Howe Records is pleased to announce the release of the Hugo original score, available in stores and digitally on November 22, 2011. Hugo marks the sixth collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and composer Howard Shore. Like Scorsese's film, Shore's score to Hugo is a love letter both to the French culture in the 1930s and to the groundbreaking early days of cinema.
Hugo tells the story of Hugo Cabret, a boy who lives behind the walls of a Parisian train station. Shore's music is composed for two ensembles – one nested within the other – to create a sense of layering in the musical palette. Inside a full symphony orchestra resides a smaller ensemble, a sort of nimble French dance band that includes the ondes Martenot, musette, cimbalom, tack piano, gypsy guitar, upright bass, a 1930s trap-kit, and alto saxophone. "I wanted to match the depth of the sound to the depth of the image," says Shore.
The Hugo score is based around a family of primary musical themes. "The themes are used for clarity of storytelling and they develop over the course of the film," says the composer. The score's central theme is a Parisian waltz that develops into the song "Coeur Volant." Howard Shore invited renowned French singer Zaz to collaborate with Elizabeth Cotnoir and him on the song, which captures the lyrical essence of the world of Hugo.
The theme for Hugo's quest begins the score with clock-like precision in piano octaves. A figure for strings, celesta, and ondes Martenot rotates downward through minor modes to depict the mysterious automaton that Hugo's father left behind. The Station Inspector is portrayed by a marche comique featuring bassoon and striding snare drum, while the cinematic innovations of Georges Méliès – "Papa Georges" to Hugo and Isabelle – receive Shore's most theatrical flourishes, which recreate the spirited energy of live theater orchestras and the very first film scores.
Academy Award®-winning composer Howard Shore is among today's most respected, honored, and active composers and conductors. His work with Peter Jackson on The Lord of the Rings trilogy stands as his most towering achievement to date, earning him three Oscars® and four Grammy® awards. Since 2003 Shore's music from the beloved trilogy has been constantly performed in concert halls around the world. Howe Records recently released a live recording of The Lord of the Rings Symphony: Six Movements for Orchestra and Chorus, which continues to appear on Billboard Magazine's classical charts.
As one of the original creators of Saturday Night Live, Shore served as the show's music director from 1975 to 1980. At the same time, he began collaborating with David Cronenberg, and has since scored 13 of the director's films, including The Fly, Dead Ringers, Crash, Naked Lunch, Eastern Promises, and 2011's A Dangerous Method. Shore continues to distinguish himself with a wide range of projects, from Martin Scorsese's The Departed, The Aviator, and Gangs of New York, to Ed Wood, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, and Mrs. Doubtfire. He is currently working on his second opera, and is returning to Middle-earth with J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Through the years, Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese has transported us to extraordinary places. This Holiday season he will take audiences to a magical time and place as only he can, in his first ever 3D film, based on Brian Selznick's award winning and imaginative New York Times bestseller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. The film stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Michael Stuhlbarg, Frances de la Tour, Richard Griffiths, with Jude Law.