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At the La Rochelle Fiction Film Festival, music from TV series in the spotlight

What is the place of music in television fiction? Is it given the same importance as in the cinema? So many questions raised at the La Rochelle Fiction Film Festival (which ends on September 19) during a masterclass hosted by author, composer and columnist Alex Jaffray.

Entitled Alex Jaffray tells the little music of the series, this meeting allowed the public to discover the history and the genesis around the original tapes of three fictions which marked the year: Lupine, Netflix’s French Success of the Year with Omar Sy in the lead role; Germinal, the France 2 back-to-school event series, freely adapted from the work of Emile Zola and Why do I live?, Grégory Lemarchal’s biopic, which attracted nearly 8 million viewers when it was broadcast on TF1 in September 2020.

Masterclass all the more interesting since the one and those who composed these musics were present to answer the questions of the public: Audrey Ismael, for Germinal ; Mathieu Lamboley for Lupine and Gilles Facerias, composer, with Alex Jaffray, music by Why do I live?

In the same way that certain feature film music has become cult and inseparable from the work they accompany, the soundtrack of TV series becomes an element. essential for the identity and signature of a series, like La Casa del papel Where Game Of Thrones.

“The series borrowed all the codes of film music”, confirms Alex Jaffray. There are no longer the barriers that there were before, with series on one side and cinema on the other. I have the impression that it all merged “. The composer is the perfect example of this fusion. The one that the general public knows as the “Mr. Music” of Telematin on France 2 has composed the music for ten feature films and thirty TV series and TV shows including Household scenes, C to you, Stage 2 …

In 2012, he was awarded with the fiction Once upon a time maybe not by Charles Nemes, where his soundtrack (composed with Gilles Facerias) won the title of Best Music at the La Rochelle Fiction Festival.

Whether in cinema or television, the role of film music remains the same. Alex Jaffray quotes this composer according to whom “film music is showing the invisible”. “I believe in that a lot”, adds Jaffray. “Good film music shows what you can’t see in the image, the heart of the characters, their stakes and their ambitions”.

Guest of this masterclass, composer Audrey Ismaël agrees with this. For her, the soundtrack must accompany the characters without overloading or weighing down the subject. A challenge when it comes to composing the music of Germinal. The dark and social work of Emile Zola has been adapted in series by Julien lilti and directed by David Hourrègue (series which will be available in 6 episodes of 52 minutes on France 2 this fall but which is already visible on the Salto platform). “It’s emotionally charged music because we follow characters who have quite tragic destinies”, comments Audrey Ismaël.

The music must accompany these trajectories without adding pathos but on the contrary, bring light and combat.

Audrey Ismael


Audrey Ismaël has been composing film for fiction (cinema / television) for several years. She notably worked on the music for the series The big ones, awarded at La Rochelle in 2016 and 2017 with Bastien Burger with whom she also signs the music for the film Everyone for everyone directed by Vianney Lebasque in 2018. Together, they won the 2019 Best Music Award at the La Rochelle TV Fiction Festival for the third season of the series The big ones.

In 2018, she signed with Olivier Coursier the soundtrack of the film Angel Face directed by Vanessa Filho and selected in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival.

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