listen to the ‘Tenet’ score by Ludwig Göransson & ft. Travis Scott
Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated, much delayed (because of COVID) new mind-bending sci-fi spectacle, Tenet, finally hits theaters, and only theaters, on Friday (9/4). That's if theaters are open where you live, which they may not be if you live in a major U.S. city like NYC or Los Angeles. And you may not be ready to go back into a theater yet, anyway, even with all the coronavirus safety precautions that theater chains have put in place. But if you want to see Tenet, it's not going to be streaming anytime soon.
You can, however, stream the dynamic score by composer Ludwig Göransson, who did the music for Black Panther and The Mandalorian. (Tenet is a rare Nolan film not to be scored by Hans Zimmer.) “The score is full of inverted sounds and illusions," says Göransson. "I spent a great deal of time taking familiar sounds and manipulating them -- both organically and digitally -- so that they reflected the complex world of Tenet. I wanted to find themes with melodies, textures and rhythms that were reminiscent of the past yet fitting for the future; sounds that stood out on their own but also truly worked in inverted ways, to reflect the surrealism and unease of the scenes where the laws of physics change to allow sets and characters to move and speak in that strange, unsettling inverted way. One of the biggest challenges for me in writing this score was figuring out how to provide a musical roadmap for audiences as they experience something so conceptually ambitious and technically complex.”
The score also features Travis Scott on "The Plan," a collab between the rapper and Göransson which ended up becoming a lot more than just an end credits song. Nolan explains: "One of Ludwig’s suggestions was to bring in Travis Scott, show him the film and get his insight," says Nolan. "Travis watched the film and really connected with it and in the end we wound up layering his voice into various elements of the soundtrack, which became the final piece of this puzzle that we’d been working on for so long.“
Göransson adds, “When I watched the movie in its entirety, I started to feel that the end needed a new voice to reflect the culmination of the Homeric journey we’ve just experienced. Conceptually, Travis Scott’s artistic voice is very much in step with the sound palette we had created for Tenet, and I felt that he and Chris might almost be kindred spirits when it comes to creating fully realized worlds with music and visuals. Travis became one of the first people in the world to see the film, and his observations of the experience were exactly what Chris was looking for. His song is such a perfect fit for the movie that Chris and I asked if we could weave a short snippet of his vocal into the score at various points throughout the film.”
As for Travis Scott's observations of the experience of seeing Tenet, here's his spoiler-free, three-sentence review: “I can’t even explain it. You literally just have to watch it. It’s very fire.”
Listen to the Tenet score, including "The Plan," and watch the trailer for the film, below.