One of the types of building blocks seen in The Tale of the Mass, the grid and the Mesh

The Tale of the Mass, the Grid and the Mesh (2020) is an experimental documentary by artist Andrea Canepa tracing back the history of building blocks and its impact on 20th century artists. As the film’s sound designer, I supervised the film’s voiceover recordings, created original sounds to accompany its title cards and scored its scenes, adding pathos to the thought provoking and captivating stories told by the film’s different characters. The result is a soundtrack which is as minimalistic and elegant as building block constructions are.

A still from the black & white sequence of Burn Out One

Burn Out One (2019) is a short super hero fiction by filmmaker Rick Chaubet, portraying a young super hero’s struggle to understand his responsibilities as the world is on the verge of destruction. As the film’s sound designer, I selected and created a vast library of sounds, which ranged from dramatic, out of this world explosions to subtle winds and whooshes tailored to the flying scenes. The sounds were created through a carful selection of city, animal and forest field recordings combined together with a number of layers of soft synths, creating a soundtrack which could be as subtle as it could be bigger than life and over the top.

A still from Rocky Tales of Occupation

Rocky Tales of Occupation (2019) is the second collaboration I did with artist Stéphanie Lagarde. Here I acted as the film’s composer, sound designer and mixer to create an eerie soundtrack, which aimed to convey a sense of ‘dampness’, depth and sense of atmosphere to the footage of the Jesuit caves in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The soundtrack relied strongly on subtractive synthesis, and utilised pitches which ‘decay’ tonally throughout the film.

A still from Within the Temple Without

Within the Temple Without (2019) is the second project I worked on by artist Matthew C. Wilson. The film is “a journey into the economic unconscious—which is now collective and digital”, and “takes the structure of a dream” (Wilson, 2020, p.1). To create the dream-like feeling, I resampled a range of ATM machines and pin-pads recorded by the artist. The result were mesmerising tones and melodies which accompany the film’s computer narrated impressions. The sound design was done in Cubase and Premiere Pro. The film was presented at the 2019 edition of the Rotterdam Film Festival and was selected for the 2019 EYE Museum Amsterdam experimental distribution programme.

A still on one of the three videos comprising Portrait of a Collective Body

Portrait of a Collective Body is an installation performance film by artist Nina Glockner which deals with three character’s relationship between their body and the world surrounding them. As the film is based mainly on character’s memories and intimate reflections, it was imperative the sound convey a sense of quietness and pondering. I ensured that, despite the interviews not having been recorded in ideal conditions (large, reverberant rooms) they came across clearly and were mixed at an appropriate level for the listener to appreciate the characters’ musings. As the films were done for an installation, the mix was also tailored to make sure it made the maximum sonic impact while on show during the Jan Van Eyck academy’s 2019 March Open Studios.

Déploiments (2018) by Stéphanie Lagarde is an experimental film I worked on as a sound designer, developing original sounds for the film and mixing it. The film had an initial provided by the artist upon which I was able to contribute with new sounds which helped create tension, dramatic buildup and suspense. The sound design relied on Kontakt and BFD3 to create rhythmical patterns. During mixing, I cleaned up the existing sound layers with RX, processing sounds with iZotope Trash and stock plugins within Cubase, which also served as the DAW of choice to mix the film. The film was extremely well received, with screenings across Europe and the World, and winning the first prizes at the Short Waves Film Festival in Polzan (PL), and the BIEFF film festival in Bucharest (RO).

Speak Out! is a (2018) documentary film by director Jan van Opstal about the taboo surrounding HIV positivity in the Netherlands and in South Africa. I worked on the film’s post-production, cleaning location recordings with RX, editing and pre-mixing the material in Pro Tools.

The opening of Noise and Knowledge

Noise and Knowledge (2018) is an experimental performance film by artist Sophia Caesar. Three actors perform an interview director had conducted with Welton Santos, a practitioner of divination (finding under water streams with a rod). I acted as the film’s location sound recordist, coordinating with film’s director of photography in recording the actor’s dialogue meticulously for takes which lasted up to 20mins in one go.

Papieren Land (2018) is a performance documentary by visual artist and director Marie van Vollenhoven. It tells the story of Shahib Sidow, a refugee from Somalia who has struggled to have his legal status recognised ever since arriving in the Netherlands. I acted as the film’s sound designer and sound editor, helping deepen the film’s more dramatic moments and coordinating its overall sonic impact.

A still from Joep Hinssen’s installation film Score

Score (2018) is an installation film by artist Joep Hinssen where the spectator’s reaction to the 2014 World cup match of Spain v. the Netherlands is performed by a choir and percussionist. I worked on the project as a location sound recordist and together with a colleague we deployed a recording system involving XY and stereo miking techniques for the choir, as well as spot mics for the percussion drum. The setup ensured flexibility in post-production and that the space the performers were working in was captured as well as the performance itself. I also assisted the artist during post-production in setting up an Ableton session in which the percussion sounds triggered a virtual drum kit which helped give more character and power to the performance.

As the clock ticks away (2018) is a short fiction by visual artist and filmmaker Ria van Montfort, and deals with a young man’s everyday struggle to use his time wisely. The film takes place in both the real world and the character’s mind. To create a difference between the two, as the film’s sound designer, I created a dark and tense soundscape in which distorted, inharmonious synthesiser notes convey the stress the character is facing. Each scene was carefully studied to ensure that, even when there is only background sound, the tension remains palpable and the the viewer/listener is on the edge of their seat.

Trailer of the film

If my hands do not function, can I still love (2018) is a short fiction by filmmaker Jonathan Lee about an adolescent’s struggle with manliness, love and sexuality. I worked on the film as a location sound recordist and sound designer. Having overseen the whole sound process of the film, I was able to create a sonic narrative which highlighted the difficulties faced by the film’s main protagonist. Much of the film’s dramatic elements were created in post-production, with a carefully curated dreamy soundtrack to highlight the character’s dream state; deep and fast sound effects when he remembers being bullied, and carefully crafted ambiences to ensure each section of the film draws in the viewer/listener more.

A still from Geological Evidences by Matthew C. Wilson

Geological evidences (2017) is an experimental film by artist Matthew C. Wilson, drawing inspiration from sci-fi literature and films, it “address the current uncertainty about the position and future of humans in relation to the earth and climate change” (Wilson, 2020, p.1). I worked on the film as a sound designer, creating a library of sounds by re-sampling the field recordings provided by the artist. The sounds ranged from hums and rumblings, to tightly synchronised insect buzzing and water drips. It contributed to convey a sense of other-worldly-ness as the viewer are immersed into its captivating landscapes.

Still from Hello Joe by Graham Kelly

Hello Joe (2017) is an experimental film by artist Graham Kelly. The film is made up of footage of rented Airbnbs and is a commentary on privacy. I worked on the film as a sound mixer, ensuring that the audio recorded in the accommodations was came across clearly, de-noising them and ensuring the sonic material came across clearly and made its impact on the audience.

A still from Thomas

Thomas (2017) by filmmaker Britte van Meurs is a short fiction about a lady who finds herself having break her isolation and confront the outside world as her only companion, the cat Thomas, goes missing. I worked on the film as its sound designer, layering a plethora of subtle room tones and ambiences to highlight the sense of isolation of the main character, and processing sudden sounds to give them dramatic impact, as the main character confronts the outside world.

A still from 100 Milliampère

100 Milliampère (2017) by Hester van Tongerlo is a performance film exploring the limits of physical pain and their relation to social context. I worked on the film as a location sound recordist, ensuring that every nuance of Hester’s reactions and movements were captured in detail, while she undergoes a series of physically demanding tests. As part of my role, I also ensured we captured the sound of the ambience and machinery working in the background as the tests underwent.