Shepard tone

Why Christopher Nolan is obsessed with the Shepard tone.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a nerve-wracking film. Three separate storylines tell the famed World War II tale — where 330,000 Allied forces, surrounded by the enemy, were evacuated from the Northern beaches of France — in a way that feels tense and visually stunning.

Built around a score by composer Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk hardly ever slows down from start to finish. And a lot of that has to do with how Zimmer uses an auditory illusion caused by Shepard tones.


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