Evgueni Galperine: In film, to decide when there needs to be music and when – silence, is equally important
On July 16, Evgueni Galperine, jury member of the International Competition, composer who wrote music for the films of Luc Besson, Sergei Mokritsky, Garry Ross, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Barry Sonnenfeld, held a creative meeting within the framework of OIFF

“According to legend, the idea to use music in film comes from the Lumiere brothers. In the first cinema in Paris there was a piano in the foyer. It was used only to entertain the audience before the screening. At some point, the projectionist asked to move the piano to the cinema hall and play over the sound of the projector, which was terribly loud when it worked. That is how music got to cinema.”

“It is very important to understand the psychology of the characters. Music often provides what the director does not have time to tell in an hour and a half of the film. For example, we see a character we know nothing about. He is walking with a thoughtful expression on his face. But the face does not tell us much. And music can give almost all of his background. In three minutes, music will tell a more compelling and complete story than any picture.”

“In film, to decide when there needs to be music and when – silence, is equally important. Silence in film is also a serious part of the work. In commercial cinema, music is almost always continuous. It must lead the audience and not let them go, so that they don’t get distracted. If the character cries, the music should lead in to this, explain everything. And in arthouse cinema, the director can make the audience laugh and cry on his own, and the music must bring something to the film that nothing else can. I believe that after a century of film history, we simply have to pay attention to the proportions of silence and music.”

“Too melodic and bright film themes are not on trend right now. It's too lyrical for contemporary cinema. For example, beautiful Morricone scores are now impossible. In the cinema of our time, everything is much more dynamic. Minimalistic. Preferably based on two notes.”

“To become a film composer, you definitely need to learn. But it is not necessary to do this in classical structures. Now the most interesting music in film is written by composers who came from pop music. Nick Cave, Chris Martinez, Van Gellis, Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood. Because, unfortunately, the classical film composers are used to relying on the crutch of the picture. Often their music by itself does not carry any semantic meaning. It’s a blanket. Beautiful and professional, but faceless. And in the case of musicians from pop music, it speaks for herself.”

“For the stylistics of music, national elements are also important. I worked with the legendary Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, two-time Oscar-winner. It was difficult for us. The clash of two different cultures is inevitable. I understood that his style was different, eastern, but we had to adjust to the European public, to the French. Because the characters in our film were Europeans. He always showed me examples of Iranian music. I explained to him that it is too romantic and melodramatic for Europeans. But the next day he again brought me similar examples. It took a while before he could separate himself from his music.”