Howard Shore special guest of the Music Lesson 2023 at the Cannes Film Festival
Since 2018, the Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publisher is an institutional partner of the Cannes Film Festival to promote film scores and composers.
Sacem is organising the "Music Lesson" that will be given this year by Howard Shore, a leading composer of the Seventh Art. His Music Lesson will be an opportunity to share his experiences and go behind the scenes of his works. It will take place on May 22 at 4:30 pm (Palais des Festivals, Buñuel room) and will be hosted by Stéphane Lerouge.
"We are very happy and proud to welcome Howard Shore, a genius and multi-talented composer, for the Music Lesson. Every year, Sacem deploys a programme entirely dedicated to composers of music for the screen with one objective: to promote their talent and their place at the heart of the world's largest film festival.” — Serge Perathoner, composer and Chair of the Sacem Board of Directors.
"As a composer, you have to learn to build a relationship of trust with the filmmaker, so that he or she will encourage you to express yourself in a personal, singular, ambitious way.” This is the conviction of Howard Shore, one of the most innovative musicians in contemporary cinema, winner of three Oscars and three Golden Globes.
In Canada in the 1950s and 1960s, his vocation was shaped by several successive revelations, that of modern jazz and the second Vienna School, along with the formative shock provided by the writing of John Cage and Tōru Takemitsu. Based in New York, Shore was made musical director of the iconic television show Saturday Night Live in 1975. In 1979, a friend from his teenage years in Toronto asked him to score his third feature film. The film was called Chromosome 3, its director: David Cronenberg. For Shore, the offer proved to be a rendezvous with destiny. Chromosome 3 marked the debut of one of the most fascinating and seamless collaborations of our time: sixteen feature films to date, including a handful of classics (The Fly, False Pretenses, A History of Violence). In each film, Shore offers original musical solutions to the filmmaker's organic and genetic obsessions: from Ornette Coleman's free saxophone — the inner scream of The Naked Feast — to Crash's haunting sextet of electric guitars, the instrumental equivalent of magma made of metal and flesh.
The unique "Shore signature" established the composer's reputation, which was further enhanced by that of his high-tech studio, then nestled in New York in the mythical Brill Building. An image was forged: that of an experimenter at the cutting edge of technology, whose audacity was as much about language as it was about tools.
This quickly tickled the curiosity of other directors: Martin Scorsese with After Hours in 1985, prelude to a collaboration that would take off seventeen years later with Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and Hugo Cabret. Then came Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia), David Fincher (Seven, The Game, Panic Room) and Tim Burton (Ed Wood, a UFO-like soundtrack for solo theremin backed by Afro-Cuban rhythms). In 1999, he had a decisive encounter with Arnaud Desplechin on Esther Kahn, with a chamber-like, repetitive score filled with hypnotic lyricism. Resistant to anything formulaic, Shore avoids the pitfalls of an illustrative and descriptive aesthetic, which makes him the antithesis of the Hollywood composer. And yet, paradoxically, he proves to be Hollywood-compatible when circumstances require it: see Big or Mrs. Doubtfire. At the dawn of the 21st century, a major earthquake awaits Howard Shore: an invitation from the New Zealander Peter Jackson to accompany him in the epic of The Lord of the Rings, an outsized triptych that let a large audience discover the splendours of Shore's writing, this time turned towards epic and alternating black and white magic.
This new Music Lesson will draw a portrait of a cultivated, curious, and modest creator: "Cinema is a collective craft that involves artists such as the scriptwriter, the director, the composer... We must be clear: the work that is born of their collaboration is greater, more vast than each individual.”