Zimmer, Wallfisch, Sinatra: Music for ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Hans Zimmer, Frank Sinatra, Benjamin Wallfisch

Composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch flank surprise Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack crooner Frank Sinatra.

Hans Zimmer, Benjamin Wallfisch, Frank Sinatra and Elvis, are among the musical highlights in store on the Epic Records original soundtrack to Blade Runner 2049. The film also has an original song, “Almost Human” by contemporary Christian chanteuse Lauren Daigle, that is included among the album tracks.

A digital soundtrack download becomes available Thursday, Oct. 5,  with pre-orders available for the two-disc physical set, numbered and limited to only 2,049 copies. Physical copies also unlock the digital download.  Blade Runner 2049, a Warner Bros. release, opens Friday on 4,000 North American screens.

A continuation of the cinematic tale spun by Ridley Scott in 1982, it is directed by Dennis Villeneuve (Sicario) and stars Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto, with Harrison Ford reprising his role as the world weary detective-type Rick Deckard.  The score to the original film, by electronic artist Vangelis (who won an Oscar for 1982’s Chariots of Fire), was highly regarded and is considered to have contributed to its enduring popularity and cultural significance.

Zimmer and Wallfisch came aboard this new installment amidst some controversy, replacing Jóhann Jóhannsson, who was hired last year and then briefly positioned as part of a trio, with Zimmer and Wallfisch, who were brought aboard this summer. Eventually, he split entirely, a development that was made public only last month. Villeneuve had collaborated with Jóhannsson to great effect on 2016’s Sicario, which received an Oscar nomination for best score, as well as Arrival and Prisoners, and called the Icelandic maestro “one of my favorite composers alive today” and said he’s looking forward to working with him again. In the final analysis, though, he felt the “the movie needed something different, and I needed to go back to something closer to Vangelis,” according to an interview published by Al Arabiya.

Jóhannsson, who is considered one of the geniuses working in film music today, received a second Oscar nom for 2015’s The Theory of Everything, directed by James Marsh. His work will next be showcased in 2018’s XYZ Films revenge thriller Mandy, starring Nicholas Cage, and the Weinstein Company’s theological biopic Mary Magdalene (starring Rooney Mara in the title role, and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus).

Blade Runner 2049 soundtrackZimmer — himself no slouch in the genius department having, among other things, written the theme to the TV series of that name — won an Oscar for 1995’s The Lion King and received nine additional nominations for scores from Interstellar (2015) to Inception (2011), Gladiator (2001) and Rain Man (1989). Wallfisch, who honed his craft at Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions, has been enjoying a career breakout that began last year with a pair of Twentieth Century Fox films: Hidden Figures and  A Cure For Wellness. He followed that with impressive work on New Line’s It and Warner’s Annabelle: Creation, in addition to contributing a track to Zimmer’s Dunkirk score (also for Warner Bros.)

In a nod to the original 1982 Blade Runner score created by Vangelis for director Ridley Scott, Zimmer and Wallfisch utilized vintage synths as the centerpiece to their score, pressing a Yamaha CS80 from the late ’70s into service. “Remember, I’ve done a lot of movies with Ridley Scott,” said Zimmer. “So, it was important that this was an autonomous piece of work. Let’s just be honest. Ridley is a hard act to follow — as is Vangelis. While Ben was four-years-old, I had actually experienced all of this,” he added. “We watched and literally, as we stopped watching, we decided on the palette. We decided this wasn’t going to be an orchestral thing. The story spoke to us.”

“We all know what Blade Runner feels like and what that experience is to watch this incredible masterpiece,” Wallfisch noted. “The first question we asked ourselves was, ‘How can we reinvent and make it fresh and new, but still be in that world?’ The mission from the beginning was this idea of finding the heart of the film—what is its soul? When you discover the simplest possible theme, it sums up humanity almost. I feel like that’s what we were all striving for towards the beginning of the process.”

The score rated a mention in a rave review in Variety, where critic Peter Debruge writes that the film’s “profound philosophical agenda” is “aided by Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer’s atmospheric score.”

Interestingly, the principals chose Facebook to unveil soundtrack details, including the tracklist.  Grammy-nominated soundtrack producer Michael Hodges directed the board on the project, along with producers Ashley Culp and Kayla Morrison.

Blade Runner 2049 also stars Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri and Lennie James and Dave Bautista. It’s written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, based on a novel by Philp K. Dick.

Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to Blade Runner in 2011 from the late producer Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin is producing along with Johnson and Kosove. Bud Yorkin receives producer credit. Additionally, Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, serve as executive producers along with Ridley Scott and Bill Carraro.

The soundtrack is a joint venture between Epic, a division of Sony Music,  and Alcon Sleeping Giant (ASG) Records. Deva Anderson is the music supervisor on the film, with Christine Bergren handling clearances. Daigle co-wrote “Almost Human” with four other songwriters: Kayla Morrison, Gerald Trottman, Ghian Wright and Michael Hodges, who produced the track. She composed the music with Steve Ellison, who goes by the stage name Flying Lotus. Ellison was the composer for Blade Runner Black Out 2022, an in-world anime short directed by Shinichirô Watanabe as part of the film’s pre-release promotion.

The complete Blade Runner 2049 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack tracklist is as follows:

1. ”2049”
2. “Sapper’s Tree”
3. “Flight to LAPD”
4. “Summer Wind” – Frank Sinatra
5. “Rain”
6. “Wallace”
7. ”Memory”
8. “Mesa”
9. ”Orphanage”
10. “Furnace”
11. “Someone Lived This”
12. ”Joi”
13. “Pilot”
14. ”Suspicious Minds” – Elvis Presley
15. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” – Elvis Presley
16. “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)” – Frank Sinatra
17. ”Hijack”
18. “That’s Why We Believe”
19. “Here Eyes Were Green”
20. “Sea Wall”
21. “All The Best Memories Are Hers”
22. “Tears In The Rain”
23. “Blade Runner”
24. “Almost Human” – Lauren Daigle

One Response to "Zimmer, Wallfisch, Sinatra: Music for ‘Blade Runner 2049’"

  1. Pingback: Zimmer, Wallfisch No. 1 at the Box Office with ‘Blade Runner 2040’ | MaxTheTrax

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