Interview About THE ARTIST Cinezik: The movies of Michel Hazanavicius (OSS 117) are repositories, it directs your music?
Ludovic Bource: Obviously, I share his world, specifically THE ARTIST. For a year, it was locked to see Hollywood movies directory (musicals, Murnau, Borzage, “Ivan the Terrible” Eisenstein …). It’s been two years since I soaked these pioneers. Then he had to think the movies from the web of history and romance of this. This love story has led us to a completely romantic assumed in the Hollywood style of music, but rather that between 1936 and 1940 where the Golden Age of Hollywood took a huge weight.
And there was Bernard Herrmann ….
LB: There is a fantastic tribute to Bernard Herrmann. I think this is a composer who is considered by connoisseurs as one of the greatest. True, he influenced me a lot about the movie because there were references in terms of image, atmosphere, it was already present, it is incredible in terms of orchestration, with arrangements quite heavy powerful and unique to this leitmotif Herrmann. “Citizen Kane” we also took a little in this frame and musical aesthetic, but inevitably with Hitchcock “Vertigo” … I’m really happy to hear Herrmann on the soundtrack.
The fact that it is a silent film, what it involved in your work to the image?
LB: First, that music is not stodgy at some point, knowing that we had regarding characters beep codes, with their themes, situations, the loneliness of George Valentine in the movie – it has a theme that is quite minimalist, naive. It was a real race, everything went very quickly. I composed the soundtrack to the start of assembly and we ended last month. Were recorded in stride and I saw the movie last Sunday from one end to the other for the first time. Before, I had not had time, we were constantly doing things again and depending on the continuity of the assembly. I could take a week to a sequence of eight minutes and the week after the same sequence was six minutes. It’s a bit frustrating because when you give a small sequence to a composer, he imagines necessarily a rate based on a situation, a gesture, emotion and especially silent movies where everything had to emphasize , try to be as fair as possible. It was very complicated and tiring but we had to go through it to reach a result that seemed honest.
You said be reached on the final cut. However, in the film, there are sequences of tap dancing, dance. What music was present for the filming and the actors then what was the job of synchronizing with the movements?
L.B: It was a total hell. For the final scene of the tap, there were two songs by Cole Porter including “Sing! Sing! Sing!” and another song by Benny Goodman. We had chosen these pieces without determining the tempo at the time because they do not register with the “clip track”, so the “baguettiste” had redone a witness in the studio, and Jean Dujardin and Berenice Béjo trained at learn the choreography, the dance steps. And during filming, which took place in 22 frames per second, we were given the registration plate, and when I received the records, there was no soundtrack music below. I wrote another piece, inspired by two very original. I spent two days re-dial the tempo to compensate for the image. This is always done in that direction, but I’d rather do it the other way.
Michel Hazanavicius wanted to go back in time, during the silent era, and it seems he used the means of the time. Is this the case for music?
LB: There is no computer in the soundtrack. Moreover, each film if I can defend the musicians, I do. I have been fortunate to always have the means to record with an orchestra. I make models that are approaching a final report that Michel could go forward with what you will hear an orchestra. We were asked many questions on codes that approach Chaplin and then, with a romance that comes close to “Casablanca” with the romantic violin.
Tell us about the music itself. How did you work with the 80 musicians of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders?
LB: I orchestra for all consoles and instruments. After I have a team of arrangers and orchestration that helps me finish the sequence because it was a hell of power in three months provide 1:40 of music. Approach an orchestra like Flanders was pretty sensational. We had a mutual love at first sight.
Compared to the director and his musical direction, what discussions have you had?
LB: At first it was the opening of “Sunset Boulevard” by Franz Waxman. This is a piece that has stubborn, which has become a fantasy for him. I composed the first film’s themes on the piano with a simple melody, one can imagine how we could arrange it. Then I was asked to arrange how to Waxman, also with a trumpet call of “The Bride of Frankenstein”. It was quite difficult because three months before the end of the film, I had a draft, but still it did not sound the way I wanted, as I heard. Michael wanted to put a lot of music from “Sunset Boulevard”, and leave out the most outrageous things, and Herrmann for strong climates, and sometimes simple.
This musical melting pot remains homogeneous, with work focusing on?
LB: I was inspired by an ode symphony of Brahms, and the last sentence of the poem ends with “like a rose with tears.” So I did a piece on the piano which is a tribute to the poem that became a recurring theme. The theme of Peppy Miller when she arrives early, coming to Kinographe which is very Walt Disney, it’s a little “Mary Poppins”.
The films of Michel Hazanavicius are not vulgar comedies, whether OSS 117, or THE ARTIST. At what level is the comedy she has subtly in the music?
LB: There is always in music, in some subjects, a smile, I do not know, this is perhaps my temperament. I started by accordion music so I made the balls when I was a kid, and I think some themes a bit antiquated, let’s say the beginning of last century, came from this directory there, the ball popular art of the folk melody.
On OSS 117: Michael had mounted some sequences of music. For THE ARTIST, is there have been adjustments to the mount?
L.B: Yes, once. I had done six days a sequence of nine minutes strong enough and I was very pleased with myself and my staff. But Michel asked me to redo the music because it did not suit her. He saw that I was a little disappointed. A week later, he told me that music is ultimately very well, and he just changed images.
For THE ARTIST, the role of the mixer is reduced since there is no soundtrack. What was this work?
LB: I had been researching methods of placement of microphones, the microphones used at the time at Warner … They were micro-band, and I really needed to find that sound. Knowing we had 80 musicians, say almost one in every seat, every instrumentalist, their microphones more room mics, it was very important to approach the same recording period. For these records then there is a final mixer who spent three days on it. Otherwise all the music was mixed in 5.1 with Stephen Colin, a sound engineer with whom I work often.
Also, to chain synchronization pieces that sound very specific, a grain that is difficult to find nowadays, these ribbon microphones used which had enabled us to make sequences to fit rather precisely.
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