Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To Hans Zimmer, With Love

Dear Hans,

I feel like I've known you my whole life. We've never met, but you speak in the language of music - and I've been listening closely, for about a decade. Consider this letter as a long overdue reply.

I have been watching movies for the last 15 years or so, but I started paying attention to the background score after I watched Batman Begins, a movie that has since remained my favorite of all time. It brought out a side in me I had not known before; a side that came alive to the sound of music. When tears followed some of those times, I knew it wasn't a sign of weakness, but of the delight in complete vulnerability to music. The track 'Eptesicus' could evoke this feeling more strongly than any else. I know that feeling so well today, yet find it hard to explain.

It's like a force that sleeps deep within all of us most of the time, which wakes and responds only to the right notes. Tiny surges of electricity are felt from head to limb, and the body seems to elate on finding something to resonate with. Somehow I think Harry Potter felt it when he first held his wand; or what Erik (Magneto) felt it when he's able to move the antenna. A sense of infinite power engulfs your mind.

Since then, my mind automatically paid attention to the score of every movie I saw, and I made it a habit to collect them, and listen to them on my mp3 player. I reserved 'Eptesicus' for the moments of particular despair. And it worked every single time. I sailed through countless storms, and your music weathered them all.

With time, I learned to understand what the music was about as well. The score for the Batman trilogy always had a reinvigorating effect, and seemed to tell me to hold on, and stand resolute in the face of everything. Man of Steel, as I'm sure you intended it to be, was about Hope. In fact when I went jogging with that score playing, I felt like I could fly, with the confidence only Superman can emanate. And speaking of jogging, 'Injection' & 'Bare Island', made me run that extra lap. When I was in a hurry, there was nothing like 'Mombasa' for a spring in my step.

The story of how you came up with the Interstellar score is so apt, as the father-daughter relationship is the part I remember most fondly - exactly what Christopher Nolan wanted.

The single biggest influence recently was that of 'Why do we fall?', which empowered me during a crucial time in business school.

 So you see, it's not just that I love your music. With every passing day, more facets of my life have Hans Zimmer written all over them.

Last November when I was in Wroclaw, Poland - I thought I'd woken up to the greatest day of my life, because I thought I was attending a live concert of yours. Unfortunately it turned out to be only the name of the concert, with someone else attempting (and failing) to perform your great work. I'm still gathering pieces of my broken heart since then.

But I have not given up hope. Who knows, you might come to India one day, or nearby? Regardless, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sir. I don't believe in God, but I believe in you and your music.

Someone more than just a fan

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