Hans Zimmer took time during his London gig earlier this week to pay tribute to a Ukrainian pianist who went viral for playing the Inception theme in a bomb shelter.
Earlier this month, footage spread online of a young pianist named Alex, which saw the musician refusing to stop playing Zimmer’s theme song for the 2010 film even after air raid sirens began to sound in a subway station in Lviv, western Ukraine.
“When bomb sirens began, police asked everyone to move inside the railway station,” photographer John Stanmeyer wrote on Instagram alongside footage of the incident. “Alex wouldn’t stop, playing his piano louder against the air raid warning. His friend joined with the most calming pink nails. A simple, overwhelming one-minute passion against fear, against war…”
At his London show at The O2 this week (March 23), Zimmer took time to play the clip on the big screen at the venue, and also directly spoke to Alex via a video on social media.
“Hello, Alex. This is Hans Zimmer and I’m just astonished by your rendition of ‘Time’ in the time of crisis,” he said in the video.
“I’m astonished by what you did with the music. It absolutely lifts the spirits of the Ukrainian people. [We] are on your side. We will play ‘Time’ for you tonight. We will always play ‘Time’ for you. We will always be there for you. Thank you.”
See the video, as reposted by Alex, alongside footage from the London show, below.
Elsewhere at the London gig, Zimmer teamed up with Ukraine’s Odessa Opera Orchestra and began the show with an emotional tribute to his orchestra and all Ukrainians suffering during the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“When Covid stopped us from coming here 885 days ago, we booked our orchestra from the Ukraine, from Odessa, and we only managed to get 10 people out… So just welcome them…” he said before he introduced the orchestra, to a standing ovation.
Zimmer continued: “One of the things which I thought was remarkable about the people that we did bring back out of the Ukraine, that were left behind from the orchestra, it was a lot of women. They taught me who the real wonder women are and so I would like to celebrate them with this little ditty called Wonder Woman.”
Meanwhile, popular Ukrainian band Antytila have offered to perform remotely from Kyiv at next week’s ‘Concert For Ukraine’ in Birmingham, but have been told they can’t perform as the concert must avoid association with the military.
Nile Rodgers and Chic, Manic Street Preachers, Tom Odell, Becky Hill and The Kingdom Choir have all been freshly announced for the show, which takes place at Resorts World Arena Birmingham. Previously announced acts also include Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Emeli Sandé, Gregory Porter and Snow Patrol.