The Dune Sketchbook

(Music from the Soundtrack)

Score By: Hans Zimmer

Distributed By: WaterTower Music

Reviewed By: Melissa Minners

               It’s been a while since I reviewed soundtrack music.  When I received an offer from WaterTower Music to review The Dune Sketchbook, I was hesitant.  I knew nothing about Dune – hadn’t read the book by Frank Herbert, hadn’t seen the movie.  However, things have changed.  I’m currently reading the novel and, as I hear it, the film this music was composed follows the book very closely.  I decided to check out the score.

               Dune is a science fiction film starring Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, son of the Duke of Atreides (Oscar Isaac).  Having just moved to the desert planet of Arrakis, Paul is not quite sure what to make of his new home.  The land is harsh, but produces one of the world’s most sought after substances – spice, a substance that can be used as a number of things, including fuel, healing remedies and heightened cognition.  Paul has dreamed of things to come on this planet, but he could have never known that his family would be betrayed by the very people who placed them on this planet.  Now, Paul is on the run, hoping that an alliance with the people of the deep desert known as Fremen can keep him and his mother alive.  In the end, it may be that this alliance will bring revenge against the people who killed his father and seek to enslave the Fremen.

               The musical score of Dune was created by Hans Zimmer, an award-winning composer who has created musical scores for such notable films as Interstellar, Gladiator, The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Lion King, the Pirates of the Caribbean and more.  Having worked with filmmaker Denis Villenueve before on Blade Runner 2049, Zimmer knew that their bond over the Dune novel would help them create the perfect film and score.  According to Zimmer, “I absolutely love working with Denis. He has an incredible imagination and offers so much 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.” 

               The Dune Sketchbook is one of three albums released in conjunction with the film.  Dune (The Original Musical Score) features music from the movie itself.  The Art and Soul of Dune is a companion soundtrack that features reimagined versions of the main themes of the film score.  The Dune Sketchbook features extended versions of the film score.

               The first track, Song of the Sisters, is quite the experience, featuring haunting female vocals singing in an unknown language.  The track sends chills up your spine as first you hear chanting, then full on singing that elevates as the track moves forward.  House Atreides is another one of those tracks that will captivate you, featuring a celtic style complete with bagpipes and celtic drumming.  It is a score that perfectly represents the House of Atreides, a family rich in history and pride.  The music used to describe the Fremen features the sound of shifting grains of sand, ethnic horns, mystical and sometimes harsh vocals and tribal drumming.  There is a hint of danger present among the Fremen and their lands and that is quite evident in the track Grains of Sand

               As I listened to The Dune Sketchbook, I tried to match it to the ideas I had of the Fremen, the Atreides and Arrakis in my mind gleaned from my reading of the novel.  I found that Hans Zimmer had done a great job in interpreting the characters, terrain and emotions of the novel into music that, I have no doubt, perfectly accompanies the visuals of the film.  Another excellent soundtrack from Hans Zimmer.

Buy The Dune Sketchbook at Amazon

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Published by Melissa Minners

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