Air provides music for restored Melies film

Courtesy photo

Do great minds really think alike? Could very well be.

Martin Scorsese focused on renowned French film director Georges Melies in his upcoming 3-D production “Hugo.” And by coincidence, so did French duo Air, who were recently invited to compose a new score for a painstakingly restored version of Melies groundbreaking sci-fi classic from 1902, “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” (“A Trip To The Moon”).

A hand-colored — but badly decomposing — print of the 14-minute movie was unearthed back in 1993 by the Filmoteca de Catalunya, but manual restoration wasn’t enough to save it. Finally, in 2010, it was rescued by digital technology, at which point Air’s Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel were honored with an invitation to add a modern musical twist, before it premiered at Cannes this May.

Inspired, the duo decided to expand their lunar concept to a full Air album, also titled “Le Voyage Dans La Lune,” which will be released on Astralwerks on Feb. 7. They also employed the vocal talents of Au Revoir Simone and Beach House thrush Victoria Legrand to complete their vision.

“We wanted it to sound handmade, knocked together, a bit like Melies’ special effects,” says Godin. “Everything is played live … like Melies’ film. Our soundtrack is nourished by living art.”

The film’s producers also authorized a special edition of the set, limited to only 70,000 copies worldwide, that will include a DVD or digital download of the restored, colorized “Le Voyage” with Air’s score.

For more information, visit www.aircheology.com.

artsBackstage PassHugoMartin ScorseseMovies

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