Grammys: Following Oscar Snub, ‘Birdman’ Composer Antonio Sanchez Can Finally Thank the Academy

The Recording Academy, that is...

The man behind the drums of 2014’s Oscar-winning “Birdman” may have been “saddened” at his score being disqualified by the film Academy’s music branch last year, but he has reason to celebrate now.

The jazzy, percussive work won the Grammy Award Monday for best score soundtrack for visual media, beating out Oscar-nominated scores from Alexandre Desplat (“The Imitation Game”), Hans Zimmer (“Interstellar”) and Johann Johannsson (“The Theory of Everything”), while topping another drum-heavy piece from composer Justin Hurwitz (“Whiplash”).

Clearly Sanchez still has the snub on his mind, though. “It’s great to get a Grammy after being nixed for an Oscar,” he said. “So I wanted to thank this Academy, rather than the other one, because I don’t have anything to thank them for.”

Those grapes aren’t too sour, though. Sanchez noted what an honor it was to be able to ride a wave like Alejandro G. Inarritu’s bold theater dramedy.

“Jazz musicians, our circle is so small that we’re always trying to transcend it,” he said. “So to be able to have my name attached to an Oscar-winning film, that’s huge. Just to be known as, ‘Oh, you’re the “Birdman” guy,’ that’s enough. I could also say I play with Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, who are some of the best musicians in the world, but a third of the world don’t know who they are.”

He said he had been offered another film, but that he “didn’t dig it,” adding: “This could be the end of my film scoring career, or the beginning.”

Sanchez was bothered enough by last year’s turn of events to issue a statement at the time. “This disqualification seems to stem from the perception that my score was diluted by the incidental music on the film,” he said in the statement. “I strongly disagree with this idea. The music that people remember after watching the movie is the sound, originality, character and strength of my score, which seems to be the reason it continues to receive attention, nominations and awards, which I’m deeply humbled by. Some of the finest composers are members of the Academy, and I’m saddened my score didn’t resonate with the decision makers.”

It seemed a particularly egregious decision (from a branch notorious for such head-scratchers), seeing as much of the film was meticulously paced and choreographed to Sanchez’s work.

The eventual Oscar winner last year — Desplat’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” — won this particular Grammy category last year.

Elsewhere, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” — an Oscar nominee last year for best original song — won the Grammy for best compilation soundtrack for visual media, topping TV’s “Empire” as well as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Selma.”

Last year’s best original song Oscar winner “Glory,” from “Selma,” won best song written for visual media over two of this year’s Oscar-nominated original tunes (“Earned It” from “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground”), as well as Golden Globe nominees “Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades” and “See You Again” from “Furious 7.”

Finally, A24’s Oscar-contending documentary “Amy” won best music film over “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” “Sonic Highways,” fellow Oscar nominee “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “The Wall.”

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