Met composer Michael Galasso today. JiaRen invited me for dinner tonight. I was climbing the stairs to the last floor where he was staying, and there was a strong smell of cigarette smoke. A woman was sitting on the landing, working on her laptop, a cigarette in hand. “JiaRen is there”, she said with a warm smile as she pointed to the left. JiaRen left no time in telling me that his neighbour was Michael Galasso. I had just seen his wife. Since her husband didn’t smoke, she had to spend lots of time on the landing. He had recently won an unexpected award at the French Oscars (the Césars) for the score he wrote for Seraphine (a great film, with an astounding performance by Yolande Moreau). Like many people, I chiefly know the music he composed for Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love. His wife, who seems to enjoy his husband’s fame more than he does, was delighted when I expressed my appreciation and immediately called him to the door. The man, a frail short man, was modest and absolutely charming.
We exchanged our contact.
"I'll make sure to listen to your music", the composer said. "Right now, I'm very busy". He was busy, but he has also been through lots of healthy problems. He could barely make it for the award ceremony. His wife insisted they went. She was so proud of him.