Monday, April 27, 2015

The Film Scores of Alexandre Desplat

Have you seen Unbroken, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Argo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The King’s Speech, or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? Then you know the music of French film composer Alexandre Desplat.

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Desplat has many film credits and numerous nominations and awards to his name. He grew up in Paris to a French father and Greek mother and fell in love with music at an early age, listening to the works of Ravel and Debussy, as well as jazz and world music. I think you can almost hear these influences in some of his scores. Desplat claims that he loved film music early on, especially tunes from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and The Jungle Book.

Desplat met his wife, violinist Dominique Lemonnier, while working on his first film. She has been a great artistic advocate ever since. Many say Desplat is as successful as he is because, not only does he possess a strong sense of musicality, but he communicates well with film directors. Desplat says that it is not unusual for film composers to write their scores quickly—sometimes in as short at three-weeks’ time!

Here are a few of my favorite Desplat scores. Enjoy!

What influences do you hear in these examples?

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