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Maurice Blackburn


B: May 22, 1914 in Québec City, Québec
D: March 29, 1988 in Montréal, Québec

One of three staff composers at the National Film Board of Canada — the others being Eldon Rathburn and Robert Fleming — whose work dominated the musical tracks of post-war NFB productions, Maurice Blackburn studied music at l’Université Laval and Boston’s New England Conservatory before Louis Applebaum brought him to the Board in 1941 where he stayed until his retirement in 1978. He worked extensively with Norman Mclaren on such celebrated animated shorts as Blinkity Blank, A Phantasy and the Oscar-nominated A Chairy Tale, as well as features including Gretien Gélinas’s Tit-coq, Claude Jutra’s À tout prendre and Jean Beaudin’s J.A. Martin, photographe. His music, which was very diversified, drew from Québec folklore, classical and experimental source and he understood that his scores were there to compliment the images of the filmmaker.