Brand new instruments were created from scratch. (Due to travel restrictions during the pandemic era, many of these elements were recorded separately in different parts of the world.) Wind instrument performer Pedro Yustash built a 21-foot horn and a “double bass duduk”, an enlarged version of ancient Armenian woodwind instruments. tool. Hour Smith, working alone in his barn in rural California, beat, scrabbled, and scratched a variety of metal tools of his own invention, including one of the springs and saw blades, and the other of Inconel 718, a superalloy used in cryogenic storage tanks and SpaceX engines. In the film, Smith’s complex resonant tonal textures accompany the visuals of desert sands and windswept spices.
One of the main and most amazing musical moments in “Dune” occurs during the grand arrival on the desert planet of Arrakis. The scene is heralded by an ominous buzz of bagpipes, a sonic attack fired by a battalion of 30 mountain pipers playing in a converted church in Scotland. I had to put on ear protection: the volume reached 130 decibels, which is equivalent to an air raid siren.
This unholy noise permeated Zimmer’s house especially during his late-night work sessions. “My daughter told me the other day that she has PTSD with bagpipes.”
But, perhaps, the most mystical presence in the score is the chorus of female voices singing, whispering and singing in an invented language. “The true driving force behind this novel is always female characters,” Zimmer said. “In fact, women determine the fate of everyone.”
One breathtaking voice sounds like a battle cry, all the ancient melismatic syllables sound in erratic rhythms. These vocals were recorded in a closet in Brooklyn, an impromptu studio by music therapist and singer Loire Cotler. In this room, sitting on the floor with clothes hanging over her head and her laptop on a cardboard box, Kotler sang for hours a day, walking out in the dark. “It has become a sacred music laboratory,” Kotler told me.
Stylistically, Kotler drew on everything from Jewish niggan (wordless song) to South Indian vocal percussion, Celtic lamentation, and Tuvan overtone singing. Even the sound of John Coltrane’s saxophone had an impact, she said. “When you start combining these vast influences and techniques, interesting sounds start to emerge,” she said. “It’s a vocal technique called Hans Zimmer.”