny Elfman
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2003, 12:59:48 PM »
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Quote from: TheVoiceOfNick
like John Williams' are (although I always get JW's theme's mixed up, Elfman's are easily distinguishable)

That's because all Williams does is play a previous score backwards and slaps the Payment Due sticker on it.

Case in point: Indiana Jones = sraW ratS
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free, silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands, with all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves, let me forget about today until tomorrow.

TheVoiceOfNick

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Danny Elfman
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2003, 01:14:18 PM »
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True... but you must admit that John Williams was a real innovator in mixing pop-style hooks into classical music. Whenever I hear a John Williams composition, it gets stuck in my head for weeks.


Nick

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Danny Elfman
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2004, 04:24:05 AM »
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Elfman Tunes Up For Charlie

Film composer Danny Elfman told SCI FI Wire that, while he's finishing the score for Spider-Man 2, he's doing preliminary work on Tim Burton's upcoming fantasy film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "As soon as I'm done with Spider-Man 2, I jump right into both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and another animated Tim Burton film called The Corpse Bride," Elfman said in an interview.

Elfman, who previously composed the music for such Burton films as Batman, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish, sounded particularly excited about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "It just looks like it's going to be tons of fun," he said. "The first attempt at writing a first idea for a song [was] so whacked out. I just sat there writing this crazy thing in the middle of the night and put 20 voices on it myself as a demo. I sent it out there, and Tim liked it."

Elfman added, "[The film] is going to be really great. It seems like really fertile ground. The script is good. I like Johnny Depp a lot. So I think doing an adaptation from the book could be great. I know it's always dangerous doing a remake of something that's much loved. I've been down this road before. I just hope it gets a shot at being its own thing." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, based on the Roald Dahl children's book, is in preproduction now with an eye toward a July 2005 release.

MacGuffin

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Re: Danny Elfman
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2006, 09:10:38 PM »
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Danny Elfman's Soniferous Serenade
The film composer discusses his first original, stand-alone composition.



The definition of a serenade is thus: "1. A complimentary performance given to honor or express love for someone. 2. Music An instrumental composition written for a small ensemble and having characteristics of the suite and the sonata." Given film composer Danny Elfman's background (founding member of Los Angeles modern rockers Oingo Boingo, long time sonic cohort of director Tim Burton), a serenade is perhaps the last thing anyone would expect the red-headed musician to tackle. Yet with Serenada Schizophrana, Elfman has done just that. In a manner of speaking.

While Elfman's day gig still remains composing music for film, like most musicians he's always searching for something to compliment his daily routine. Such opportunity came a knocking in 2005 when the American Composers Orchestra approached Elfman and asked him to compose an original, stand-alone piece of music. No disrespect intended toward Elfman, but anybody who knows a thing or two about the man just has to wonder why in the hell such an organization would approach him. Think about it for a second and such a query makes perfect sense. Elfman is the manic frontman for Oingo Boingo and a successful Hollywood composer who readily admits to not being able to read music let alone having ever taken a course in music theory. The funny thing is, the irony of such an honor isn't lost on the man himself. "I have no idea," he chuckles good-naturedly when asked why the ACO would single him out for such an opportunity. "I didn't really question their motive. I just thought 'Hmm. That's interesting. Sure.' It was kinda that simple"

Simple, of course, is a relative word. Composing is far from a simplistic act. Composing an original work of music that isn't tied to a cinematic endeavor is an altogether different animal, especially for somebody such as Elfman. There are rather substantial differences between composing for film and composing a piece of music which is not tied to another art form. To wit, many of the film scores Elfman has done lack the type of rich cohesion found in Serenada Schizophrana. And with good reason. "My film score music in particular doesn't often sound very cohesive when you listen to it because I'm following picture. And I follow very closely," he states. "I may have an idea of something that I really like, but unfortunately I only have 19-seconds or 31-seconds to play it and then the scene changes. I might think 'Wow, if I had a minute or two that would be really fun.' But you don't ask yourself those questions, you follow the movie."

With his Serenada, however, Elfman was allowed a certain modicum of freedom of expression, as it were. "With this, when I had an idea, I could just let it go. That was the joy. There was no scene changing on me suddenly to interrupt where I might have liked to have been at that moment." It was also less restrictive than following along to a director's visual images, as well. "Well, it was much harder to start, but then it was much less restrictive once it was rolling," muses Elfman.

Given that he's so well conditioned to making music that fits others visions, did he at any time create his own inner visions while composing his schizophrenic serenade? "No, no, no," Elfman laughs. "I really was just at the keyboard finding notes, finding notes, finding notes, experimenting over and over and over and then finding things that would suddenly would take on their own life and start to go. That's really kinda what it's like. It's like being a scientist and you're trying over and over and over and over again at a failed experiment and then all of a sudden you get the right mixture and it starts to grow and you stand back. That's kinda what it's like. There was a huge amount of work to get the thing to start growing, but then once it goes, then you just have to follow it. That's how this was."

As for the name of the project, Serenada Schizophrana? "I just took the name because I didn't want to call it a symphony and it wasn't a concerto," reveals Elfman. "I really didn't know what to call it. I just knew that it was a very schizophrenic piece of work. Finally, when I finished it, it felt like it was the result of two competing composers who lived inside my head and didn't like each other. I just chose Serenada Schizophrana to encompass musical schizophrenia. I really did not like the idea of calling it a symphony because I felt like it wasn't. And a concerto was something different. 'Serenada' was just vague enough."

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Danny Elfman
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2006, 10:46:33 PM »
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Oingo who? Busy Elfman looks ahead not back
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Composer Danny Elfman discussed his new album "Serenada Schizophrana," his long-standing relationship with director Tim Burton and his years in Oingo Boingo during a keynote Q&A session Wednesday at The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference at the Beverly Hilton.

"Serenada" marks Elfman's first classical concert work, and the composer said it originally was intended to be a "small work" but ended up as an "ambitious, crazy collection of six movements all countering each other. I'm always aware of the fact that there are two composers living inside of me that don't like each other -- one wants to be taken more seriously and the other anything but seriously."

Elfman has scored 50-60 films, including such Burton movies as "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Beetlejuice," "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," "Batman" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Elfman said he doesn't share any special sort of "shorthand" form of communication with the director but noted that Burton tends to give less direction than other helmers.

"He lets me get away with stuff that other directors won't," Elfman said during the Q&A with Tamara Conniff, associate publisher/executive editor at Billboard. "It's a longer leash, so I'm more likely to try something new than if I don't know the director that well."

Elfman, who is working on the animated feature "Meet the Robinsons," revealed that he has never had a music lesson and is entirely self-taught. In fact, in elementary school, he received a report that said he had "no musical talent."

Elfman added that he doesn't miss performing with Oingo Boingo, the band he founded and fronted, saying he had threatened to quit for seven or eight consecutive years before finally following through with it.

"I knew in the last couple of years that I was doing a lot of damage to myself (particularly in terms of his hearing); in hindsight, I wish I'd stopped earlier than I did," he said. "I have no desire to get into that kind of environment again."

Also during the session, billed as a "rare appearance" by the composer, Elfman joked that all composers secretly wish for untimely ends for their peers -- hoping for the chance to free up directors who tend to use the same composer time and again.

"We all secretly hope for each other to die so we have an in to their directors," he joked. "We'll eulogize them at their funerals, but at the same time our agent will be putting a phone call in to see who (the directors) are talking to. It's a dog-eat-dog world."

Elfman also noted that his "Nightmare Before Christmas" music has been ripped off so many times that he has become known as the "Christmas composer -- and I never liked Christmas, so it's bizarre."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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