The celebrated French-Lebanese film composer was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival on December 7.
Gabriel Yared begins every day the same way. He gets up, and reaches for a Bach score, burying his head in the baroque master’s music.
“Why do I do this? I put a ceiling of perfection and beauty over my day, and every day is the same to me – trying to reach beauty,” says the celebrated French-Lebanese film composer, who was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Dubai International Film Festival on December 7.
The idea that Yared – a 67-year-old Academy Award-winner with more than 100 movie credits, who has scored films for directors as diverse as Jean-Luc Godard and Angelina Jolie – can have anything other than swaggering confidence about his abilities comes as something of a shock.
But then, Yared always had to fight to be heard. Born and raised in Beirut, for the first 17 years of his life he had to cope with minimal formal tuition – and zero parental encouragement.
“I was born with music, I cannot explain it – without being pretentious, I’ve been gifted,” he says. “But I couldn’t explain this to my parents, because in my family there are no artists whatsoever. Nothing, for generation after generation. So all my childhood, I would have to fight. My father would say, ‘Have a proper career – doctor, lawyer, engineer – and music as a hobby.’ But I couldn’t.”