Industrial rockers, country songwriting veterans,
soundtrack guru —
nominees in the music categories this year are as eclectic as an
, nominated for original score for
with collaborator Atticus Ross, might be the best example of the ethos of serendipity and surprise.
"This opportunity came completely out of the blue, and it gave me a chance to work with [director]
, someone at the top of his field," Reznor said. "The experience was a good one, an educational one, and I never once felt like jumping out of a window, which usually happens at least once with a big project.
"It's been a dream, and that's weird because usually I don't have dreams where my pants are on."
Reznor and Ross, who won a
for original score, will work with Fincher again on "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which is currently filming.
The duo is nominated alongside more seasoned film composers Alexandre Desplat (
In the complicated dream heist film, Zimmer said he saw his assignment as one of propelling the audience forward to signal to the mood of the moment.
"It's a very unusual film, and some viewers will be a little confused by it," Zimmer said. "The music should set you up to feel what's coming as opposed to telling you what to feel. It's like you're in a little boat, and you're on the river, and you trust the river to take you somewhere."
Rahman is a double nominee, also earning a nod for original song for "If I Rise," a collaboration with
and Rollo Armstrong. The nomination is Rahman's fifth, after he became the first Indian to win two Oscars in 2009 for original song and original score for his work on "
Bringing some twang to the nominations — and perhaps the ceremony — is "Coming Home," a country anthem performed by
and written by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey.
Also nominated in the song category are Oscar veterans
for "We Belong Together" from
and Glenn Slater for "I See the Light," performed by
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the music nominations was who was left out. Despite winning best original song at the Golden Globes, "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me Yet," the
song written by
(who has six career nominations) and performed by
, was left off the list.