Hans Zimmer Scores ‘Dune’

musical notes on composition paper

There are a few things more exciting than the release of a big budget film – unless you’re a film music fanatic (guilty). In that case you may be even more excited about the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer is back to work on yet another epic: a highly anticipated science-fiction premiere. With a nearly 50-year career in music composition, Zimmer has established himself as the zeitgeist of 21st-century film scoring by expertly blending electronic sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. His latest accomplishment is ‘Dune,’ a Denis Villeneuve film based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert (and a bizarre David Lynch adaptation from 1984).

About the Film

‘Dune’ follows the story of Paul Atreides, who is played by Timothée Chalamet, as he is caught in the middle of warring families who are fighting over the planet Arrakis. In this desert world, dangers greet visitors in the form of shifting sands and backstabbing politics. However, its value lies in that it is the only source of spice or “melange,” a substance that serves as the fuel for space travel in the Dune universe.

The film has been well-received so far with praises sung for Villeneuve’s signature smart and stylish sci-fi conception. Fans of Blade Runner 2049 (Zimmer scored that as well) will certainly enjoy this film, and anybody who takes interest in science-fiction and economic-based conflict with a bit of peculiarity thrown in will certainly love it too. The film takes a solemn tone, so it is not for those expecting lively, emotion-filled scenes onscreen.

Hans Zimmer’s Spectacular Score

Like with any of his film scores, Hans Zimmer combines different voices and instruments to create an otherworldly feel. A book covering the film score of Kung Fu Panda 3 examined how one of his key influences is Chinese music, which allowed him to incorporate different techniques into his scores. Much of his scores center on cyclical and percussive tones and rhythms. Subtle yet persistent tones characterize crucial moments on screen when Zimmer composes, and he makes effective use of crescendos that never fully reach their peak. He has done the same with ‘Dune’, adding an element of mystery that overarches the gravity of what’s at stake in the film. Through the uniformity of his compositions, Hans Zimmer succeeds in creating a sense of novelty. This is because he always approaches steady rhythms with newer electronic sounds to lend the overall mood of his scores some modernity. ‘Dune’ is just that — modern prowess struggling to find its footing amidst economic and political struggle.

He was so inspired by the concept and execution of ‘Dune’ that he actually composed two more original scores. He wrote music not only for the film’s theatrical release but also for its making-of book that is set to be published in tandem with the film’s release in October. His enthusiasm is no surprise considering that ‘Dune’ was one of his favorite novels as a child. He even turned down composing music for the Christopher Nolan film Tenet to jump at this opportunity.

What’s Next for Hans Zimmer?

As one of the world’s most prolific composers, Zimmer has a lot on his plate. He recently scored the latest Bond film No Time to Die, and his next big film will be the Top Gun sequel. He also has an upcoming tour that will see him travel Europe in the first quarter of 2022.

For more news and information we cover the works of top composers.