A World Apart
is the debut soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
, released in 1987
“A World Apart”, the score for an anti-apartheid movie from 1988, is Hans Zimmer’s first solo score. This is where it all started; this is Superman’s first flight.
In “Amadla”, after the speech ends, we get the first Zimmer cue. It’s not a very complicated synth melody, but this is where Hans’ music opened its eyes. It was just a spark, but it lit a flame that never went out. The suite from “A world apart”, worth 17 minutes, is beautiful. It is an eerie, melodic and lovely composition that doesn’t feel like it is part of someone’s first score. There’s depth and a lot of emotion in it and it feels like a presentation for Hans Zimmer’s late 80s / early 90s portfolio. There’s the variation that will become “Show me your fire truck” a few years later! There’s the melancholy that will haunt me in “Rain man”. I can’t get enough of this suite and I am very happy to have discovered it. Once I listen to it I feel the need to go through the scores it made me think of, and this is how I end up lost for an entire day in Hans’ music…
For Hans Zimmer fans, this score is a must listen.
Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to the apartheid melodrama A World Apart is as impassioned and moving as the film its self, filled with tugging strings and wrenching emotions. Occasionally, South African musical instruments and motifs are worked into the score, but the music, for the most part, is as moving as Hollywood scores can ever get.
Hans Florian Zimmer (born 12 September 1957) is a German film score composer and record producer. Zimmer's works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. As a young child, he played the piano at home but had piano lessons only briefly as he disliked the discipline of formal lessons. He said "My formal training was 2 week(s) of piano lessons. I was thrown out of 8 schools. But I joined a band. I am self-taught. But I've always heard music in my head. And I'm a child of the 20th century; computers came in very handy. My mother was very musical, basically a musician and my father was an engineer and an inventor. So, I grew up modifying the piano, shall we say, which made my mother gasp in horror, and my father would think it was fantastic when I would attach chainsaws and stuff like that to the piano because he thought it was an evolution in technology. My father died when I was just a child, and I escaped somehow into the music and music has been my best friend."
Since the 1980s, he has composed music for over 150 films. His works include The Lion King
, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score
in 1995, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Interstellar, Gladiator, Inception, Dunkirk, and The Dark Knight Trilogy. He has received four Grammy Awards
, three Classical BRIT Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.
A turning point in Zimmer's career occurred with the 1988 film Rain Man. Hollywood director Barry Levinson was looking for someone to score Rain Man, and his wife heard the soundtrack of the anti-apartheid drama A World Apart
, for which Zimmer had composed the music. Levinson was impressed by Zimmer's work and hired him to score Rain Man. Zimmer has collaborated on multiple projects with directors including Ridley and Tony Scott, Penny Marshall, Ron Howard, John Woo, Michael Bay, Gore Verbinski, Antoine Fuqua, Steve McQueen, Zack Snyder, Denis Villeneuve, and Christopher Nolan.
He is on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses
, published by The Daily Telegraph. He is the head of the film music division at DreamWorks studios.