Follow us!

Maurice Blackburn: Music for the National Film Board of Canada

Posted by Philippe Mouchon

Added on Saturday, February 09, 2019

Maurice Blackburn: Music for the National Film Board of Canada

Disques Cinémusique presents a first digital compilation of soundtracks by Maurice Blackburn (1914-1988), one of Canada's leading film music composers.

A composer of great stylistic diversity, Maurice Blackburn has written and conducted the music of some 150 films, including documentaries, fiction and animation. He has also composed award-winning symphonies, operas, concertos, and solo piano pieces, many of which have been regularly performed in concert. His career with the National Film Board lasted 40 years, during which he composed soundtrack for some of the great films of the development of Quebec cinema, such as Alexis Tremblay: Habitant (1943) by Jane Marsh, Tit -Coq (1953) by Gratien Gélinas, À tout prendre (1963) by Claude Jutra, J.A .Martin, photographer (1977) by Jean Beaudin, and Dying at the Top (1979) by Anne Claire Poirier.

Blackburn is also well known for his long and successful collaboration with animator Norman McLaren, who produced The Gray Chicken (1947), A Phantasy (1952), Blinkity Blank (1955), and A Chairy Tale (1957) and Pas de deux (1968), two Oscar nominated films.

The music of Maurice Blackburn, inspired in part by folk music, partly by contemporary music, is known for its lively and colorful character. Many of his works have some of the characteristics of early 20th century French music, notably the propulsive rhythm, reminiscent of Arthur Honegger and Francis Poulenc.

In his book Musique (Montreal, 1945), Léo-Pol Morin describes Blackburn as 'imaginative, impulsive, a lively and caustic poet whose first concern is to express the reactions of his mind through music. A creator of images, he is talented for color and design, and the stories he tells us are original, lively and spontaneous. '

Most of the movies featuring his music can be watched on the NFB website and/or on YouTube.

Main source : article by Louise Cloutier, Denis Allaire in The Canadian Encyclopedia

Maurice Blackburn Vol.1: Musiques pour l'Office national du film du Canada soundtrack page

More info at: Disques Cinémusique