Composing The Folk Music Of A Made-Up Country

February 19, 2015 9:05 PM

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Composer Alexandre Desplat is competing against himself in this year's Oscars: He's up for two awards in the category of Best Original Score. One is for the music he wrote for The Imitation Game, the World War II drama about the man credited with breaking the Nazis' "Enigma" code. The other is for his work on Wes Anderson's playful caper The Grand Budapest Hotel — a cultural mishmash that demanded equally fanciful music to set the scene.

Depending on your point of view, Wes Anderson movies are fantastic, artful creations or precious indulgences. Either way, the director is very particular about the music in his movies. The Grand Budapest Hotel takes place in the fictional Zubrowka, somewhere in Central Europe, at a fancy hotel that ...

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