If there’s one time you know a social issue has really blown out of proportion, it’s when a new Hollywood movie covers it, particularly when A-listers like Gary Oldman and Evangeline Lilly are attached. The opioid addiction crisis in the USA rages on, and with no end in sight, this year saw the release of Crisis, which covers the topic in thrilling fashion. Headliner got to chat with Raphael Reed, who provided the film’s blistering score, about the project and his gradual transition from Canadian cinema to this big-name release.
Reed is most proud to be among the very first French-Canadian composers to find success in Hollywood. He has diligently spent his almost decade-long scoring career working his way up on indie flicks and French-language films to get to this point.
“I pretty much started composing on the guitar when I was 14,” he says, speaking from his home in Montreal. “I was mostly in punk bands and we would cover bands like Blink-182. I did a degree in classical guitar, and then went to the University of Montreal to study music composition. Lots of John Cage and Stockhausen!
“And all the while still playing in the underground Montreal music scene with friends doing some pop and experimental music,” he adds. “I ended up doing music for advertisements, and eventually got my first big gig for the Champions League in 2014, where they had the final in Portugal. I made the music for the opening show, which was about eight minutes long. It needed to be Hollywood style; big and orchestral, with Portuguese lyrics.”
Headliner ponders whether or not Reed’s music inspired Real Madrid to score three goals in extra time and win the trophy a record 10th time...
Headliner then proceeds to ask Reed about the film industry in Canada and particularly the French-speaking parts of the country, knowing that the film industry in France has such a respected output internationally.
“We have a good movie culture in Montreal,” he says.
“In Quebec, the province where we speak French, I think we have something particular which makes the movies different from let's say American movies or European movies and the music is pretty different also. It's not as orchestral-based usually, because we don't have the same budget that you might have even in Britain or places like that. So usually we tend to go more folk, recording solo violin, or perhaps more electronic.”