August 2, 2012 - 9:43am
BY PROMA KHOSLA
In On the Score, Daily Arts’ Proma Khosla discusses a frequently overlooked element of the cinematic experience: movie scores. Today, she looks at the music of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“The Dark Knight Rises” was almost indisputably the most anticipated film and soundtrack of the summer. Other than being the first of the trilogy to be scored by Hans Zimmer without James Newton Howard, the defining characteristic setting TDKR apart from “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” is the third track: “Gotham’s Reckoning.”
The opening of “Gotham’s Reckoning” sounds uncannily like parts of Zimmer’s “Inception” music. Enter the horns, Zimmer’s favorite dramatic effect, and then begins the chant. According to the film, those chaotic voices are chanting, “rise,” but sound and language are indistinguishable. The chanting begins quiet and eerie, escalating with every second right along with your heart rate.
Other than intermittent repetition of the chant, TDKR isn’t notably different from its predecessors. The recognizable themes of the Dark Knight legend resurface and reverberate, immortalizing the sound and feel of this trilogy for years to come.
What is notable, however, is the piece Zimmer recorded shortly after the film released. He composed “Aurora,” a tribute to victims of the July 19 Colorado shooting. As excellent as the film and soundtrack are, the events in Aurora have had undeniable impact, and so does Zimmer’s tribute.
The reason these events resonate so deeply, above and beyond the movie experience, is that Gotham is all about heroes and villains — in the real world, we are touched far more by the lives and stories of victims.
It’s a chilling parallel between the chaotic chanting that laces the soundtrack in that it relies heavily on voices. Only in “Aurora,” the voices are mournful, haunting and never quite reach the fever pitch of the movie, as if the singers still await resolution. They seem lost, accurately reflecting the public’s reactions to the shooting.
“Aurora” is a single, eight-minute track, available for purchase on iTunes. All proceeds will go to helping families affected by the shooting.