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BERLINALE 2024 EFM

Cinco compositores nórdicos hablan sobre las bandas sonoras, la colaboración con directores y la libertad creativa en el EFM

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- BERLINALE 2024: Los profesionales nominados al HARPA han explorado su trabajo en éxitos recientes como Apolonia, Apolonia o Sauna

Cinco compositores nórdicos hablan sobre las bandas sonoras, la colaboración con directores y la libertad creativa en el EFM
(i-d): Irya Gmeyner, Eðvarð Egilsson y Ola Fløttum durante la conferencia

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

On 16 February, Martin Gropius-Bau’s Conference Lounge hosted the European Film Market session “Music & Movies: The Value of the Score”, organised by the Nordic Film Music Days. The event saw the participation of this year’s HARPA-nominated composers – Denmark’s Jonas Struck, Finland’s Pessi Levanto, Norway’s Ola Fløttum, Sweden’s Irya Gmeyner and Iceland’s Eðvarð Egilsson.

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In his contribution, Struck, who scored Lea Glob’s IDFA-winning doc Apolonia, Apolonia [+lee también:
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entrevista: Lea Glob
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, said he was compelled by the project’s highly emotional potential. The picture spans 13 years and captures the turbulent life of up-and-coming French painter Apolonia Sokol, “who struggles to be recognised as a female artist in a male-dominated world”. Glob started working on the film while she was a film-school student. Struck began writing the first “sketches” in 2016, when Glob showed him some rough footage depicting Apolonia painting. Next, he began writing some of the themes. Some boasted the sound of a piano with an obstruction added to the innards, which produced “a sort of muted sound”, whilst others merged the piano notes with the sound of brushes touching the canvas. Female vocals also played an important role in his scoring work.

Levanto scored Karoline Lyngbye’s feature debut, Superposition. He particularly liked the “twisted, dark and weird” essence of the project, which prompted him to involve a Finnish co-producer to join it as a composer. Premiered at Rotterdam last year, the film follows a couple and their young son, who leave their life in Copenhagen behind and move to a secluded Swedish forest, where they hope to find themselves but end up fighting for their lives against mysterious copies of themselves.

“Even though we’re in the wilderness, the situation is sort of claustrophobic, and you don’t feel right there, so the music needed this eerie, uncomfortable feel all the way through,” Levanto explained. “The reason why I chose a Baroque violin as the main instrument – and not a modern violin – is that it uses gut strings, and its sound is more inward, quiet and constrained, unlike the modern one.” He added that two intervals of a fifth represented the original couple and their doppelgangers, respectively. With Lyngbye, Levanto managed to fully unleash his creative potential: “I felt this film was so special that I was able to try out some techniques I had always wanted to try.”

Egilsson, who ended up snagging the HARPA Award on 19 February, stressed his role as a “helper” while working on the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning doc Smoke Sauna Sisterhood [+lee también:
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entrevista: Anna Hints
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, which is also a nominee for the 2024 LUX Audience Award. He explained how he joined the project at a later stage, about one or two years before its release, after it had been in the works for eight years. “They just opened their arms and invited me in,” he said, adding how generous the director Anna Hints and her team were with him. The film zooms in on a group of women who meet in the titular place, which, for them, constitutes “a sacred and safe space”. Egilsson described it as “a journey about what it means to be human” and visited Estonian saunas to get familiar with the atmospheres depicted in the film. He ended up not using “any ordinary instruments”, except for a flute, whose tracks were recorded in Iceland. The rest of the score was made up of sounds such as slaps, cries, shouts and whispers, making the work a real exploration teetering between “music and sound. […] I acted as a listener,” he points out.

Fløttum spoke about his work on Ole Giæver’s Let the River Flow [+lee también:
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. Set in 1979, the story revolves around Ester, who moves to Alta in Northern Norway to begin teaching at a primary school. Like many Sámi at the time, she is ashamed of her heritage and conceals her ethnicity. The Norwegian seems particularly fascinated by the “unfulfilled”, and most of his work seems based on intuition, minimalism and subtraction. “I definitely start from scratch every time; I don’t have a template. Every film has its own signature, its own life it tries to live. I really focus on what this movie is trying to tell, its core emotions,” he underscored.

Gmeyner composed the score for the Swedish series Thin Blue Line [+lee también:
entrevista: Gizem Erdogan
ficha de la serie
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along with Martin Hederos. The pair worked in the same room, “without sending files to each other”, but as if they were taking part in a perpetual jam session. In detail, the procedural drama follows the private and professional struggles of six police officers working in Malmö. “Through our music, we wanted to ‘hug’ the characters and tell them that we support what they’re doing,” Gmeyner summed up.

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(Traducción del inglés)

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