Max Richter Interview: ‘Hostiles’ composer
“It’s not your typical western,” divulges composer Max Richter as we chat via webcam (watch the exclusive video above) about “Hostiles.” “But, in common with some other westerns of a previous age… it offers amazing opportunities for music because of the amount of space in the film.” Directed by Scott Cooper, this Entertainment Studios release centers on a legendary army captain (Christian Bale) in 1892 who reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family through dangerous territory.
“The landscape is a huge part of this film,” adds Richter. “It offers this sort of medium for the characters to find their story in, but it’s all held in this extraordinary landscape, which can be populated also by music.” The composer “ended up using kind of an abstract orchestral language, all based on resonating drones and various string textures.” He adds, “the score is thematic. It has strong melodic elements in the foreground for these main characters set against this background of a kind of abstract orchestral writing.”
Richter received his first Emmy nomination earlier this year for “Taboo” (Best Score for a Series). He previously contended at the Grammys for the music video “Woodkid: The Golden Age” (2014). He has composed the scores for “Waltz with Bashir” (2008), “Sarah’s Key” (2010), and “Miss Sloane” (2016), as well as the television shows “Guerrilla,” “Black Mirror,” and “The Leftovers.”