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Hans Zimmer: Hans Zimmer: Interstellar OST

Hans Zimmer: Hans Zimmer: Interstellar OST
With audacity and style, director Christopher Nolan has created another visual masterpiece that defines the science fiction genre. The epic Interstellar definitely was one of the most interesting and moving films that came out in 2014. The film itself gave a grim glimpse of the future of mankind and the inevitable cataclysm. The food has run out, the armies are all disbanded and there wasn't much use of technology Because of that NASA has built a sort of a "space arc" that will seek new habitable worlds and a new beginning for the human race.The result is a sweeping space odyssey that is beautifully to behold.

Composers and film directors are in the business of telling stories and nothing sounds better than when these two lock in with one another. Nolan and composer Hans Zimmer have forged a potent working relationship in recent years resulting in several blockbuster movies including Interstellar which is a totally different affair than anything these two have worked on together. The film explores the relationship between the astronaut/explorer and his children or what it means to be a father and the sacrifice he makes for his children. That relationship and strong bonding was the primary motive and a hook that inspired composer Hans Zimmer to write reverential music while not knowing the plot for the film. But what makes this dystopian film about a team of explorers who attempt to find a potentially habitable planet to sustain humanity interesting is that the film goes to the very core of what makes people human. It explores people's drives and primary motivations for survival and going forward including people's dark sides.

What was brilliantly conceived by the director and his longtime composer of choice Zimmer, was that most of the emotions and the silent dialogues were expressed through the various moods the music has. The music does not describe what it sees but it describes what people feel. Zimmer is known for his grandiose soundtracks which are typically Hollywood styled and sometimes are very predictable, but the soundtrack for this film is really something different. Interstellar is one of those soundtracks that leap off of the screen and the music becomes its own story in itself. It is emotionally charged soundtrack where every detail is full of yearning and tremendous emotional power regardless of the ambient nature of the music.

From the moment the film opens to vast and dusty cornfields or various landscapes in alien worlds, Zimmer's score paints and mirrors the emotional undercurrents to the film, simultaneously pulling feelings to the surface from deep inside. He is a master of moods and these compositions further showcases his nuanced musical mind. The compositions craft an emotional exploration both in space and time, and its otherwordly qualities reflect an artist who approaches his work with care and consideration. The arrangements are varied in intriguing ways and most of the time he keeps things quiet, tense and dreamy. What's important is that he doesn't decorate the works with continuous grand gestures or quirky sound effects. The unsettled opening harmonies on "Dreaming of a Crash" perfectly set the scene for a distant yet mesmerizing ambiances where mysterious tones drift in unison with faint melodies that conjure visions of distant landscapes. Somewhere beneath it all darker tones on church organs rise. The tempos and moods vary on all compositions and so does the use of instruments. Church organs and keyboards are the dominant sounds in combination with classical orchestras and instruments, and it all blends together for a very evocative, dark, but hopeful set of music.

But Interstellar is not without its more upbeat sections and not everything is slow and moody. "No Time For Caution" is grand music, but it's also controlled, unleashing its furious and bombastic clashes of dissonance with precision. The same can be said of "Tick Tock" which uses the same power chords also played majestically to the sounds of church organs.

As a film, Interstellar nods at other masterpieces in this genre like director Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey, Robert Zemeckis' Contact or Stanilsav Lem's book Solaris with the subjects of the future and evolution of human kind or addressing the issue of encounters with the unknown. The film even addresses director Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisquatsi where the imbalance of human existence is portrayed and the way humans waste their resources only to devastate the Earth. There is also a nod towards composer Philip Glass's evocative keyboards from the Koyaaniquatsi (CBS, 1983) soundtrack which even further deepens the evocative nature of Zimmer's work. And among that there is a tension between the gentleness and the threat of the unknown, between uncertainty and intimacy, which makes it so seductive to listen to.

This beautiful and diverse set ends with "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas which lines are recited in the film and reflect the idea of resisting death. Recited by Michael Caine's during the lift off sequence it bolsters the idea that "We're not meant to save the world, we're meant to leave it."

Beautifully designed, this double vinyl edition of Interstellar (incomparable to the Illuminate Dark Star edition) has a nice booklet that gives a glimpse at how Chris Nolan and Zimmer work together and the impetus of the story behind the film. Apart from the session photographs there are liner notes written by Nolan and also there is an insightful interview with Zimmer which details about the use of instruments and how he scored the music. The soundtrack for this film has appeared in various other versions (standard, deluxe, Illuminated Star Projection edition) but this edition by MOV cherry picks almost the best of all that exists.

This score enhances the film it was commissioned for and it evokes worlds entirely their own. It really is magnificent music, regardless whether it's used within the film or heard on its own terms. As such it belongs to ranks in the upper echelons of film music.

Track Listing

Dreaming of the Crash; Cornfield Chase; Dust; Day One; Message From Home; Stay; The Wormhole; Afraid of Time; A Place Among the Stars; No Time For Caution; Murph; Detach; Running Out; Tick Tock; Where We're Going; Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night


Mario Reinsch: Ambient music design; Roger Sayer: Organ;Hans Zimmer: piano, Synth programming; Ann Marie Simpson: Violin; Chas Smith: Steel guitar; Frank Ricotti: Tuned percussion; Skaila Kanga: Harp; Thomas Bowes: Leader of the firsts; Roger Garland: Leader of the seconds; Caroline Dale: First cellist; Richard Watkins: First French horn; Peter Lale: First viola; Mary Scully: Bass; Woodwinds Choir: London Voices; Choirmasters: Ben Parry, Terry Edwards.

Album information

Title: Hans Zimmer: Interstellar OST | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Music On Vinyl

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