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The award for Best Original Score at the 2012 Academy Awards went to the French composer Ludovic Bource for his compositions featured in the movie The Artist. This was Bource’s first nomination, and he triumphed over such Oscar veterans as John Williams, Howard Shore and Alberto Iglesias. Bource earlier also won the Golden Globe for his composition.
The Artist is a silent movie about the end of Hollywood’s silent movie era. For this reason, it is easy to understand the important role played by the score. In this particular style of movie, the music score not only is a magnificent support to the storytelling, but also fulfills the role of spectacular protagonists, as well as carry the mood of the movie.
Ludovic Bource began his acceptance speech at the ceremony by underlining the importance of music: “Wow, I want to pay, first of all, a tribute for the power of the music,” he said, then adding; “I’d like to thank the Academy; with this Oscar you have given a man a special honor. And to all of you, please accept me because I’ve got so much love to give.”
Ludovic Bource incorporated a variety of different sounds and moods in the score of The Artist; he sought inspiration from several directions. In an interview with ‘Classic FM,’ he said that he started by studying the period that inspired the movie, namely the 1920s-40s. This era saw the birth of jazz and swing, both of which influenced contemporary movie scores. Bource took inspiration from films like ‘Tabu: A Story of the South Seas’ and ‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans,’ among others. He then turned to the classical compositions of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Wagner, and Debussy before creating his own sound for the film.
The score was recorded with the Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra in Brussels. Although nothing is certain yet, rumor has it that there is a project for Bource to tour the world with a live orchestra, performing the compositions that thrilled the voters of the Academy Awards to a live audience. In the interview with ‘Classic FM’ he expressed the specific desire to perform in London. The live tour would also visit several other cities in the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Brussels and Geneva. The tour experience is a throwback to the days of silent films, when movies were accompanied by live orchestras.
Image Courtesy of Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S. (Top Image)