BIMM University Berlin students nominated for Soundtrack Cologne’s European Talent Award

22 February, 2022

BIMM University Berlin students Max Glass, Dhruv Jindal & Martyna Staszczyk have been nominated for an award at the European Talent Competition for Soundtrack Cologne.

As part of their nomination, they got to travel to Cologne last November to attend the Soundtrack Cologne Conference and take part in exciting panel talks, workshops and discussions all about music for film and TV. We caught up with Max Dhruv and Martyna to talk about their experience:

Max Glass, Dhruv Jindal & Martyna Staszczyk

Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and the music you make?

We all come from different backgrounds: Dhruv creates a variety of genres ranging from electronic music to orchestral soundtracks, Max is a classical pianist specializing in game music and Martyna is a Pop / Orchestral Producer, with all of us sharing a love for film sound & music.

How did the nomination and being short-listed for the Soundtrack Conference come about? How did you apply for the competition?

After missing out on the nomination last year, this year our two teams—comprising of Max & Dhruv for sound design and Martyna for score—were lucky to be nominated for the European Talent Award. The application process was through Soundtrack Cologne’s official website, and we heard about the event through our peers and general music newsletters. After being highly motivated by event we decided to apply. Each team did their own sound design and score using the three-and-a-half-minute silent short film that was provided by the competition. We each had to express our artistic visions for the piece and accurately mirror the emotions and inner workings of the characters.

Can you tell us a little bit about each of your songs that you have been nominated for? How did these songs come about?

The sound design project was comprised of 95% field foley recordings where both of us ventured through a supermarket, as is the setting of the film, and enacted the scenes frame by frame to get an accurate image of the soundscape. We recorded various things such as items being put in and out of a shopping cart, rustling of chips packets, ambiences and others. Following this, we also recorded the footsteps as well as other small details in our home setup. Along with the editing and processing of the recorded sounds, we implemented various techniques such as hyperrealism and synchysis to exaggerate the key emotional points of the film. Martyna’s score, on the other hand, focused on minimalism and using harmonies to overlay the emotional aspects of the film, rather than mickey-mousing, and was made using limited resources such as orchestral libraries and synthesizers.

What fascinates you about making music for film?

What fascinates us about music and sound for film is the ability to have an impact on the viewer by combining concepts and emotions with visual stimuli. It’s also a labour of collaboration and gives way to new experiences and learning each time we do it.

You also got to travel to Cologne to take part in the Soundtrack Conference. What was your highlight of the conference?

Our journey to Cologne and taking part in the annual conference will forever be remembered by us. Being in a place where like-minded musicians at different stages of their career come together is, at the very least, comforting for students like us and highly educational. The networking events where people from all walks of life in the industry let loose was a highlight of the conference – instead of pure connections, friends were made. We will definitely take part in next year’s conference as well.

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