Magazine article Screen International

Howard Shore

Magazine article Screen International

Howard Shore

Article excerpt

The Hugo composer talks about research and listening.

To prepare for his work on Martin Scorsese's 1931-set Hugo, composer Howard Shore immersed himself in the music of the period.

"Usually what I do is a lot of listening," explains the composer, who has picked up a Golden Globe nominationfor his score. "I spend a few months doing research and reading, going back through recordings...Then I really just put it all away in abox, and dream and think about how I feel about the period and how I want to create something from it."

The mechanical advances being made in the early 20th century are central to Hugo, which tells the story of a boy who winds the clocksin a Paris train station and finds a link to cinema pioneer Georges Mélies through a clockwork automaton.

They are also echoed in Shore's score. "There is music that's created that's like clockwork really," says the composer, who used earlyelectric instrument the ondes Martenot among his instrumentation. "It's wheels within wheels and I'm trying to make relationships betweenthe clocks, the clockwork and the trains, and Hugo's life keeping the clockwork running in the station. …

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