John Murphy is best known for his iconic film scores in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Laterand Sunshine, as well as Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass. Other notable score credits include Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. After taking an 8-year career hiatus to dedicate time to his family and other musical projects, John has returned to the world of scoring to picture with an unexpected project: Andrew Davies’ non-musical television adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famed novel “Les Misérables.” Set to premiere on April 14th, Les Misérables will air on MASTERPIECE (PBS). The series first premiered last year on BBC in the U.K.
John is elated to resurface with Les Misérables, as it’s a story with a deep well to draw from creatively. Series director Tom Shankland wanted him to tell a fresh musical story and to ultimately create a raw and uncompromising score to reflect the trials and misery of “Les Misérables.” John described the scoring process as an “experimental journey.” Initially, Tom (director) wanted a gritty, folk-oriented score, but as they began the process he and John quickly realized that the story would need a broader musical palette. John ended up incorporating less obvious elements such as bowed electric guitar, analog synths, experimental viola, and backwards loops, with a nod to the classic French romantic scoring of the 60s. Despite mixing instrumentation, the elements fused and the sensibility stayed true throughout.
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