• Interview with Hans Nieuwenhuijsen & Arend Bruijn for Buma Music in Motion:

    Have you ever wondered what happens during a Buma Music in Motion matchmaking session and what possibilities it brings? Do you want to know how to prepare yourself, how to follow up and what happens next? We got just the thing for you. We asked two talented composers, Hans Nieuwenhuijsen and Arend Bruijn, to share their experiences.

    Hi guys, can you tell us who you are and how you guys met?
    We’re Hans Nieuwenhuijsen and Arend Bruijn. We met at the Conservatory of Amsterdam during our master study Composing for Film, class of 2016. This is where we became friends and we have worked together ever since.
    We both have a background as performing musicians, Arend in the classical music scene and Hans in the pop scene. Due to our different backgrounds we complement each other very well. After our master study we founded ‘STILL’ with composer Jelle Verstraten, who was also in our class of 2016, and sound designer Selle Sellink. With our different disciplines and specializations we’re able to tackle large projects from our studio in the Volkshotel in Amsterdam.

    And what happened next?
    Before we entered the matchmaking session, we received scripts to prepare ourselves. That’s also a tip that we would like to share; always make sure that you’re well prepared. See it as your moment. It’s an opportunity to present yourself and your music, so make sure that you have something to show and discuss.

    During the matchmaking we met the producer of Rinkel Film with whom we clicked instantly. In the end, we did not contribute to the movie that we discussed then and there, but we did keep in touch. She linked us to Daphne Lucker who was enthusiastic about our previous work. This resulted in a meeting with Daphne and screenwriter Rosita Wolkers. We started brainstorming about the music for their next films and this led to us being responsible for the music for three of their next film projects; ‘Roos’ by Rosita Wolkers and ‘My Body’ and ‘Echo’ by Daphne Luckers. Echo is out now and available on the NPO Gemist app.
    We learned from the matchmaking that the follow up is just as important as the matchmaking itself. For example, we also contributed to the teasers so that they could submit their application and for us it was beneficial as well, as we were involved from the start.

    Did participating in matchmaking sessions create new opportunities for you?
    Yes, definiatelly. Last year we were also part of the Videoland Academy, where BMIM organized a matchmaking between composers and filmmakers. This time the theme was grounded sci-fi, a genre that excites Arend: “I’m a huge fan of old school sci-fi movies, like Bladerunner and Alien, with those amazing scores by Vangelis and Jerry Goldsmith. Shows like Black Mirror are also a great source of inspiration. It shows that sci-fi can be many other things besides bombastic space fantasy. Therefore, this edition of the Videoland Academy seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on a genre film in the Netherlands. It provided us with the opportunity to create music that normally wouldn’t be appropriate.”

    Still from Echo

    During the Videoland matchmakings we got to know the filmmakers and their plans and projects. To our delight this resulted in a great collaboration, the dark thriller ‘De Sterfshow’ by Edson da Conceiao and Timo Ottevanger. If the COVID-19 restrictions permit it, we will film from March to May and go into post production from May to July.

    You have participated in several matchmaking sessions. If you had to explain what makes these sessions special, what would you say?
    BMIM has ensured that accessible and non-binding contact can be established between composers and filmmakers, but the next step is always up to the participants themselves. What’s so good about BMIM’s matchmaking compared to others is that BMIM checks in afterwards. They check in with all parties to see if they kept in touch and provide the directors with additional information about the composer(s). This puts more weight on the matchmaking and motivates filmmakers to think about music very early on in the production process. This gives us as composers more time to discuss opportunities and this really takes a production to a higher level. In our opinion that’s a win-win situation.

    What are you up to now? Is there any new work that we can look forward to? Maybe a sneak peak that you would like to share?
    Currently we’re writing two new albums, made possible by the music investment fund. Arend produces a hybrid, electronic/orchestral album and Hans works on an EP with modular synths. Both are to be released in July 2021.
    Arend also works with director Ruwan Heggelman on a short fantasy/horror film called ‘Gnomes’, where the music really has to enhance the story. The current musical direction is a combination of playfull orchestration, dirty sound design and ritualistic, sacrificial music, sung by a gnome choir. He also creates the music for the documentary ‘Zeg Jij Het Maar’ by Marinka de Jongh, which will be aired on television in May. The intimate combination of melodic percussion, bass clarinet and cello have to reflect the love and devotion a sister feels for her mentally disabled brother.
    This year, Hans will start with the music for a new documentary by Tessa Pope and will also work for a television show. In 2017 we started teaching the course ‘Virtual Orchestration’ for the Composing for Film master students at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Jelle Verstraten and we’ll continue to do so. We developed this course ourselves and it teaches new film composers the required skills in music production in order to prepare them for the professional field and the international music industry.
    We would like to thank BMIM for the beautiful events they organize for us each year and look forward to the new season!
    You can listen to Arend’s and Hans’ work for Echo via the NPO Gemist app.

    Full interview here

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  • Creating the score: Tienminutengesprek

    How to create a filmscore?! Arend en Hans explain how they created the soundtrack for the award-winning shortfilm ‘Tienminutengesprek’! Big thanks to Dominique Vleeshouwers, Ruwan Heggelman, Jamille van Wijngaarden & Randall McDonald!

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  • Young Film Critics: Jaime Grijalba in conversation with composer Hans Nieuwenhuijsen

    Young Film Critics: Jaime Grijalba in conversation with composer Hans Nieuwenhuijsen. A new wave of film critics has been invited to IFFR’s Young Film Critics trainee project. During IFFR 2020, six promising writers will be producing critical festival coverage. For their first assignment, the critics spoke to the Dutch composers featured in the IFFR Pro x Buma programme.

    Chile, where I am from, is in turmoil, as society is actively changing in front of everyone’s eyes. At this essential political and social moment of my country, coming from Chile feels like a mixture of carelessness and responsibility. I feel careless because I shouldn’t leave this moment behind and responsibility to be able to faithfully communicate what it’s happening to the rest of the world. Being part of the Young Film Critics programme is something I take humbly, because my intent was always to find a reason behind doing the things that we do, in the context in which the whole world is right now. What is the purpose of a film critic or programmer in a world that seems to be saying that those kinds of things won’t matter for much longer? My main goal during my first visit to IFFR is to search in what my colleagues do and what the institutions there are doing for us to continue to matter, to continue doing both what we love and what we think is essential to the film viewing experience: discussing and talking about it.

    Speaking of discussing about the craft and sense of audiovisual media, I had the chance to exchange some words with Hans Nieuwenhuijsen, a Dutch composer who has been invited to be part of the IFFR Pro x Buma programme at CineMart, alongside other five composers of the same nationality. His work has been heard mostly in short film subjects (both fiction and documentary), but he’s also worked in art installations and most recently in television. In a world that seems to value music composers as titans of established style, the breadth of genres and lengths in which he has worked is inspiring. I was eager to speak to him about what he thinks about the current scoring scene and how he develops his work in that context.

    There’s lots of variety of work you’ve done. Would you say that it’s more of a necessity nowadays for composers to have a wide-varying array of sounds available for different kinds of genres and types of projects?
    One of the most beautiful things about composing for media is that every project is different. One day you are writing for an orchestra, and the other day you are patching cables on a modular synthesizer. Instead of pursuing a constant musical style or genre, I prefer to investigate new interests and sounds. I do not think that composers need to work like this necessarily. Lots of composers I know are mastering a specific skill really well. I would say that it is not a necessity, but rather a possibility that comes with the time that we live in.

    Buma collaboration

    IFFR continues the partnership with Buma Music in Motion (BMIM).

    Read more

    What about the personal sound or feel of a composer, how is that achievable in today’s music work landscape?
    Composers often get musical ideas just by reading the screenplay. The search for the musical identity for the film starts from that point. By sharing sounds and playlists, this feeling can be communicated to the director and producers. In my experience, there is space for the composer’s personal sound, though it should be functional for the film. Sometimes existing tracks are temporarily used during the film’s edit. These so-called temp-tracks are used as a blueprint of how the composition should sound, and it can be a challenge for the composer to create his own interpretation of the film from that point. Every composer has a different opinion about this. Best friend or worst enemy; this can be different for each composition.

    Has colour, shapes, plots or even actors ever influenced the way that you’ve created music for specific pieces?
    As a composer, every element of film can inspire me, just as much as external sources. Drawings from the art department, locations, actors, sounds or pictures. That is why I love staying connected with the crew as much as possible. Every piece of information connected to the film helps me to shape the score. But I noticed that it also works the other way around. For instance; a while ago I wrote the score before filming even started. None of it reached the film in the end, but it truly helped the director and the crew to shape their world, as the music was being played on set!

    What do you expect to experience and achieve at IFFR 2020?
    So many inspiring people to talk with! It is a place where our love for film comes together. I’m looking forward to the CineMart and connecting with other filmmakers, and to spend some time with the other 5 Buma Music In Motion composers. I’m curious to see their work and hear them talk, get inspired for coming projects. Besides attending the CineMart, you will probably find me in the cinema watching (short) films. Luckily the IFFR is 12 days, so plenty of time to get involved!

    What are you working on right now?
    At the moment you can visit the Bes, Small God in Ancient Egypt exhibition in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. Together with Still, we created the sound and music for Mirjam Debets’ beautifully drawn animation that guides you through the exhibition. For the score, we mixed ancient instruments with modern digital sounds. This summer I finished the music of Tessa Pope’s documentary short Overtijd, which is out now, and we’re about to create music for her new series of portraits. Also, together with Jelle Verstraten and Chrisnanne Wiegel (as Musikpakt) we are writing the score for the tv series Fair Trade. Lots of stuff to come, but first let’s enjoy the IFFR!

    Source: https://iffr.com/en/blog/jaime-introduces-hans

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  • New Hansen Custom Velvet Microphones

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    Inspired by the sound of the 70’s, we put together large diaphragm condenser long body microphones. Equipped with a Funkenwerk T13 Transistor and RK-87 capsule, the microphones have a very smooth top and well balanced low end. They have three polar patterns: omni, cardioid and figure-8 and also two switchable knobs for low cut and dB pad. It is an all round workhorse for in the studio, but perfectly used for vocals which instantly pop out of the mix.

    Condenser microphones are also known as capacitor microphones. Inside a condenser microphone are two conducting plates.  The backplate is fixed, the front one is an actual moving diaphragm. When sound waves strike the diaphragm, it vibrates and the distance between the two plates changes. As this happens, the capacitance varies in like manner, causing a variance in its output voltage. An electrical signal similar to the incoming sound wave is then generated.

    The process of putting them together took some time. Mainly because the materials were gathered all over the world. From Germany to the US, from Canada to Asia. After we received the items, we soldered the wires and the components on the pcb and to the capsule. Putting them together took a bit longer than a day. After that the New Hansen logo was designed, and the concept of the velvet suitcase was created and custom tailored. After another month of waiting for the logo coins, the microphone was finished and used on a daily base.

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