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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February 7, 2011

“No Plan is a Good Plan” – Traveling Southeast Asia by Motorcycle

In a recent collaboration with German motorcycling equipment retailer Touratech, I’ve written and produced the music for a documentary feature that follows adventurers Ramona and Herbert Schwarz on a motorcycle journey spanning large parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The legs of this journey were planned on a day-to-day basis, leaving the two guided only by the advice and recommendations of local people. The tour, totalling 5,789 kilometres, ran down the Mekong through exotic villages and mysterious jungles, past bizarre mountain formations and powerful waterfalls, and across a 1,000-kilometres pass road.

Directed by Wolfgang Danner, the 50-minute documentary provides vivid and authentic insights into the street life in urban Thailand, the vast majesty of the tropical mountain landscapes, the stunning architecture of Asian places of worship, and the cordiality of the people the two meet on their journey. The music that I’ve written for the documentary blends traditional elements of Indonesian gamelan music with more modern, upbeat styles.

The film was released in January 2011 on a two-DVD set, which includes lots of bonus material. It can be purchased worldwide at Touratech retail stores or from their Webshop.

January 18, 2011

Audio post production on animated shorts for Norwegian TV

In collaboration with Norway’s largest public TV broadcaster NRK, Larvik-based design and animation house Sandnes Media is currently producing a series of animated shorts based on works by the famous and influential Norwegian songwriter and musician Alf Prøysen. The narrative for each short is provided by the lyrics of one of the children’s songs that Prøysen wrote and performed during his main period of work in the 1950s and 60s.

The visuals are rather distinct among modern animation in that they’re beautifully drawn and animated by hand in their entirety; this traditional 2D production technique, which has mostly gone out of fashion for reasons of cost efficiency, is masterfully revived by the artists at Sandnes Media with brilliant results.

In order to provide an appropriate soundscape for the visuals and to accompany Alf Prøysen’s playful music performances, I’m responsible for the creation and mixing of a cohesive and believable soundtrack for each short. The results of this collaboration will be aired on NRK around Easter 2011.

October 21, 2010

“Sintel” – Complete score now available for download

My music score for the CG short film Sintel, which was released to the public earlier this month, is now available for download under a Creative Commons license.

The release includes not only every bit of music that I wrote for the film, but also a cool music video for our credits song “I Move On (Sintel’s Song)” (performed by Helena Fix), which was directed by Colin Levy. Head over to the music page to download the score for free in either MP3 or uncompressed, CD-quality FLAC format!

September 30, 2010

“Sintel” released!

After more than a year of work, we’re proud to finally show our CG film Sintel to the world! You can watch the film online or download it in a variety of formats – on our download hub, you can find streaming links and various download formats up to cinema-scale 2k resolution with 5.1 sound.

Sintel is the most recent venture of the Amsterdam-based Blender Institute, which has been promoting free software and open content for half a decade. Following the success of its predecessors Elephants Dream and Big Buck Bunny, Sintel is the third “open movie” that has been created by a team of young creative professionals from around the world. Produced by Ton Roosendaal, directed by Colin Levy and written by Esther Wouda, the film tells the tale of a solitary young girl who finds an unlikely companion in the streets of her inhospitable hometown. When the friends are ruthlessly torn apart, she embarks on a desperate journey during which she has to face not only deadly perils, but also come to terms with her real vulnerabilities.

I’ve been responsible for both the musical scoring and the rest of the audio work – i.e. sound design, foley, dialogue editing, and 5.1 mixing – of Sintel. To go with the epic fantasy setting, I’ve written a sweeping, late-romantic orchestral score, which is going to be released under a Creative Commons license on this site soon.

Each of us has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the production of this film; it has been an inspiring, exhilarating, and exhausting ride from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed working with a wonderful team of creative, inspired artists, and I sincerely hope you’ll get just as much enjoyment from watching the movie.

September 29, 2010

“Sintel” theatrical premiere in Utrecht, 2010/09/27

This week the CG short film Sintel, on which I’ve been responsible for the music and sound, will be released to the public. Last Monday, the production team gathered in Utrecht, NL, where Sintel was shown to an audience of 450 people in the sold-out Pathé Rembrandt theatre. The event was part of the Netherlands Film Festival proceedings; the NFF is the largest film festival in the Netherlands.

Photo by Mike Pan

It was an exciting evening! The festival staff was friendly and helpful, the cinema was great, and the audience reaction to our film was overwhelmingly positive. We were all hovering a few centimeters above the ground at the afterparty ;)

If everything goes according to schedule, we will release Sintel to the entire world via our website tomorrow on Thursday, September 30th.

August 31, 2010

Interview on DRadio Wissen (German)

In a recent broadcast, German public radio station DRadio Wissen (a division of Deutschlandradio) has featured a segment about my work on Sintel and other open movies. The interview is part of their ongoing “Spielraum” category and can be listened to in its entirety on their website (German language).

June 12, 2010

Audio Production Workflow on “Sintel”

On the blog that accompanies the production of the short film Sintel, I recently wrote a small feature outlining my audio workflow and the logistics involved. I explain how the various audio elements – covering sound design, foley/SFX recording, 5.1 mixing, and music composition – come together over the course of the film’s production, and how I assemble them to build the final soundtrack of the movie. You can read the full article here.

May 14, 2010

“Sintel” Trailer Released

The official trailer of the CG film Sintel has just been released:

Sintel is an epic CG short film currently in production, with an estimated release date in July 2010. Directed by Colin Levy and produced by Ton Roosendaal, it will be the third open movie under the aegis of the Amsterdam-based Blender Institute. I’m responsible for all audio aspects of the movie that range from the film score all the way to the 5.1 re-recording mix.

You can find out more about Sintel on the official production blog and on my references page.