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.
New Caminandes Episode Coming Soon
The success of the first episode of Caminandes, which was released earlier this year, has blown us away. The animated short film about the adventures of the hapless llama (fine, guanaco) Koro clearly struck a nerve with cartoon lovers across the internet and has been selected for a wide range of animation festivals and events. This was more than enough encouragement to set the next episode on its rails, which is being produced in Amsterdam as I write this. That’s the good news. The great news is that the next installment will be twice as long as the first and has twice as many people on board – the original team is reinforced with 3D wunderkinds Hjalti Hjálmarsson, Andy Goralczyk and Juan Pablo Bouza, and Sergey Sharybin joins the project as technical director.
The next Caminandes episode is set for a November/December release and, once again, will feature an orchestral score and sound design by yours truly. Keep an eye on the production blog, where the team periodically shares their progress!
“Detective Agency No. 2” Nominated for Jerry Goldsmith Award
I’m very happy to announce that my music for Detective Agency No. 2, a series of detective stories for young readers written by Norwegian author Jørn Lier Horst and illustrated by Hans Jørgen Sandnes, has been nominated for Best Music in Advertisement at the 2013 Jerry Goldsmith Awards! The annual Jerry Goldsmith Award ceremony takes place as part of the International Film Music Festival in Córdoba, Spain, and in recent years has become one of the most renowned and sought-after recognitions for young media composers in Europe.
This has been my fifth nomination for the award overall, and I’m very grateful and honored for the recognition. The ceremony will take place on the 25th of June with attendance by veteran composers such as Rachel Portman (Chocolat, Oliver Twist) and last year’s Academy Award™ winner Mychael Danna (Life of Pi).
Spices and Beaches and Lemurs, Oh My! TOURATECH Explores Madagascar
In their newest documentary feature Madagascar Diary, the Touratech crew travels across the fascinating island to the southeastern coast of Africa. Equipped with shiny new BMW prototype motorcycles and accompanied by a film crew directed by Wolfgang Danner, Herbert and Ramona Schwarz explore the vibrant wilderness between the sunny beaches of Nosy Bé and the urban scenery of Antananarivo. The result is a stunning, feature-length travel documentary, which is now available on DVD in the Touratech Webshop.
The project called for an eclectic, mostly acoustical music score that blends catchy folk-pop with the traditional African and Asian influences predominant in Madagascan music. For what marks my seventh collaboration with Touratech, I’ve written and produced more than 25 minutes of music for the film, some of which can be heard in its trailer.
Detective Agency No. 2
Targeted at young readers of ages 5–10, Detective Agency No. 2 is a series of illustrated children’s detective stories that has been launched successfully in the end of 2012 on the Norwegian market by publisher Gyldendal, and will be making its push to the European market this year. The stories are written by accomplished Norwegian author of criminal stories, Jørn Lier Horst, and are illustrated by Hans Jørgen Sandnes.
In addition to the printed books, an audio book adaptation of the series’ first two installments (titled Operasjon Mørkemann and Operasjon Tordensky) has been published in 2013. For this release, I’ve written and produced a catchy and playful jazz big-band soundtrack in the vein of Henri Mancini’s works. The title theme, dubbed Tiril & Oliver’s Theme, is also being featured in the international and Norwegian advertisement trailers for the book series, and has consequently been nominated for Best Music in Advertisement at the 2013 Jerry Goldsmith Awards, one of Europe’s largest film music festival competitions.
Listen to Tiril & Oliver’s Theme on SoundCloud:
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.