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Comments about the soundtrack for Inception (Hans Zimmer)

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I get what Zimmer is trying to do.
• Posted by: Fraley
• Date: Thursday, July 15, 2010, at 11:01 a.m.
• IP Address:
• Now Playing: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Message Edited: Thursday, July 15, 2010, at 11:06 a.m.

Zimmer's more atmospheric/brooding scores I don't think are ever likely to appeal to more traditional score collectors, but I do believe I understand what he is attempting to accomplish with scores like The Dark Knight and Inception. Essentially, Zimmer is intentionally avoiding the traditional approach of obvious themes and intellectual concepts such as thematic development, and instead is attempting to develop sounds and chord progressions that elicit an intended emotional response subconsciously rather than consciously. If you attempt to sit down and listen to Inception and analyze it in the same fashion you would John Powell's outstanding "How To Train Your Dragon", you would like grow bored quickly, as Inception doesn't lend itself to intellectual dissection. On the other hand, if you wait till late at night, or are otherwise in that half asleep/half awake state where your conscious and subconscious can almost connect, and listen to Inception, the music makes total sense. Considering the context of the film, that seems very interesting. I think the trick to appreciating a score such as The Dark Knight or Inception is actually to not think about it at all -- don't listen for the themes, don't try to pick out compositional techniques, just let it wash over you feel what it wants you to feel. Now, whether or not Zimmer has been successful as this approach, or whether or not the film could have been better served by a different approach or score, is certainly debatable.

As a curiosity, I wonder if males and females would have a different response to this score. In other words, are women more likely to connect to the "emotional" approach? That would be interesting, as it would be the polar opposite of Zimmer's power-anthem style, which is generally described as being very masculine.

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