Why I Love: Listening to films

David Holmes, musician
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The Independent Culture

Ever since I was about 10 I've held the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy close to my heart. Now I'm into a lot of film composers from the 1970s, like Bruno Nicolai, who did The Battle of Algiers, or George Delarue, who worked with Godard or – this guy is the bomb – Piero Umiliani.

I compose a lot of soundtracks, most recently Hunger. I'm from Belfast and I was in that film heart and soul. I love becoming a cog in the director's vision. It's a truly collaborative thing. We decided Hunger needed something really emotional but totally unmusical. Not easy. I used a hurdy-gurdy, just a drone really. When it's good, the soundtrack serves the film, adds another colour. When it's great, it stands alone too. I recently went to an Ennio Morricone concert where a 180-strong choir sang his music for Cinema Paradiso. Not a dry eye in the house.

Holmes' album The Holy Pictures is out now. The single "Holy Pictures" is out tomorrow.