Hi, I’m Sarah. I absolved the preperatory course ‘Filmscoring and Production’ at Musicube Academy and now I am a first year student for Composition for Film and Theatre. In this blog I’m gonna share my personal experience as a student at ArtEZ in Arnhem.
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Last week we had a new interdisciplinary project again. This time it was not only a collaboration with dancers but also with fine art students, other Jazz&Pop students, Acting students, Creative writing students and Musictheater students. All of them are studying at ArtEZ as well though as a film composer I haven’t met many of them before because the different disciplines are spatially separated as well.
To be completely honest I was first not really happy about doing this project in the week where all the other years had an easter break. And I have to say, that the project’s name sounded like a really trashy TV Show Pleasure Island didn’t really help my motivation too. Another thing was that I didn’t really get what we were supposed to do during the week.
In an info meeting we were told that we don’t have to do the discipline that we study so for instance I could have acted instead of composed if I would have wanted to. They also gave us freedom in what we wanted to do. It could be a video, just a letter or even a live performance. The inspiration for that was the task: You’re locked up in a room. How do you feel? What do you do? What happens?
A few weeks ago we already started making groups of up to ten people. For that we could use a fancy 3D website (that didn’t always work…) where people who already had an idea what they wanted to do could upload their pitch and everybody who liked to work in the group could just sign up. There were 26 groups and I quickly found one that I wanted to work with.
My group contained of 2 actors, 6 fine art students, and 2 composers. Two of the fine art students already had quite a big vision of what they wanted to create but still gave us some room to add ideas of our own. So the first time we met we already had a structure and tons of ideas and material to work with. Quite quick we split up the jobs that had to be done and started working.
I wanted to do the music cause we agreed on doing a video and I already was inspired by the idea of manifasting a dream. We wanted to create dreamlike visuals that get trippy and psychedelic. At the same time there’s a lot going on with the main character. Another part of her is taking over her ‘reality’. So in a way the video is a dream but at the same time reality although you might think the reality is only in her head as well as the dream. In the end there is a lot of freedom in interpretation possible for the viewer to decide what to make of it.
The location we met was very unusual as well cause we had the opportunity to work at the De Koepelgevangenis which used to be a prison. It has a dome that has an echo I was told was so haunting that many prisoners took their own lives so the prison had to be closed. Now it is used as an escape room and apparently for artsy school projects as well 🙂
The first day where the others were filming I collected some samples with my Zoom H2n Recorder, a small hand recorder with two mics installed. I recorded everything I could find and edited the samples when I got home. I personally like it a lot to work with self-made samples cause they always sound so organically and of course they are always quite unique.
The second, third and fourth day I spend at home working on my laptop. To work with another composer that was in the UK in the moment and sometimes didn’t have the best WIFI connection was a little challenging sometimes but we managed somehow to create a really nice unique and fitting soundscape.
The movie was split into three pieces and we got the pieces separately when they were cut and edited. In the end I was incredibly surprised what we created in only four days. There were so many details and actually a deeper level of meaning in the video that I only could see when the whole thing was finished. We were really proud as a group and appreciated each others work a lot.
At the end of the week we gathered our team to watch a few presentations together and to share our opinions. In the end I was a little sad to leave cause it was such a nice group of people. We had a really efficient way of working where everybody was willing to help and we still had a lot of fun. We all agreed on working together again if one of us has a project and needs help.
This was again a perfect example of something that you didn’t want to do but turned out to be really nice!
All the best,
PS: If you want to watch the video of my group…this is it: