“It’s all about creating waves that bring me happiness – or that reveal how I feel. It has to drag me into a dream or a sort of internal pleasure”, says composer Jean-Benoît Dunckel about what he feels when he makes music. Dunckel, a member of the electronic group Air and responsible for award-winning soundtracks such as The Virgin Suicides, is one of the composers at SoundTrack_Cologne's Composing for Film Day on Thursday, 22 June 2023.

Further guests will be Jørund Samuelsen, HARPA Award winner 2023 and Amanda Award winner for the Best Original Score in Everybody Hates Johan; Isobel Waller-Bridge, composer of critically acclaimed films and series such as Emma and Fleabag (BBC/Amazon), and Valentin Hadjadj, who has scored the music of a dozen feature films including Girl (Camera d'Or Cannes 2018) and Close (Grand Prix Cannes 2022 and Oscar-nominated).

The four composers will participate in in-depth discussions about their experiences in the film industry, their careers and the prospects for the future of music on screens.


Composing for Film
Thursday 22 June 2023 · Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Auditorium

10:30 – 11:30
Jørund Samuelsen
Everybody hates Johan (Alle Harten Johan) · A Wedding, Funeral and a Christening
Workshop - Discussion
In coop. with HARPA

12:00 – 13:00
Jean-Benoît Dunckel (Air)
Summer of 85 · The Virgin Suicides
Workshop - Discussion

14:30 – 15:30
Isobel Waller-Bridge
Munich: The Edge of War · The Phantom of the Open
Workshop - Discussion

16:00 – 17:00
Valentin Hadjadj
Close  · Girl
Workshop - Discussion

Jørund Samuelsen

Photo: Paal Ritter Schjerven

Jørund Samuelsen

In the last 15 years, Jørund Fluge Samuelsen has scored for a wide variety of television series, radio drama and short films. His score for the 2022 drama film Everybody Hates Johan (Alle Hater Johan) won both the Norwegian Amanda Award for Best Original Score and the Harpa Nordic Film Composers Award.

Since his participation in the record selling pop group Trang Fødsel, Samuelsen has produced more than 50 albums in a broad specter of genres, among them Grammy and Folkelarm winners, from his studio Audioskop.

With his special mix of organic folksy sound and pop music flair, Samuelsen has established himself as a consistent composer and producer and preferred contributor for Norwegian musicians, artists and directors.

Jean-Benoît Dunckel

Jean-Benoît Dunckel

Nominated for a Cesar Award for his score for François Ozon's Summer of 85, Jean-Benoît Dunckel’s range of work includes film scores, his band Air and solo projects. Dunckel wants listeners to “feel this energy” and feel “ready to travel in space.”

The composer has been behind the soundtracks for films such as The Virgin Suicides, Quartier Lointain, The Summer of Sangaile, and Heartbeast. The latter will be presented as part of SoundTrack_Cologne’s CinePop program (21 June at 7 pm in the Filmforum NRW). Dunckel will be present at the screening.

Carbon, Dunckel's first album in four years, reflects on the recent uncertainties that have plagued the planet and explores fuzzy visions of what a better future might be like. There are meditations on existential happiness and selfish fantasies of escape. The album is a psychological test that reveals the listener's own perspective, says Dunckel.

Isobel Waller-Bridge

Photo: Jérome Favre

Isobel Waller-Bridge

Isobel Waller-Bridge is an award-winning composer known for her scores for film, television and theatre, alongside her work in electronic and contemporary classical music. She works in a wide range of genres, extending across large-scale orchestral music, electronic sound design, experimental music and song writing.

Among the films for which she has composed are Munich: The Edge of War (Netflix), The Phantom of the Open (BBC Films), I Came By (Netflix), and BAFTA and Oscar-winning short The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse (Bad Robot/NoneMore Productions). For television, her work includes music for Fleabag (BBC/Amazon), Black Mirror (Netflix), the Roar (Apple), and critically acclaimed docu-series The Way Down (HBO).

Alongside her commission Temperatures for the Philharmonia, she has also collaborated with fashion houses Alexander McQueen and Simone Rocha, and with principal ballerina at the Royal Opera House, Francesca Hayward. For theatre, Isobel has worked with Florian Zeller in The Son and The Forest.

Waller-Bridge has received a number of awards including Best Composer at Underwire Film Festival and Best Sound Designer at the Off West End Theatre Awards. More recently, she was nominated for the Discovery of the Year Award at the World Soundtrack Awards. In February 2022, Isobel featured as Composer Magazine's digital cover story.

Valentin Hadjadj

Valentin Hadjadj

Trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon and graduated with a Master's degree in music for screen, Valentin Hadjadj finished his studies by composing the music for the animated feature film April and the Extraordinary World which won the Crystal Awards of the Annecy Film Festival.

In 2012, Hadjadj received the Award for Best Young European Composer at the World Soundtrack Awards of the Ghent Festival (Belgium).

He has scored the music of a dozen feature films including those of Lukas Dhont, Girl (Camera d'Or Cannes 2018) and Close (Grand Prix Cannes 2022, nominated for an Oscar). Among his most recent scores are Peter Mackie Burns’ British film Rialto, and Fabienne Berthaud’s A Bigger World, both selected for the Venice 2019 Mostra. He is also responsible for the original music of Claus Drexel’s film Under the Stars of Paris produced by Arches Films and Maneki Films, and not to mention the Roger animation series (78 episodes of 7 minutes each).


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