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Nine Inch Nails duo score The Vietnam War doco series by Ken Burns

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have taken time off from relaunching Nine Inch Nails to score Ken Burns' 10-part PBS documentary, The Vietnam War.

Reznor and Ross revealed all the details about the score in the lead up to the series premier on September 17. The pairs' original score spans two CDs (or three vinyl LPs) and will be released on September 15. A two-CD soundtrack will be released the same day, which features artists contemporary to the subject matter. They include Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye and The Beatles.

Field recordings of combat inspired original score


Ross explained recently that the duo used field recordings of "mortars, helicopters, people talking" as "rhythmic starting points" after processing the samples. They requested a "a laundry list of emotional settings that we could draw upon" from the co-directors Burns and Lynn Novick, namely rage, courage, sadness, fear, chaos, loss, love, sacrifice, aggression, loneliness and anxiety. It sounds like industrial rock pioneers Reznor and Ross were the perfect choice for the subject matter.

The pair issued a joint statement:

"We are incredibly honoured to be a part of this project. With 'The Vietnam War’, Ken, Lynn and Sarah have created something of vital importance. To bear witness to their process was immensely inspiring.

"The sheer scale of the project combined with the magnitude of the subject matter was initially daunting for us, but the commitment, care and reverence they displayed made the experience deeply satisfying on many levels."

Soundtrack features "iconic songs" from Vietnam War era

The accompanying soundtrack features 38 tracks, cut down from the 120 songs featured in the series. The tracks include many of the iconic songs from the era, Reznor and Ross said. Burns and Novick commented in a joint statement:

“The Vietnam War era produced some of the greatest, most impactful music ever recorded. We are grateful that so many artists from the period wanted to be part of the film and now the soundtrack. We were equally fortunate to have had the tremendous honour to work with Trent and Atticus. Their original score beautifully complements the music from the time."

The Vietnam War will be available on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital download on September 19.

Nine Inch Nails keep busy with Add Violence EP release


Reznor and Ross recently kicked off a flurry of activity with Nine Inch Nails. The band released the Add Violence EP last month, which is the second in a trilogy of planned EPs. The industrial rockers expect to drop the third EP to drop "six to eight months" after the Add Violence release (read our coverage here).