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Short Scores: Wanderwelle

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. Wanderwelle chose Funeral Procession of the Misericordia (1898).

By Thijs Havens17 December 2021

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For Short Scores, Wanderwelle wrote a new soundtrack for Funeral Procession of the Misericordia (1898), a fragment from Eye's collection.

Could you briefly introduce yourself?

We are Alexander Bartels (1993) and Phil van Dulm (1993), and together we are the Wanderwelle collective. We compose and produce electro-acoustic music and perform in the Netherlands and abroad. Our fifth studio album All Hands Bury The Cliffs At Sea is set for release in the near future on Important Records from the US. The album was inspired by the huge consequences of coastal erosion exacerbated by the climate crisis. We also published our graphic novel De Duizendpoot [the millipede] on the 29th of October in collaboration with illustrator Floor van het Nederend. The book marks our debut as scriptwriters.

The two members of Wanderwelle walking through dunes in black winter coats.
Photo: Wanderwelle

Why did you pick this specific piece of film?

We were looking for one that provided enough elements to base a somewhat eerie piece of music on. We soon felt drawn to footage of processionals in which a mysterious brotherhood clad in black hoods slowly approach the viewer. The men are carrying an object hidden by dark cloth. Throughout the excerpt it remains unclear what exactly is being carried. A reliquary? The icon of a saint? Or something entirely different …?

What inspired you to draft this score?

The excerpt mainly. The images immediately evoked more questions than answers which meant we soon had an idea which direction we wanted to take the music in. For example, we were looking for a specific sound that would suit the footage, but would also contrast with it somewhat. In general the creepy aspects of certain films, art and literature inspire us. These images also immediately exuded a particular atmosphere that intrigued us.

How did you tackle the project?

We used an organ tone we had recorded for our previous album, manipulated it and then merged it with distorted church bells to create an ecclesiastic-sounding drone. Because the excerpt is quite short, we decided to not choose a clearly definable form as far as the work’s structure was concerned. For instance, we opted for a developing harmony that carefully corresponds to what can be seen on screen. Alongside the abovementioned sounds, we added a distorted brass section and a filtered synthesizer tone that slowly make themselves more apparent as the piece progresses. We subsequently decided to add an element of sound design to be able to steer the narrative our way somewhat. For example, the barking of a pack of dogs increases in volume as the procession gets closer. Are the dogs scared of what they see? Or are they trapped in the mysterious chest the brotherhood carries on their shoulders? We are fascinated by the idea that sound can markedly influence the viewing experience and can even completely alter the visual storyline. We therefore tried to turn the actual event into a fictional one using music and simple sound design.

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