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Short Scores: Beau Zwart

In Short Scores, Eye on Sound playfully pushes at the boundaries of film music. We asked a new generation of musicians and composers to create new mini film scores to accompany a short piece of film of their choice from Eye’s collection. Beau Zwart chose Venetië, havengezicht met gondels (1898).

By Thijs Havens17 June 2022

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For Short Scores, Beau Zwart wrote a new soundtrack for Venetië, havengezicht met gondels (1898), a fragment from Eye's collection.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Beau Zwart (1995). I am a Rotterdam artist and film composer with a focus on electronic dance music, combining my classical and jazz background with music technology. Since graduating from the HKU in Music and Technology I have been releasing music on many national and international labels, and performing improvised live performances. As a film composer, I was recently nominated for the BUMA Music in Motion awards for the best original composition in a full-length film with the soundtrack for the documentary Drama Girl (2020). Both in my autonomous and applied work, my goal is to transcend the boundaries of genres and make complex music accessible.

Why did you choose this specific film fragment?

The contradiction of romantic gondolas and mechanical steamers immediately appealed to me. The images of the water below the rowers and the steaming stationary ship immediately created a theme: the connection and struggle between man and machine.

What inspired you in making this score?

The Italian atmosphere of the video inspired me to transform 'traditional' Italian film music into a contemporary sound. Think Henry Mancini and Piero Piccioni using equipment from Kraftwerk and Mica Levi. It seemed an interesting challenge to transform the composition techniques and instrumentation of the Italian heroes into analog synthesizers.

How did you tackle the project?

I started by composing the score for the full movie on sheet music. This composition was arranged with strings and winds, keeping the Italian atmosphere as much as possible. I used these parts to control my synthesizers. I combined the sounds from the synthesizers with real instruments from an orchestra so that the symbolic interplay between man and machine became audible. All I missed was the battle, which I made audible in the second part through an electronic piece based on underground dance music. Thematically, this is a hint to the present, because the connection and struggle between man and machine can still be felt in our time.

All Short Scores to date

Every three weeks, we will add a new clip accompanied by fresh new music to the Short Scores collection, which will therefore keep growing.

Watch all Short Scores clips