Music Break: INCEPTION soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is one of the most commercially successful composers working today. I’ve listed some of my favorite scores that he did on this post, though I should update that at some point as that list is over a decade old now. One of those on the list is INCEPTION, which was released exactly 11 years ago today in the US on July 16, 2010.

I remember being super excited for this movie, I even blogged about the promotional banners for it, and this scene spotlight of Tom Hardy‘s Ames saying ‘You musn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.’ Though the main star is Leonardo DiCaprio and it’s got a terrific ensemble cast, Hardy’s quite the scene stealer. Gosh I miss seeing that guy in movies, hope to see him in a big feature film again soon!

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In any case, Zimmer’s music is definitely one of the best things about the Christopher Nolan‘s mind-bending thriller, it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score in 2011, but lost out to The Social Network (Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross).

Per this article, apparently Zimmer wrote the score before any footage had been shot. Given Zimmer had collaborated with Nolan previously on Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, it’s likely he’s discussed the concept of dreams-within-a-dream prior to shooting the film, but still, it’s amazing how fitting the score is to the final film. I love the combination of synthesizer and orchestral with his signature low brass BRAAAAM! sound which just sounds mysterious, ominous and cool! No wonder it has since become so overused in trailers and even action movies, much to the German composer’s chagrin. In any case, here are some of my favorite tracks from INCEPTION:

Interesting trivia about the Édith Piaf song Non, je ne regrette rien that apparently was an inspiration for Zimmer in creating the score. If you remember, it’s the “kick” song to signal the characters of another reality Per NPR, “… he intentionally cribbed the two defining “da-da” notes from a slowed-down version of the Edith Piaf song Non, je ne Regrette Rien. Zimmer is quoted in his interview with The New York Times that “… all the music in the score is subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Edith Piaf track. So I could slip into half-time; I could slip into a third of a time. Anything could go anywhere. At any moment I could drop into a different level of time.”

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Some of you might have seen this already, but I just learned about this recently [mind-blown!]!

Per IMDb Trivia, Nolan stated that it’s a pure coincidence that Marion Cotillard had played Piaf in La Vie En Rose (2007). After Cotillard was cast, Nolan intended to change the song to eliminate speculation on the subject, but composer Zimmer persuaded him to keep it.


Hope you enjoyed this music break! Are you a fan of INCEPTION and its soundtrack?