People have created fantastic film music throughout the years. I think it’s strange that there’s so few collaborations between musicians/artists and movie creators. A director I spoke with the other day explained to me that he always set aside a rather large sum of money for the music of the movie. But when the movie project takes longer time than expected and other events, unaccounted for, need to be taken care of, this sum of money is used, and compromises have to be done.
I want to tell you about Hans Lundgren, 26 years old, whose music makes me shiver of well-being. Here he describes how he started making film music:
“For me the interest for film music started already at the age of 7 when I used to rush to the TV to be able to see the intro to “Dallas”. I loved the music and how it interacted with the moving pictures. But it wasn’t until I was 15 that I became aware of film music at a deeper level.
After playing and singing several years, I started study music on high school in Skellefteå, and it was there that I seriously started composing music inspired by movies. After that followed studies in composition on Skellefteå Music College, Framnäs Folkhögskola, Musikhögskolan i Piteå, film science at Luleå Tekniska Universitet, and now in Stockholm at KMH (Royal College of Music in Stockholm) and DI.
This is the first time that they have created a film music program on a higher level of education in Sweden. The education is divided more or less with half of the time at KMH and half of the time at DI. The theoretical parts at KMH and the practical parts at DI. And just like with all the other students at the movie department at DI, 4 students are admitted every two years. That is, 4 directors, 4 producers, 4 dubbing editors, 4 film editors, 4 screenwriters, 4 photographers, and now this year also 4 film composers.
As a first project at DI we were assigned to write music for four short films. Every team has their own movie that is supposed to work both as a story that stands for itself and also in a context together with the other three movies. All four films are spun around the same central event which binds the movies together, but from the different perspectives of four people and their unique experience of the situation. It has been a very interesting and fun process to be a part of. My first meeting with the short film I was to compose to, was at a spotting session where I, together with the director, the producer and the others, watched a raw cut of the film where we started discussing how, when and what function the music should have in the movie. When should the music start/end? What’s the emotional style? What’s the musical style, and so on?
After that, I watched the movie a couple of times, without starting to compose anything, just to absorb the movie. It was easier to get to the core of the story then. For this project I made a couple of different versions of the music, before we found something that felt right from an emotional and dramaturgical perspective. We have recently finished the project and made the final cut of the movie. That’s when the dialogue, the music and the effects are mixed together to create a good sound picture for the movie. The premiere will be in November.
Soon the recording of the next project starts, and I am looking forward to being part of telling a story in a musical and dramatic way that drags people into the story. Finally I would like to say that I really hope that this education will help to lift Swedish film music, and that people who want to write music for films can have a place to meet, develop and work together with the professional film makers of the future.”
Here’s a couple of tracks from Hans’ production:
Resan mot ljuset
Death Is Not the End
Do you want know more about Hans? Here is his site.
There you read that he has arranged and orchestrated “Sjökor och Stekare” for the Umeå Symphony Orchestra, that he has been played in P2 (Swedish national radio channel), and that TV4 has shown his short film “Att återvända” (“To come back”). Just the images on his site are worth a visit. Beautiful!
And of course you can listen to his music.