Tuesday, February 19

HANS ZIMMER – ARENA OF VALOR ORIGINAL SCORES

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When I first found out about Arena of Valor, it didn’t even occur to me check the music scores, let alone find out who the composer is. I’ve got to say I am ashamed of this, not because AoV’s composer is Hans Zimmer…that would make me a snob if it did, but because I didn’t put more attention and effort into this game, because it can obviously return it with a multiplying effect in Arena of Valor.

Arena of Valor Soundtrack Cover

But, as soon as I heard from a friend that the score is worth checking out, I gave it a closer look, or should I say, listen. And, I have to say that Hans Zimmer’s composing hand is actually quite obvious. I am a fan of his work, especially the scores he wrote and composed for movies such as Chris Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, Inception, and Man of Steel. I also love his live performances from the 2016 tour, which is on Youtube. It consists of his most famous scores from all the movies and projects he worked on. There is a ‘Live in Prague’ DVD you can probably find and purchase easily, but you can find several clips on Youtube. Here’s one I really like:

Naturally, Hans Zimmer did not compose all his movie scores by himself. He worked with other artists, like James Newton Howard, for example, on The Dark Knight score. But, I must admit I only heard about Hans Zimmer when he did the music for the Nolan Batman Trilogy. After I’ve taken a look into his musical career and all the things he’s done, I was surprised how much of his music I’ve heard before, without even knowing his name.

Hans Zimmer

He was born in Frankfurt am Main, in West Germany, in 1957 (age 61), and he has played the piano since early childhood. The funny thing is that he was thrown out of 8 schools, after joining a band and being a self-thought musician at first. He loved the movie composer from the movies he watched as a kid, and after moving to London he attended Hurtwood House school.

His early career began with him playing synthesizers and keyboards, in the early 70s. He worked on the new wave music with various bands, some of which are famous from that time period, like the Buggles.
After working with several new wave bands, and even producing some of the albums, he mostly earned money by writing advertising jingles for Air-Edel Associates, and then in the 80s he finally partnered up with Stanley Myers, who was a prolific movie composer with over 60 film scores behind him, even then.

Some of the movies that this new duo worked on are: Moonlighting (1982), Insignificanse (1985), and others, but Hans’ first solo movie score was for Terminal Exposure (1987), directed by Nico Mastorakis, and thus his solo career began. According to many critics and fans of his work, Hans’ most notable score from this period in his career was for the TV game show Going for Gold, which he composed with Sandy McClelland.

This score perfectly depicts the endless and chaotic possibilities of the dream world, as it is shown in the movie, also directed by Christopher Nolan. The powerful and yet gentle, soothing and sometimes scary tones and notes are what makes the music for Inception definitely among the best scores I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

Arena of Valor

When Hans was doing the music for AoV, it was known under a different name – Realm of Valor. Arena of Valor is also known under the title King of Glory, in China, and the different titles were used because the game wasn’t immediately released worldwide, and different titles were given on different market areas.

As his musical composing opus suggests, Hans approached this with the same serious tone he did with all his other works, and the result was the epic score we have today. An important mention here would be to say that Hans didn’t do all the music for AoV. The trailer scores were composed by a young artist Matthew Carl Earl, who is credited for a few trailers before the game was ever released. You can read an interview with him on the Audio Spotlight, click here.

The music is very important in any video game, and I feel it is even more important in a MOBAsuch as Arena of Valor. The score is in my opinion epic, and quite powerful, but also engaging and energetic. It definitely adds to the entire AoV experience and enhances it in a direction of a serious achievement in mobile gaming today.

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