Pop Culture

‘Dune’: Meet Loire Cotler, Whose Voice Powers the Film’s Propulsive Score

So, who possesses those singular pipes? Singer Loire Cotler, who describes herself as a “Grammy-nominated rhythm vocalist, composer, and vocal sound designer.” Before performing as a featured vocalist on the scores for both Dune and Dune: Part Two, her voice could be heard on James Newton Howard’s Oscar-nominated score for Raya and the Last Dragon, as well as David Buckley’s score for Netflix’s The Sandman.

In an interview with TheWrap, Zimmer recalled wanting to highlight “the strength of the female voices” in Arrakis, hoping to provide “a sense of spirituality that went all the way through the score.” While first meeting with Cotler to provide vocals for the first Dune’s “Gom Jabbar” theme, Zimmer was instantly struck by her abilities. “She sang just one note, and it tore the enamel off my teeth and ripped my eyeballs out,” the composer remembered. “She’s like, ‘Something like that?’ Yep! Something like that!”

Cotler, who also works as a music therapist and has provided YouTube tutorials on her distinctive rhythmic vocal stylings, recorded much of the film’s score from an unlikely location: the closet of her Brooklyn apartment, a spot Cotler would later tell The New York Times, “became a sacred musical laboratory.” As Zimmer told Billboard, “There’s this great picture of her sitting cross-legged on the floor of her closet, the microphone dangling in front of her. Her coats are basically hanging down on her head, and she’s supposed to sing about the vastness of this landscape,” adding, “She had the ability to transcend all those limitations.”

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Speaking with Vanity Fair about Cotler’s “heroic” vocal prowess, Zimmer noted the “strength” in her voice, a “force that hits you even without reverb and compressors and all sorts of stuff.” For the singer herself, saying yes to Dune, which filmmaker Denis Villeneuve plans to expand into a third film, was a gamble. “When you are asked to do something that is not in the traditional parameter of what you would think the voice could do, and then you say yes to doing something that, in your words, is reckless,” Cotler told VF, “amazing things start to happen.”

Originally Published Here.

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