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Georges Delerue always said that music was a universal language that allowed human beings to connect. And apart from trends or fashions, music provokes reactions that can influence us to the point where they change our behaviour.

Film music, said Delerue, has the faculty of being understood simply; it can express an idea, a concept, a sentiment, even a rumour, and around that idea the musical instruments link together in a dialogue, one where pragmatism, semantics and poetry draw us towards an object, a place or a feeling. For that reason, Delerue always sought out the most suitable instruments, those with the right consonance or dissonance, to create the musical atmospheres that were appropriate to give additional meaning to a film, and this ensured that the film would remain imprinted on our memories.

Delerue had a will, a passionate desire to accompany a film (often making it richer with his music) that became the foundations of his life. Whatever the constraints, the questions of technique, even with his complete mastery of the balance between music and the image, Delerue would put to paper the most beautiful melodies in the world.

He expressed his ideas intelligently and easily, whether he chose instruments whose timbre made them his favourites–zither, flute, clarinet and accordion–or by creating orchestral waves en masse.

As for his expressiveness, a personal thing, it transpired in his "classical" music as much as in his music for films; he saw neither as opposing the other.

"When I see film music in my mind," he said, "I compose just as personally as when I'm writing a classical work. The particular thing about a film piece is that you hear it more quickly, just because it is being recorded. Sometimes, for music that is more "pure", you have to wait a long time before you can hear it."

Georges never belonged to any clique, and devoted similar energy to his work whatever the dramatic genre; he was equally modest in inviting his listeners to bask in the warmth of a style capable of sculpting music that remains an enchantment today. At every moment of his working life, he put all his passion and ardour into music that reached people's hearts; it was his way of feeling close to them.

 

Music was not something Georges Delerue made; it was something he was.

When you start on a film score, at first you have no idea what you're going to do. The pictures in a film stimulate you, and that will allow you to sketch a broad outline of the idea; but then, very quickly, like a Michelangelo chiselling into a marble block, you gradually begin to extract music… and often quite recklessly."

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