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On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, director of Broken Keys, Jimmy Keyrouz, describes the work of film composer, Gabriel Yared.

Broken Keys

Broken Keys, Gabriel Yared, on The Table Read
Broken Keys

Karim, a pianist dreaming of a career in Europe, lives in a war-torn Middle-Eastern town where modern ways of living have been banned by an extremist group.

He is forced to sell his piano to gather money and leave. But things entangle when his piano is shot. Karim then embarks on a dangerous quest to repair his broken keys…

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Director, Jimmy Keyrouz

Music was always bound to be a key element in Broken Keys and I could not have hoped for a better composer than Gabriel Yared.

Not only does Gabriel’s talent, achievements, awards, and filmography speak for themselves, but Gabriel is, simply put, a fantastic collaborator. Moreover, his vast knowledge of Middle Eastern music, in particular, made him the ideal composer for this project. The film is about a musician struggling to rebuild his piano after it is destroyed by Islamic State fighters, in a war-ravaged Middle Eastern neighborhood where music has been banned.

In his crazy attempt to rebuild his piano, and against all odds, Karim, the protagonist of the story, is also trying to rebuild himself and show his community that there are still beautiful things worth fighting for, like music. The story aims to show how music can transform a place, take people’s minds away from the blasts and bombs, and give much-needed hope in a place where there is almost none.

Gabriel understood these ideas right from the start and his score wonderfully translates these feelings of pain, oppression, hope, sadness, and resilience through the score. “Music is what feeling sounds like” and Gabriel’s music accomplishes just that.

The soundtrack translates what Karim goes through while showing another side of him, one that is intimate, personal. Furthermore, it adds layers of emotions to the images by going inside the characters and conveying feelings that only music can.

Broken Keys, Gabriel Yared, on The Table Read
Broken Keys Soundtrack

Few composers are able to accomplish what Gabriel Yared did in Broken Keys and I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him on the film.

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Composer, Gabriel Yared

Broken Keys is a film about a pianist dreaming of a career in times of war. It is a film equally about the protagonist’s external and internal pursuit of freedom and peace. The cast and crew took a great risk when filming on the border between Syria and Iraq, as these areas are heavily affected by the ongoing war.I had a great and fruitful collaboration with the director, Jimmy Keyrouz.

Firstly, Jimmy sent me his short film to watch, which was based on the same story as Broken Keys. I loved it, and decided to go ahead with the project. Jimmy came to meet me in Paris and we had a long conversation regarding all the classical piano music that was to be used in the film.

I then began working on my main themes while he was shooting. He would send me a few scenes for me to watch, and so it went back and forth. We met again in Paris and spent a few days going through the music I composed, reflecting and figuring things out together.

Jimmy is very musical and understands the abilities and qualities of music that lift the images and engage the audiences. To me, this is the ideal collaboration between a director and a composer. Broken Keys is a remarkable film that speaks to my heart, as it is all about the power of music while a nation is at war.

Find more from Broken Keys

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Director Jimmy Keyrouz
Music by Gabriel Yared
Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
Cd Digital – Cd Physical Limited Edition

Orchestrations by Gabriel Yared & Jay-Alan Miller
Score Conducted by Gavin Greenaway
Score Recorded at Air Studios, Lyndhurst Rd, London
Score Recording Engineer – Nick Wollage
Score Mixing – Peter Cobbin & Kirsty Whalley at Such Sweet Thunder Mix Room

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