Thursday, November 19, 2009

Interview with New Moon score composer Alexandre Desplat

Mark Morton, the Soundtracks Examiner, interviewed Alexandre Desplat.

Alexandre is the Oscar-nominated composer who created the lovely New Moon score. (All of that pretty music in the background).

One of the truly remarkable traits of your soundtracks is that when listening to it, the audience participant easily loses himself/herself within the atmosphere you created. And I think that is due to your seemingly innate ability to find the “voice” of the movie. What is your process for becoming so connected to your projects? Do you receive a copy of the movie that you watch over and over until the pattern emerges?
Yes, that’s exactly it. I have copies of each movie. I write movie soundtracks because I want to write movie soundtracks. It is no accident or a business that I wanted to have. I could be selling soap if I wanted a business. I do it because I am fascinated by the process of creating music for films. I never wanted to be a concert composer, either. When I watch a movie, I have a strange intuitive chemistry that drives me along. So it is great to actually have the movie to watch again and again. Sometimes I find the right path right away, but even if I do, I choose not to get excited about it and explore other pathways. I circle around the movie for a long time, so I can be sure that what I am throwing at the picture definitely belongs with it.
It’s funny; sometimes when I am offered a movie to score, I receive a copy with my music from previous scores on the temp track. And the directors say, “Oh, it works so well!” But I don’t see it at all; it definitely doesn’t work at all. It’s the wrong pitch, the wrong color. It’s a new body of work I have to invent; it’s a new challenge. It’s not just the melodies; it’s the sound, the texture…it’s like a new fabric I have to design.

Read more here.

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