Volker Bertelmann

Hauschka

Composer / Composer

Germany

Speaker

What role does music play in film? How can sound enhance a visual experience? And when does the plot need a moment of silence to really take effect? From cinema to series, the composer Volker Bertelmann has imbued numerous productions with his special brand of empathetic and suspenseful sound. One of the best examples of his nuanced work is in Garth Davis' drama "Lion" (2016), whose film score, written together with the composer Dustin O’Halloran, was nominated for an Oscar. 

Bertelmann draws from a large artistic reservoir for his film compositions. He has been creating experimental soundscapes in his studio in Düsseldorf for many years under the pseudonym Hauschka. Sometimes he prepares his grand piano with foreign objects, sometimes he builds electronically distorted sound structures, and sometimes he explores the puristic beauty of the piano. His is an innovative oeuvre that has led to numerous collaborations, for example with violinist Hilary Hahn.

How effectively Volker Bertelmann uses his musical range can be heard in very different projects, for example, in the thriller series "Your Honor" (2020), the drama series "Patrick Melrose" (2018), the literary adaptation "Gut gegen Nordwind" (2019), or in the science fiction thriller "Stowaway" (2021). Volker Bertelmann’s joint collaboration with Dustin O’Halloran also continues in multiple projects. In the graphic novel adaptation "The Old Guard" (2020) with Charlize Theron, the duo dynamically moves between monumental pressure and slightly shimmering thrills. In Francis Lee's romantic drama "Ammonite" (2020), on the other hand, the power of reduction is evident: the sound finds expressions for the unspeakable. Volker Bertelmann has developed a fine cinematic understanding that he also brings to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a member.

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