23 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I always work from the inside out,” Oxford-educated film composer Rachel Portman says of the strategy employed on her elegant Belle score, “trying to find the heart of the film, rather than impose themes on it. It’s a fascinating story.” Indeed, the Dido Elizabeth Belle of Amma Asante’s film is a paradox: an outsider of mixed race and illegitimate birth, living as an aristocrat in Georgian England. She's privileged by class yet confined by racism. “I loved the collaboration with Amma Asante,” Portman said. “We talked in depth about the story and the emotional threads running throughout. It was important to find a theme for Dido that expressed her as a person,” starting with main titles that are at once heroic yet typically restrained. “Using all the elements of the film, she came up with something really different,” director Asante said of Portman’s orchestral score. “At times, it absolutely brought tears to my eyes.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“I always work from the inside out,” Oxford-educated film composer Rachel Portman says of the strategy employed on her elegant Belle score, “trying to find the heart of the film, rather than impose themes on it. It’s a fascinating story.” Indeed, the Dido Elizabeth Belle of Amma Asante’s film is a paradox: an outsider of mixed race and illegitimate birth, living as an aristocrat in Georgian England. She's privileged by class yet confined by racism. “I loved the collaboration with Amma Asante,” Portman said. “We talked in depth about the story and the emotional threads running throughout. It was important to find a theme for Dido that expressed her as a person,” starting with main titles that are at once heroic yet typically restrained. “Using all the elements of the film, she came up with something really different,” director Asante said of Portman’s orchestral score. “At times, it absolutely brought tears to my eyes.”

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