Eric Sierra is an award-winning French composer who wrote the song The Fifth Element. He is best known for his work with Luc Besson on international blockbusters. But did you know he purposely made a part of The Fifth Element un-singable?
Composer Eric Sierra purposely created unsingable things in the operatic song in The Fifth Element, so it would seem strange. Inva Muls, an opera soprano, sang 85% of what Eric believed was technically impossible.
Who is Eric Sierra?
Eric Sierra is a French composer born on September 9, 1959. He frequently contributed to Luc Besson’s international films. He was introduced to music and its creation at a young age because of his father, Claude, who was a well-known French songwriter in the 1950s and 1960s.
When he was only seven years old, his mother passed away. Sierra initially worked with director Luc Besson on the soundtrack for Le Dernier Combat in the early 1980s. Except for Angel-A, which Anja Garbarek scored, Sierra has composed the scores for all of the films Besson has directed and written, including Wasabi. (Source: Last FM)
The Fifth Element Notorious Diva Scene
The Fifth Element diva song was practically impossible to sing. The song has a story because it isn’t 100% what it seems. While much of the music is sung by a real opera singer, there are notes that human beings can’t reach.
This is a true story that Eric Serra shares about the infamous diva scene that his then-girlfriend Maïwenn performed and for which he wrote the music. She plays the diva in that scene, although the voice belongs to Albanian opera singer Inva Mula, not Maïwenn. She was a young, gifted soprano when the scene was filmed. Today she is in the world’s top ten sopranos.
We wanted her to sound alien for the scene to work, so we had to make notes that no human could sing. So I would write sentences that were too quick, too low, or too high, and then arrange them with the sampler.
I had never worked with an opera singer before, so I didn’t fully appreciate their technical prowess. I also believed that just 60% of the song could be sung.
Before taking off her coat in the studio, she began humming the melody from the music sheet. I was astounded by how well she sang, and the perfection of her voice sent chills down my spine. She was merely humming, though. I found it hard to believe. She began to sing as soon as we sat down, and I was in awe. Eighty-five percent of what I believed to be technically impossible, she sang.
After that, I slightly altered and sampled her voice. Although it may seem clear today, many people questioned how I managed to do it at the time. (Source: Trax Mag)
Image from Paris Beacon News