Volker Bertelmann Talks ’All Quiet on the Western Front’
Manage episode 349456454 series 2827045
Pleased to have Academy Award winning composer Volker Bertelmann join the show! Volker is fresh off of scoring the new adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, a new bleak, harrowing anti-war version of the classic novel for which he's received his first Oscar and BAFTA wins! We chat primarily about this score, including creating some of the incredibly distinct, surprising sounds used throughout and his working relationship with long time collaborator (and the film's director) Edward Berger. We also cover a few more disparate topics, like his earlier days in the music industry, finding inspiration when writing, and the drive to constantly challenge himself (telling me "I love being challenged by things that I haven’t done before...I’m actually in a long learning curve of getting challenged”).
Volker's score has been fairly divisive, and I think that's a testament, in part, to the unorthodox sound palette and that drive to challenge himself. The score's main motif is a blaring three note siren or alarm, backed by the humming din of organized industrialization. Although it feels modern and electronic, the thrust of the motif is actually an amplified harmonium from the early 1900s, firmly placing it in the film's time period. It's one of those moments where immediately upon hearing the score's first few notes I knew I had to find out more. I'm glad I did, and I hope you are too!
You can find out more about Volker on his website. All Quiet on the Western Front is currently available on Netflix, while Volker's score (and many of his prior works) is available on all major digital platforms.