Hollywood composers create soundtrack to my life

With a healthy does of original movie scores, meticulous daily routine becomes larger than life.

By Kate Everson | April 8, 2011

Tags: Music Vices


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John Williams and Hans Zimmer collaborated to write the score to my life.

Neither of them has said to the other, “Let’s work on a score for Kate’s life,” but in writing for the sheer amount of films they’ve provided music for, they have, in a way, turned my life into a movie.

Over the years, I’ve created the perfect mix of music, more than 25 full albums of scores, spanning from “Finding Nemo” to “Inglourious Basterds,” that accompany everyday occurrences and transform them into scenes from my favorite flicks.

Listening to these pieces places me right in the middle of cinema. I can navigate the genres when I put my “Original Scores” playlist on shuffle. First, I’m Sherlock Holmes chasing through dirty London streets to squeaky violins. Next song, I’m fighting Lord Voldemort. The track changes again: I’m trying to keep up with Miranda Priestly, the terrifying editor of Runway Magazine. Another song, and I’m traversing Middle-earth with an entourage of hobbits. Then, I’m Scarlett O’Hara declaring, “I’ll never go hungry again!”

I love all types of scores, from action flicks and historical dramas to animation and small independent films. Eclecticism is the key to successfully creating a movie soundtrack for your life; you can’t listen to the cheerful “Up” soundtrack while writing a paper on World War II. May I recommend “Atonement” by Dario Marianelli or “Schindler’s List” by Williams and Itzhak Perlman?

I ran my fastest mile in high school because I blasted Zimmer’s “The Dark Knight” on repeat. I'll admit that I ran so fast because I was pretending to be Batman chasing the Joker through the streets of Gotham. Whatever works, right?

When procrastinating on the computer, I listen to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ themes from “The Social Network.” By no means is it my favorite soundtrack, but it certainly makes playing endless rounds of Bubble Shooter seem productive, as I pretend that I’m Mark Zuckerberg creating Facebook.

For the seven-hour drive between Columbia and Chicago, there’s nothing like Zimmer’s theme for “Thelma and Louise” or Ramin Djawadi’s “Merchant of Death” from the “Iron Man” soundtrack to get you pumped and ready to drive fast on the bland Illinois highways.

Reading is made much more enjoyable when accompanied by the appropriate music. When reading Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's score for “Finding Neverland” ushers in the feeling of life in Victorian London and makes it easier to visualize what’s going on in the story, as if I were watching a movie.

My favorite soundtrack has to be this year’s Oscar snub, “Inception.” Zimmer took a film that was anything but realistic and gave it a score that turns walking down Hitt Street in the rain into a scene from the film.

Maybe I’ve just got an overactive imagination — anything is possible. I’d write more, but “Drive to Bohemia” from the “Public Enemies” soundtrack just came on, and it’s time for me to rob a bank with Johnny Depp.

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