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Composing a Soundtrack

Updated: May 29, 2021

It is not very often that a musician/band get asked to work on music for a film soundtrack. And although it seems to captivate the imagination on any who are asked, having to come up with music that is thematic for the whole film, yet different enough for each of the scenes can be quite daunting. Max Klang from Audiohörhaus has this to say when asked to create a soundscape for a short film about isolation and alienation currently in production: 'I was delighted at first having to try something new, but then doubted myself if I was capable to produce what was required. Music for film is around longer than dialogue. It was played live to silent movies, and then got added to sound when it came along'.

After sitting down with the filmmaker and discussing the ideas he was looking for it all became much clearer and he settled into the task at hand. For this project the music is to be part of the development process, so has been initiated at an early stage: 'I very much wanted the music to be an integral part of the final feel of the film and wanted it to be composed as we worked on the look. We got Audiohörhaus in, so they could bring the sounds early on and help define how the scenes might play out. We gave them some images to give an idea of mood and atmosphere, such as this photo of flies and their results has given me some great inspiration for how some of the characters should even look and how they fit into the sets.', said David j. the films creator.

The band had to learn some new words that are specific to film such as Diegetic & Non-Diegetic; the first been music that can be heard by characters in the scene, the latter can only be heard by the audience, also known as the underscore. There is a subtle difference in composing these two types, but important to understand it as with diegetic the characters are affected by the sounds. Not only that, but having to make music from images can also be quite strange: 'Some of the imagery given to us is difficult to get your head around when thinking I need to write music for it - - like a photo of flies - but you just run with it!'. You can listen to some of the compositions Audiohörhaus have created at this early stage on the project webpage, and considering this is their first foray into film the results aren't too bad! Just scroll down the page to view.

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