When we think about illusions, the first thing that comes to mind is a magic trick, an ambiguous misleading drawing like the Penrose Staircase, or the never- ending staircase by M.C. Escher. But the one thing that we can not forget is that vision is not the only sense that can fog information. Auditory illusions can be equally puzzling, if not more as visual illusions are and can be put to a lot of situations to create a sense of impending doom that just never goes by and is always around the corner. 

Dr. Diana Deutsch, a psychologist at the University of California used an auditory illusion, called the tritone paradox, to see how the linguistic background of someone changes the way they listen and perceive the illusion. This tritone illusion comes from what Dr. Roger Shepard had created in 1964. An auditory illusion by using tones that were an amalgamation of three octaves of the same pitch class note played at once. From very low to very high, each note contained three octaves of the same pitch class, this made the tone’s pitch height utterly ambiguous. 

Christopher Nolan and His Movies

This Shepard’s Tone, named after the man who created it, can be a powerful tool to create a sense of time dilation and intense drama. What better medium to create such drama than movies and who better to create a sense of incumbent doom than Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s films are always revolving in and around time, be it “Interstellar” with time warping through space, how to merge time from both ends to meet in the middle with “Memento”, or “Inception” with how time slows in dreams. He has been infatuated with the concept of time and it was but obvious he would be using the same to create an auditory spectrum to follow his visual storytelling. 

Soundtracks That Use the Famed Illusion 

There have been many instances where this technique of auditory illusion to create suspense has been used. And only a few instances in which it has been used in Christopher Nolan’s movies. Enjoy any and every of Nolan’s movies with delta 8. There are many online and offline stores to shop delta 8 gummies from.

We shall be talking about those movies today where this incredible auditory illusion is used - 


This 2004 thriller is all about how two illusionists try to oust each other with their stage performances. The story of their fierce rivalry is so richly presented by Nolan and what they are willing to do, the extent to which they can go to master their trade and be the best. It was almost poetic of Nolan to use auditory illusions in a movie riddled with visual tricks. Nolan paired with David Julyan to take care of his score and does Julyan score big time with his enthralling and captivating music. 

The Dark Knight Trilogy 

This realistic and magnanimous take on the comic book superhero from DC does wonders to the very least. Remembered as the last and probably the best ever portrayal of ‘The Joker’ ever by Heath Ledger, the soundtrack does so much in the movie experience too. The one instance where the Shepard tone is used, is when Batman rides the BatBike in The Dark Knight Rises. The scene is filled with immense pressure to locate the trigger to the nuclear explosive and Hans Zimmer does what he does the best. 


Dunkirk is a cinematic masterpiece. In the modern day of flare and spice, Nolan creeps in a slice of history so profound and so well done it baffled everyone everywhere. It is a cracker jacker of a movie, an absolute nerve wracker! To portray that visually was done impeccably by Nolan, but he did so even better with sound mixing and editing, for which the movie earned the Oscar winner for sound mixing and editing. The Shepard tone is so cleverly put through that it creates a never ending sense of doom and crisis, just what might've been felt during the time the movie is based on.

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