Composer Éric Serra really likes computers
But the Internet lowers his income
Éric Serra, 52, is a well-known musician and composer - even if you might not find his name in the charts. Yet every cinema fan knows his film music: Even more than his dark, technoid and thus controversial Bond soundtrack for "Golden Eye", we know his congenial soundtracks for Luc Besson's movies. Especially movies such as "The Big Blue“ (1988), „Nikita“ (1990), „Léon: The Professional“ (1994) und "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" (1999) should be titles well known to the fans of this director.
Within the framework of this past Forum d'Avignon, Eric Serra reflected on the way that the upcoming computer technology took his work forward in the late 1980s and how the Internet has changed his life and that of his many colleagues since the 1990s.
Serra says computers were the best that could possibly happen to him. Without computers, he would not have been able to create symphonic music - he was self-taught after all and never learnt how to compose with a pen and paper. "Yet to layer track by track, first the strings, then the woodwinds and then being able to directly modify the result was something that helped me enormously."
With regards to the financials, the triumphant rise of computers and the Internet did not have such a positive effect: "It changed my whole life and was not just a detail. See, 15 years ago I earned ten times as much with my work compared to today. It's not only 20% less than back in those days - no, it is really only a 10th of what I used to earn because people don't buy CDs anymore but mostly download music for free."
A clear edge: "The money that we earn through copyright or GEMA on the Internet is a joke - I would go as far as calling it a symbolic fee, it is that low." As a musician, he had to do a lot more today yet he finds it exciting and sees it as a challenge: "I compose soundtracks, publish solo albums, play concerts, write books, I paint - and I post everything on my website! And this would have not been possible 20 years ago."