Belfast Telegraph

Florence Welch: Evil Queen inspires me

Florence Welch's new song was inspired by the "juxtaposition between beauty and death."

The singer's band Florence and the Machine was asked to compose a song for the soundtrack of Snow White and the Huntsman, an upcoming movie starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron.

Throughout the drafting process for the track entitled Breath of Life, Florence found deep inspiration in Charlize's persona, evil Queen Ravenna.

"The Queen is just this incredible character; so hungry for life but so dead inside," Florence explained to MTV News. "She's sort of eternal, but inside there's nothing. She's kind of like charcoal or something. [There are] these amazing scenes where she's kind of picking out birds' hearts and eating them. [She has] this thirst for youth and for life, but for what kind of life? This darkness, but she's so beautiful, so it's this kind of juxtaposition between beauty and, ultimately, death."

The whole creative process for this track has been an enlivening experience for Florence.

"We went in and demoed the track, these big, clattering drums, huge bass sounds and everything was very intense... and then we sent that to the guys in L.A. who composed it," she explained. "And it was amazing to see the music we played being turned into this amazing orchestral thing. You feel in a bit of a way like you're kind of making it up as you go along, and then when you see it done, laid out before you in such a beautiful, orchestral fashion, it's really incredible. And then we all went into Abbey Road and it was one of the best days of my life; I love choirs and I love choral music, and there was a 60-piece choir singing the vocal parts that I had written. When the baritones came in, I nearly wept, it was so emotional."

Florence wishes that she could use the choir all the time, but her supervisors have crushed these dreams.

"My manager was looking at me going 'Do not get used to this. We cannot afford this 60-piece choir!' " Florence laughed. "It was just wonderful. Me and Isa [Summers, Welch's Machine partner, and co-writer of the track] were in there, these young women who made music for love, but with not much money or much reason. It was a really proud day for us. And, musically, for the composers at Universal to have understood the song and see it played out so beautifully, it was an amazing day. We felt a bit proper."

Snow White and the Huntsman will be released this summer.

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