WaterTower Music announced that they will be releasing not one, but three separate albums featuring Hans Zimmer’s music from (and inspired by) 2021’s Dune movie, directed by Denis Villeneuve. This includes the score, Dune (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), which will be released on September 17—the week that the film will commence its international theatrical-exclusive run, with premieres in parts of Europe.
In addition to pieces of the score showcased in the movie’s main trailer, fans can now enjoy two full tracks from the forthcoming albums. On July 23, Zimmer took to social media to announce the release his new single Dune: Paul’s Dream. This contains “Paul’s Dream”, from The Dune Sketchbook (Music from the Soundtrack), and “Ripples in the Sand”, from the film’s score.
Both tracks are available now on this YouTube playlist. Listen and read on for more insights.
The single is also available on various music services, including:
The aforementioned albums will be released digitally, starting from early September:
The Dune Sketchbook (Music from the Soundtrack) comes out on September 3, 2021, the date of the world premiere in Venice. This album consists of “extended, immersive musical explorations” of the score and will be available in both Standard and—a first for Hans Zimmer’s work—in Dolby Atmos Music versions.
Dune (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) will follow on September 17, 2021, featuring Zimmer’s Dune movie score. This album will likewise be released in both Standard and Dolby Atmos Music formats.
The Art and Soul of Dune is due out October 22, 2021, the date of movie’s U.S. premiere. This is intended to be the “companion soundtrack” to the eponymous art book, written by executive producer Tanya Lapointe. Zimmer has curated “uniquely crafted versions of the film’s main themes” to accompany readers as they immerse themselves into the book’s dazzling visuals, interviews, and behind-the-scenes content.
Creating the Dune Movie Score
During the IMAX exclusive event on July 21, we witnessed a candid conversation between director and composer. Besides their great respect for each other and mutual love of Dune, fascinating insights were shared about their approach to creating the music. The story of the movie takes place tens of thousands years into our future, across a sprawling galactic civilization. Why would there be the same orchestral sounds as today? To do justice to this extraordinary setting, Zimmer actually invented new instruments!
We agreed that the music would need to have a spirituality to it… a sanctified quality. Something that would elevate the soul and have the effect that only sacred music can. And I believe that is firmly present in Hans’ score. Hans spent months and months creating new instruments, defining, creating, and seeking new sounds, pushing the envelope.
Both concurred that power of the human voice would persist in any society. Besides the alien sounds, the preview offered an impression of the ethereal, haunting female voices.
Denis and I agreed that the female characters in the film drive the story. So the score is based on mainly female voices. We developed our own language. The musicianship is extraordinary, and this is not your normal orchestral score.
The two have spoken with fondness about working together on Blade Runner 2049. When it came time to approach Dune, Villeneuve’s intention from the beginning was to get Zimmer on board. The composer—who turned down scoring Tenet (2020) for the opportunity to work on this dream project—talked about their collaboration:
I absolutely love working with Denis. He has an incredible imagination and offers so much heart and soul within the complexity of making a film of this magnitude, and our aesthetic is very comparable. Dune has always been very close to both of our hearts. The task was to figure out how we were going to interpret something we truly loved and admired, and invite the audience to come and have their own personal experience. That was, for us, the reason to make this film.
Apparently, Zimmer was indeed finished with the movie’s score back in late 2020 and “it was absolutely beautiful,” according to Villeneuve. However the director clarified that this wasn’t the end of the composer’s involvement with the project:
He continued to write music even when the movie was finished! He was still inspired and went on writing.
And thus, we have two additional albums of Dune music to look forward to this year.