I’m Jan Morgenstern, and you’re looking at the website of my audio production company. I’m a composer and sound designer by nature and profession, and you can hire me to work on your projects. In the past, I’ve worked on numerous film and TV projects, video games, and advertisements; to get a taste of those works, check out my showreel, take a look at my references, or listen to examples of my music.
If you have any questions or feedback, or in case you’re interested in a quote for your project, please contact me.
Why did the llama cross the road?
Well, for starters, the star of the 3D short film Caminandes would have some stern words (or, if you’re unlucky, a scornful spit) with you if you made the mistake of referring to him as a “llama”. Koro is a guanaco, a proud cousin of the common camelid that’s native to the mountainous regions of South America, and it’s in this seemingly deserted setting where he attempts to cross an inconspicuous-looking country road – a perilous endeavor, as it turns out, although the other inhabitants of the Andean paririe seem to have less trouble…
Directed by CG veteran Pablo Vazquez and made by a small team of professional Blender artists, Caminandes is a fun 3D short film in the vein of classic Chuck Jones Cartoons. It was released in February 2013 and is currently partaking in several animation festivals. I wrote a playful, jazz-infused orchestral score for the short, and provided the sound design and mixing.
Fresh from the cutting room of my studio (which I assure you totally has a cutting room), here’s a brand new, just-short-of-8-minutes demo reel showcasing some of my work from recent years. If you want to get a quick and focused impression of what I’ve been up to and what I have in stock, please do check it out. Featuring slick motion graphics from Sintel artist Soenke Maeter and some never-heard-before opening and closing music! Head over to the Showreel page or watch the reel in crisp HD resolution on Vimeo, and let me know what you think!
Sandnes Media Animates Lawyer Convention Ad
In order to call attention to the national law symposium Juristkongress 2012, which will take place in November 2012 in Lillestrøm, Norway, animation company Sandnes Media AS has produced a commercial trailer in their trademark hand-drawn cartoon style. I was responsible for the music and sound design. You can watch the trailer on my References page, or directly on Vimeo.
Two Jerry Goldsmith Award Nominations!
I just received word that my work got nominated in two categories of the 2012 Jerry Goldsmith Awards! After the jury awarded my score for Sintel twice in last year’s installment of the Awards (Best Music in an Animated Short Film, Best Song), I’m excited and honored to be among the nominees again this year:
- In the category Best Score for a Live Action Short Film, the jury nominated my score for Colin Levy‘s award-winning sci-fi drama The Secret Number.
- In the category Best Score for an Animated Short Film, my score for Tyler J. Kupferer‘s Annie-nominated short The Girl and the Fox got a nomination.
The award ceremony will take place on June 28th at the International Film Music Festival in Córdoba, Spain.
“The Secret Number”: Complete Film and Score Available Online
In addition to the online premiere, I’ve released my score for the film in its entirety under a free-to-share Creative Commons license! You can listen to it on SoundCloud, or download a high-quality MP3 album from the Music page of this website.
The Secret Number marks my second collaboration with Colin Levy after Sintel. I couldn’t have had a greater time working with him and his gifted team, and I truly believe the film turned into a uniquely captivating and beautiful, see-and-see-again piece of storytelling. The quirky psychological drama, which tells the story of a psychiatrist who gets absorbed into the bizarre mathematical theories of one of his clients, has been acknowledged at numerous film festivals; among others, it was awarded Best Short at Charleston International Film Festival, Best Student Film at Savannah Film Festival, and Best Original Score at Greenville International Film Festival.
“The Secret Number” Awarded “Best Original Score” at GVIFF; Releases Online on June 15th
At this year’s Greenville International Film Festival, which took place between April 25th to 28th, my music for the short film The Secret Number was awarded Best Original Score by the competition jury! I’m very grateful for this recognition.
The film also continues to gain traction at festivals across the US, among others winning the jury award for Best Short at this year’s Charleston International Film Festival and playing in the official selection at Newport Beach Film Festival.
Lastly, with the final touches on VFX post production nearing their completion, a release date for the film has been announced: On June 15th, 2012, you will be able to watch The Secret Number online. DVD pre-orderers will have the film in their hands before that date.
Scoring “The Girl and the Fox”
Ilona is a nine-year-old girl who lives in the wilderness with her mother and father. The three are forced to survive on their small cluster of livestock and what supplies they can get through a dying fur trade. Things get worse when a fox begins stealing their livestock. With winter setting in and supplies running low, Ilona has no choice but to track the fox into the forest where it lives, in an attempt to preserve what’s left of her family’s resources. The lessons she learns along the way will undoubtedly give her new perspective on the balance of life, justice and friendship.
The Girl and the Fox is an animated short film that explores the different perspectives of life, and how the lines between good and bad become more blurred the closer they are examined. Directed by Tyler J. Kupferer, the short has already attracted a lot of positive attention on the festival circuit, culminating in a nomination to the world’s most prestiguous recognition in animation, the Annie Awards, earlier this year.
Tyler and his production company Base14 hired me to write an orchestral score that embodies the film’s bittersweet reflection on moral perspective while matching the beautiful and delicate hand-drawn animation style. The Girl and the Fox is set for an online release later this year.
Nintendo Releases “Big Buck Bunny” for 3DS
In order to promote the 3D capabilities of their 3DS handheld video game system, Nintendo has commissioned the Finnish animation wizards Studio Lumikuu to recreate the 2008 CG short film Big Buck Bunny in full stereoscopic 3D. The gorgeous result will launch on Nintendo Video in three mini-installments starting May 2nd, 2012. As the original composer and sound designer on Big Buck Bunny, I was brought on board to do a number of modifications to the original theatrical mix in order to make it fit the new 3-act structure and the technical requirements of the device. Apart from editing and remastering, this also encompassed extending the original credits music cue by some 40 seconds and remixing it from scratch. Click here to read the original Nintendo press release.