Hans Zimmer: A circus theme would be an apt score for UK’s political upheaval

Having spent many years living and working in the UK, the composer said he did love the country but questioned its recent political movements.
Hans Zimmer: A circus theme would be an apt score for UK’s political upheaval

By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Hans Zimmer has said a circus theme would be an apt soundtrack for the political upheaval within the UK over the last number of months.

The Oscar-winning composer, 65, has written music for a plethora of films including The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar and Dune.

Reflecting on how he would capture the current state of British politics within a musical score, he told the PA news agency: “I’ve never done a proper clown movie.

Hans Zimmer concert
Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer performs at The O2 Arena in London (James Manning/PA)

“I think a good circus theme is necessary. I’m thinking sort of (Italian composer) Nino Rota or God, we can actually get a bit more serious and do this sort of Weimar Republic.”

The German composer joked that if the position of prime minister became vacant again, he would apply as he knows “nothing about anything”.

“The other thing is I’m a foreigner so Brexit won’t let me do anything but I stand as good a chance as anybody of running this country”, he added.

Having spent many years living and working in the UK, Zimmer said he did love the country but questioned its recent political movements, particularly the Brexit decision which he described as “completely self-serving”.

He said: “I truly do not believe in isolationism. I think it has something to do with obviously having lived all over the world and it has something to do with being a musician.

“Musicians get together and we play together. And the one thing that people keep forgetting is, it’s not how well you play, it’s how well you listen to each other, that’s when really great music making is made.

“And it’s playfulness, I mean the operative word of music is played. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician, or, well maybe not a government minister, but if you can just treat life with a slightly more playful attitude, you might have a bit more of a smile on your face and things might be a little nicer.”

A new BBC documentary, titled Hans Zimmer: Hollywood Rebel, explores the 40-year career of the highly sought-after movie composer and how he brings this playfulness as well as suspense and terror into his music.

Told by Zimmer and by a star-studded list of Hollywood directors he has worked with including Christopher Nolan and Sir Steve McQueen, it also traces his life from post-war Germany to Hollywood royalty.

The composer revealed that when he first started out in the industry, he was on a mission to protect orchestras.

He told PA: “I thought if we lose the orchestras we are losing such a fundamental part of our humanity, such a fundamental part of what makes us human and culture and makes us different…

“So there are many things you can say about Hollywood, how dastardly it is and how cutthroat it is, and all those things are of course completely and utterly true, but the one thing you can’t take away from it is that on an hourly basis it commission’s new orchestral music.

“I want kids who want to go and be in music to actually have an opportunity to earn a living at it.”

The composer said his intention with his music now is to “provoke” and feels his most provocative work currently is his projects with Sir David Attenborough which include Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth II.

Speaking about veteran broadcaster and environmentalist Sir David, Zimmer said: “What he does brilliantly, he doesn’t cajole, he doesn’t preach, he just shows you that we live on this fragile little blue in the middle of nowhere.

“And if we don’t share it in the right way, if we’re not mindful of it, of this great love affair that we get to have with this world…

“We are already in big trouble. We’ve reached a point which is so critical and it’s really simple, it’s just up to us.”

Zimmer added that he feels like helping to highlight the importance of the planet is “the least I can do for my children, and for anybody’s children”.

“It’s not about being right or telling people off or bullying them into behaving themselves or whatever it is, it’s just be mindful. Look around. It’s a beautiful world.”

Hans Zimmer: Hollywood Rebel is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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