I’m Jan Morgenstern and this is 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. I have provided award-winning music and sound for 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.

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December 13, 2022

Introducing Jan’s Patchwork Corner, a Masterclass on Sound Design

Over at my soundware label Treeswift Audio, I’ve been recently working on a project that should be of interest to anyone who wants to delve deeper into creating sounds with synthesizers: Jan’s Patchwork Corner will be a series of workshop videos on synthesis and sound design. In each episode, I’ll take a deep dive into one of my synth patches – either from one of my commercial libraries or from a music production ­–, describe the thought process that went into every design decision, and explain how all the components work and come together to achieve the sound that I’m looking for. In a nutshell, I wanted to make the kind of tutorial that I would have wanted to be around back when I got into synthesis.

The first episode, in which I recreate a synth pad sound from my library Zebra Elementals: ISLA, is out now, and more are on the way. If you’re at all interested in synthesizers and how to get them to make sounds in a deliberate and purposeful way, keep an eye on the Watch page at Treeswift Audio or follow us on YouTube!

October 20, 2022

Andrew Price Re-Imagines His Most Famous Creation… 13 Times

Baker's Dozen Donuts

Anyone who has even so much as dabbled in learning Blender, the almost-too-good-to-be-true 3D creation suite that has become one of the lead actors in the success story of free software, has probably come across the name of Andrew Price. The Australian-based 3D artist, aptly nicknamed Blenderguru, has famously created some of the most beloved and ubiquitous educational videos that have been essential companions of budding 3D artists for more than a decade.

Andrew’s latest project harkens back to the colorful donuts that served as the workpieces in his early tutorials and have since become his calling card. Under the title Baker’s Dozen, he has created a collection of highly stylized, eye-catching animation loops featuring all kinds of donut-shaped objects that range from the photorealistic to the whimsical. The “originals” of these creations were then auctioned off in digital form, with all of the proceeds going to the Blender development fund to support the future of the software project.

I was excited to join the project as its audio director, creating seamless music loops and sound design for each of the animations.

June 1, 2021

Introducing Treeswift Audio

Even with terabyte-sized sample sets reigning supreme in the media scoring world, synthesizers play a hugely important role in our work; they provide us with the sounds for the more electronic flavors in our music, but – maybe more importantly ­– they’re also indispensable tools for creating our own, truly unique and unheard-of sounds. Whenever a project comes along that calls for it, I make sure to earmark some time to sit myself down with a couple synths and come up with my own signature sounds and earcatchers, and for almost as long as I’ve been doing that, I’ve considered making collections of my own sonic creations and sharing them with fellow composers one day.

That day has now come: I’m excited to announce the launch of my own soundware label Treeswift Audio, under which I will produce and sell my own libraries of synth and sample-based instruments. The debut product is Zebra Elementals: ISLA, a collection of 120 ready-to-play instruments for u-he‘s excellent software synthesizer Zebra2, all of which are inspired by water and fluidity in some form. The library is primarily aimed at other professional film and media composers, but is also an essential source of inspiration and creativity for anyone making electronica and pop music.

Since it’s only tangentially related to my musical work, I’ll only sporadically mention my sound design products on here; but if you’re interested in any aspect of music production yourself, I invite you to bookmark the Treeswift Audio website and follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop!

March 8, 2021

Scorelief 2021: Scoring Competition and Charity Fundraiser

I’ve recently had the pleasure to be a part of the jury for the Scorelief 2021 film scoring competition, a charity event organized by The Cue Tube and Northern Film Orchestra. The contest is affiliated with a fundraiser benefiting technical workers from the event and entertainment industry that lost their income as a result of the pandemic.

Contestants were asked to write and submit an original score for a segment from the 2019 animated short film SPRING, directed by Andy Goralczyk. With almost 2000 submissions, the event was an astonishing success, which turned evaluating all the entries into quite a challenge! Thankfully it was rewarding work, as we were all impressed with the creativity and quality on display in the submissions.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everybody who took part in the event and donated!

February 27, 2021

Insufanten: Talking to Kids About Type-1 Diabetes

Type-1 diabetes has become a manageable disease, but it can still be a challenge to talk about it – this is doubly true for kids. In a new public awareness campaign, Norwegian support network diabetesforbundet wants to speak to kids directly to address their questions: Can I join others in playing without having to worry? Can I stay overnight at my friends’ place? How do I talk about it around other kids?

In order to convey this information in an engaging and playful manner, they turned to the help of animator and illustrator Hans Jørgen Sandnes who, along with his team, created a series of charming 2D-animated short films that recently went public. The star of the show is the Insufant, a friendly creature that helps children take control of their insulin levels and their particular physical requirements.

Since the style of choice for the campaign strongly harkens back to golden age animation of the 50s and 60s, I wrote a light-hearted and catchy jazz big band score for the shorts, and also provided the sound design and mix.

August 12, 2020

In SKYWATCH, a Lifestyle Service Takes a Turn for the Dystopian

When two outcast teens hack into a drone delivery system to pull a prank on the girl next door, they accidentally redirect a critical shipment and find themselves entangled in a life-and-death political conspiracy.

In the sci-fi action-adventure short film Skywatch, we get a glimpse of what might end up being the consequences when technology, driven by unchecked and ever-consolidating corporate power, expands into every aspect of our lives. The highly ambitious work is directed by PIXAR veteran Colin Levy, who conceived it as a proof-of-concept for a larger-scale narrative adaptation of the theme. After making a serious splash online after its release, the rights for expanding it into a full episodical series got optioned by NBC.

In my fourth collaboration with Colin (after Sintel, The Secret Number, and My Grandfather’s Memory Book), I was happy to contribute additional music to Skywatch. You can hear my work in the fictional NexPort TV commercial that opens the film and was put out online before the release of the project as part of its viral promotion.

December 30, 2019

In SOFT RAIN, Sacha Goedegebure Plays with Our Perceptions

Brennan, a middle-aged man visibly worn out from the monotony of his daily routine, gets a reluctant glimpse into the way that a carefree stranger he meets at the bus stop perceives the world around them, and ends up – ever so slightly – transformed by it.

In Soft Rain, director and 3D veteran Sacha Goedegebure gives us a magical realist look at depression and cognitive distortion. The animated short film was produced in a unique claymation style at Omens Studios in Singapore and marks my second collaboration with Sacha after 2008’s ground-breaking Big Buck Bunny.

The central narrative angle of the film is one of transformation – first of the audience’s viewpoint, then of the protagonist himself. My score reflects this metamorphosis, flipping the perspective and interpretation of the visual action and taking the audience on a journey through the two main characters’ world views. As the audio director of the production, I was also responsible for the complete sound design and re-recording mix.

The short film is set to hit the international festival circuit in 2021 and will be released online afterwards.