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Hans Zimmer says he was 'starstruck' when he met Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood for Blue Planet collaboration

Oscar-winning film composer Hans Zimmer teams up with British rockers Radiohead for a new version of the band's 2011 song, 'Bloom.'
Hans Zimmer teamed up with British rock band Radiohead for a remade version of their 2011 song, 'Bloom,' for a Blue Planet II prequel. (Getty Images)

By Melody Lau

Ahead of the Blue Planet II premiere, BBC has released a prequel video for fans that most notably features a new musical collaboration between German composer Hans Zimmer and rock band Radiohead. Zimmer, who has provided music for all the previous Planet Earth and Blue Planet specials, reveals that he was nervous about working with the British band because he's a big fan of theirs, especially one of its members in particular.

"Oh, I'll just admit it, I was a bit starstruck," Zimmer says, of meeting the band's guitarist, Jonny Greenwood. "He is my favourite film composer."

That is some big praise coming from Zimmer, who has scored some of the most memorable film scores in recent history, from The Lion King and Madagascar to 12 Years a Slave and the Dark Knight trilogy. But, Zimmer was still scared to "mess up their song because they're not just anybody."

The song in question is "Bloom" from Radiohead's 2011 album, The King of Limbs, a rhythmically layered track that was originally inspired by the first Blue Planet, which came out in 2001. For Blue Planet II, the band has remade the song with help from Zimmer and an orchestra in a London studio. It was a last minute effort though, as Zimmer noted that he had just wrapped the session 10 minutes before our interview (which took place earlier this week).

"People keep using that word, 'organic' -- yes, it is a much more organic version than I suppose it's ever been," Zimmer explains, of the transformation of Radiohead's song. "But there is something really nice that happens as well, when you bring a whole orchestra in and everybody's emotions are basically focused, laser-sharp, in the same direction, which that song and [singer Thom Yorke's] voice does."  

Overall, Zimmer says the process was "easy," adding that it's because "we all grew up with Blue Planet, we all grew up with Planet Earth — it's so ingrained in our culture, the work that [narrator David Attenborough] has done."

Watch the Blue Planet II prequel, featuring Zimmer and Radiohead's new version of "Bloom," below. For more information about Blue Planet II, head over to BBC's website

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