On Sept. 27, we were on the red carpet for the New York Film Festival premiere of director David Cronenberg’s latest film “Maps To The Stars” at Alice Tully Hall. We had the opportunity to speak with the film’s composer Howard Shore who has won countless awards for his work and is probably best known for doing the music for “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. Read what he had to say below:
Tell us your inspiration for the music for “Maps To The Stars.”
Well, Bruce Wagner wrote this screenplay and as we all know he is a wonderful novelist and he created world that’s very unique. I tried to find a language in music that represented Bruce’s world and also worked with David Cronenberg to use this music in the film. David and I have worked together for many years. This is our fifteenth film together over 35 years.
Speak about your relationship with David Cronenberg.
The relationship is very intuitive. We grew up making movies together, so we think a lot about what movies are, what they can be, what’s possible, how to tell different stories, how to use music in different ways. It’s a very interesting creative collaboration.
What was your favorite scene to score in “Maps”?
Well, I think the psychotherapy sessions were really what set the tone for the whole piece that was really where I started and things really grew out of that.
What is your creative process like for scoring?
I read a lot. I think to work with the words. I like to work with the ideas. That’s why we like to work with really good writers like Bruce, William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard. The ideas in music grow out of these ideas from the novel or the screenplay and that’s really the genesis of everything that I work on musically. Then I write a lot of music based on those ideas, the feelings of them. And then I start to apply that to the film or score the film.
You also did the music for Jon Stewart’s directorial debut “Rosewater” out Nov. 14. What can you tell us about that music?
Well this is a story that’s set in Iran, in the Middle East and I wanted to capture the feeling of that. It’s a score, that’s written using Western notation, but uses a lot of Iranian classical musicians.
The New York Film Festival, which runs through is Oct. 12, is presented by Jaeger-LeCoultre, American Airlines, The New York Times, HBO, Stella Artois, The Kobal Collection, Variety, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Row NYC Hotel, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. NYFF is presented by the Film Society Of Lincoln Center. Stay tuned for more of our coverage.