Hans Zimmer has to be one of the most celebrated film score composers of this generation. His works are appreciated by movie buffs and music lovers. After composing groundbreaking tracks for movies like The Lion King, Gladiator, Batman Trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk his contributions to the world of cinema cannot be overlooked.
In the recent past, soundtracks produced for Dunkirk have been much appreciated. Now a sound mixing and editing Oscar winner – is a nerve-wracking movie. Three separate storylines tell the famous tale of the Second World War, where 330,000 Allied forces were evacuated from France’s northern beaches in a way that feels tense and amazing sounds. Hans’s music gives the movie an exhilarating experience. The movie seems relentless and never lets you blink for a moment.
The secret behind the tension and the never-ending build up in all the soundtracks owes its essence to the “Shepards tone”.
Named after cognitive scientist Roger Shepard, the sound consists of several tones, separated from each other by an octave layered on top. As the lowest bass tone begins to fade, the higher treble tone disappears. When the bass completely fades and the treble completely fades out, the sequence loops back again. Because you can always listen to at least two tones rising in pitch simultaneously, the mind is tricked into thinking that the sound is always rising in pitch.
The use of Shepards tone creates an illusion that something’s going to happen and this feeling of anxiety never fades in the movie. Brilliantly choreographed, Dunkirk has to be one of the greatest movies made by Christopher Nolan.
Though, David Julyan tried to create a similar backdrop through music for Nolan in The Prestige, but it has to be Hans who really got the better out of the ominous-sounding tone.