Once Hollywood finds a motif they like for movie trailers, they stick with it. Clint Mansell‘s "Lux Æterna" from "Requiem for a Dream" and John Murphy‘s "Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor)" are just a couple of score pieces that seem to get trotted out every couple months for yet another piece of advertising. And recently, another selection has joined those ranks: the BRAAMS created by Hans Zimmer for Christopher Nolan‘s "Inception." In fact, we even pointed out 10 Trailers That Use & Abuse that sound. But how does the composer himself feel about it?
“Oh, it’s horrible!” he told Vulture. “This is a perfect example of where it all goes wrong. That music became the blueprint for all action movies, really. And if you get too many imitations, even I get confused!” While he notes he has "a degree" of control as to when or where it’s sampled, he does share how he wound up creating the sound in the first place.
“That sound was in the script,” Zimmer said, alluding to the fact that it’s something of a super slowed down version of Edith Piaf‘s "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," the "kick" song in the film. “I remember before we made the movie, Chris and I were in London at the ‘Sherlock Holmes‘ premiere, and of course it ends up with the two of us in the corner somewhere talking about the movie we’re about to make while everyone else is around us at the premiere going wild. We’re such party animals. And I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, let’s just go and book a studio and get a couple of brass players.’ The sound, really, is that I put a piano in the middle of a church and I put a book on the pedal, and these brass players would basically play into the resonance of the piano. And then I added a bit of electronic nonsense. But really, it just came from saying, ‘Let’s experiment.’”
And thus, here we are two years later with a foghorn of sound we seemingly can’t escape. Now before our comments section lights up, yes, Zack Hemsey did create the trailer music for "Inception"where the BRAAM phenomenon first gained traction. But, as Zimmer explained, he came up with the crucial notes featured in the movie which you can hear in "Half-Remembered Dream" from the soundtrack. Listen below.