‘Hol­ly­wood’s back­ground scores are more ma­ture’

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - Live - - HTCITY ENTERTAINMENT - Sa­marth Goyal sa­marth.goyal@htlive.com ■

Back­ground scores in films and TV in In­dia are very dif­fer­ent from how they are com­posed for projects in the West. Mu­sic – com­poser duo Salim Su­laiman, who have com­posed back­ground scores for films such as Dhoom (2004), Dostana (2008) and Cock­tail (2012), talk about their ex­pe­ri­ence of com­pos­ing the score for the 2014 Hol­ly­wood film, Sold.

“It was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ap­proach. In our coun­try, peo­ple tend to focus more on the songs, and back­ground scores don’t really get that much im­por­tance. I mean, you wouldn’t hear any­one say, that oh this com­poser’s score in the film was good. They all say that a com­poser’s songs were good in the movie,” says Salim Mer­chant.

And, Su­laiman feels that the in­dus­try hasn’t un­der­stood the “magic” of film scores, and adds that pro­duc­ers don’t un­der­stand the im­por­tance of si­lence in at cer­tain mo­ments in films. “It’s not an easy thing to do. Cre­at­ing a film score is an art, and we have really learned about its magic over the years. Af­ter cre­at­ing scores for films across gen­res, from dra­mas to sports films, we have got to know the art of scor­ing, and we have re­alised that one should be very min­i­mal­is­tic with their ap­proach. When there is pin drop si­lence in the back­ground, when it’s a hor­ror scene, or a thriller scene — that has more im­pact on the au­di­ence than fill­ing it with loud mu­sic. The key is to know where not to put the mu­sic (sound),” he says.

Salim agrees with his el­der brother’s views. “It’s sad and it has be­come a tra­di­tion that ev­ery sad scene will be ac­com­pa­nied by such loud mu­sic. It has been ham­mered into our psy­che, and TV, I feel has spoilt it a lot for us. The idea is not to load the scene with heavy mu­sic, but to in­voke that par­tic­u­lar emo­tion. That’s why the way one works in Hol­ly­wood is very dif­fer­ent. They try to bring in some ma­tu­rity to their back­ground scores,” he says.

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