Hans Zimmer Worked with a Choir over FaceTime to Craft the ‘Dune’ Trailer’s Pink Floyd Cover

The "Dune" trailer release increased downloads of Pink Floyd's “Eclipse” by 1,750 percent.
Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.’ much-buzzed-about release of the “Dune” official trailer last week represented a full circle moment for the relationship between Frank Herbert’s science-fiction novel and the rock band Pink Floyd. Back when Alejandro Jodorowsky was attempting to mount a “Dune” film adaptation in the 1970s, the director courted Pink Floyd to write the original score. The film failed to materialize, but Pink Floyd found its way back to “Dune,” as the trailer for Villeneuve’s upcoming tentpole featured a cover of the band’s song “Eclipse” from the 1973 album “Dark Side of the Moon.”

A new report from Variety confirms it was Hans Zimmer himself who was behind the reworking of “Eclipse” for the “Dune” trailer. The Oscar-winner has spent a majority of quarantine finishing the original score for “Dune,” and he took a break from the main score to oversee the recording of the Pink Floyd cover. Working with a 32-voice Los Angeles choir, Zimmer held eight sessions with four vocalists at a time in order to maintain social distancing measures. Twelve vocalists performed the lyrics from “Eclipse,” while the remaining 20 recorded choral parts.

“He wanted to pay homage to the original, very back-phrased sound, a little spaced-out, so the vocals would not sound urgent,” choral contractor Edie Lehmann Boddicker told Variety. “There’s a kind of joy happening in the track, a lot of hopefulness. It’s not despondent, just very peaceful and sounding not of this planet.”

Boddicker, who worked with Zimmer during the recording of “The Lion King” score, added, “We followed all the [COVID-19] protocols. Everybody wore masks except when they were in their separate cubicles, divided by glass, all with their own mic’s, and everything was wiped down between sessions.”

Zimmer never even went to the studio and instead stayed at his recording studio at home and worked with the vocalists over FaceTime. While he recorded an entire cover of “Eclipse,” only 13 lines of the song are used in the official trailer. Per Variety, Zimmer also crafted the cover with help from  programmer Steven Doar, Chinese-American cellist Tina Guo, Colombian bassist Juan Garcia-Herreros, and English guitarist Guthrie Govan

While Warner Bros. has yet to release Zimmer’s cover to music streaming services, the “Dune” trailer proved popular enough to drive up digital sales for Pink Floyd’s original “Eclipse” by 1,750 percent. The “Dune” trailer has earned over 22 million views during its first week. Warner Bros. is releasing the film in theaters December 18.

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