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François de Roubaix

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Composer François de Roubaix was born on April 3, 1939, in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He didn't receive any formal musical education, but he became interested in jazz from the age of 15. With his friends, he formed a band where he played trombone by ear. At the same time he learned about the craft of filmmaking working for his father, Paul de Roubaix, producer of educational films. While the young de Roubaix was an assistant editor on a short film directed by Robert Enrico, the latter proposed him to compose the score for it as well. De Roubaix agreed and thus found the way to reconcile his devotion to both cinema and music. His professional musical career only spanned ten years, from 1965-1975. During that period he composed for commercials, TV series, shorts, and about 30 feature-length films, mostly for directors Robert Enrico and José Giovanni, as well as for Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Pierre Mocky, and Yves Boisset. The most striking aspect of François de Roubaix's music is its versatility: on one hand, it's his ability to create simple, memorable tunes; on another hand, it's his bolder experiments with different timbres and recording techniques. He freely combined folkloric and electronic instruments, embracing the advent of the first synthesizers and rhythm boxes. Being a multi-instrumentalist gave him a high degree of artistic freedom, as he spent long hours at his home studio overdubbing various parts of his scores until he would reach the desired result. A passionate sea lover, François de Roubaix died in a diving accident near the Canary Isles on November 22, 1975. His music for Robert Enrico's Le Vieux Fusil was posthumously awarded with a French César in 1976. ~ Yuri German

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April 3, 1939 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Years Active:

'60s, '70s