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The Dark Knight (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Editors’ Notes

Director Christopher Nolan claims one of the chief reasons he’s continued his association with the reborn Batman franchise was the dank, emotionally brooding musical tapestry that Hans Zimmer conjured for 2005’s Batman Begins. In keeping with the elevated ambitions and even longer thematic shadows of this muscular sequel, the composer — this time in collaboration with mulitple Oscar nominee James Newton Howard (and an assist from Zimmer protege Lorne Balfe) — ups the superhero soundtrack stakes accordingly with another bleak, modernistic soundscape that distances itself even more aggressively from Danny Elfman’s previous orchestral heroics. Skillfully utilizing the seamless fusion of the synthetic and organic that’s become Zimmer’s hallmark, the score’s textures and moods snake eerily from electronic sound washes reminiscent of Tangerine Dream to nervously pulsing minimalist rhythms and more traditional symphonic brass flourishes. It’s a soundtrack that largely eschews familiar themes and motifs for ominous, challenging mood pieces, nigh perfect sonic embroidery for the year’s darkest box office contender.


Born: 12 September 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most prolific film composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Hans Zimmer was born September 12, 1957 in Frankfurt, Germany; after relocating to London as a teen, he later wrote advertising jingles for Air-Edel Associates, and in 1980 collaborated with the Buggles on their LP The Age of Plastic and its accompanying hit "Video Killed the Radio Star." A stint with Ultravox followed before Zimmer next surfaced with the Italian avant-garde group Krisma; he then formed a partnership...
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