It’s a composer’s job to unlock the imagination of their directors, translating their flights of fantasy into melody. Few musical dreamweavers have shown as much imaginative dexterity in that regard as Hans Zimmer. Yet even fewer directors have given Zimmer a true match for his talent like Christopher Nolan, whose enigmatic oeuvre consists of such head scratchers as “Memento,” “Insomnia” and “The Prestige,” not to mention two movies featuring The Dark Knight, whose imposing bleakness was abetted by the anti-hero rhythms of Zimmer and James Newton Howard.Listen to the full audio interview by ON THE SCORE, by following this link HERE.
If hearing Nolan’s imagination was a tough nut for Zimmer to crack before, then his new film “Inception” takes the filmmaker’s intellectual bent to spectacularly inscrutable heights. It’s a brain-bending, sci-fi tinted mix of “Mission Impossible,” impeccably dressed James Bond action and enough meditations on the nature of humanity and dreams to make Carlos Castaneda scratch his head. Providing a thematic through line to “Inception”‘s multiple, and insanely complicated plains of dream action is an equally surreal, and beautifully thrilling score by Hans Zimmer. He’s given “Inception” an unceasing atmosphere where “Blade Runner” synth vibes swim with adrenalin guitar builds by Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr, emotional anguish and booming percussion that drive Nolan’s dreams without end. And in a thoroughly engaging film that’s almost defiant of its sci-fi origins, it’s Zimmer’s music that truly places Nolan’s thought processes in a sonically surreal realm, his dazzling themes the glue on which “Inception”’s complicated story hangs together. For if this director has truly jumped into the rabbit hole here, than Hans Zimmer has gleefully followed with his most deliriously imaginative score yet.
Now on a new episode of “On the Score,” the composer lets us invade his mind to see what ticks behind this unique, and hypnotic score that plays like a waking dream.