We are BLUWI
by Timo Blunck
Music matters, and if I have to dredge up Oscar-winner Alfred Hitchcock to prove it.
He knew that music can convey emotions where images cannot. And so does sound – not only did Hitchcock employ composer legend Bernard Herrmann for the score, but also avantgarde musicians Oskar Sala and Remi Gassman to supply the sound effects for ‘The Birds’ (1963).
Fast forward to the 90ies and another cinematic icon, David Lynch: ‘Sound is almost like a drug. It’s so pure that when it goes in your ears, it instantly does something to you. And you can tell if that’s working for you.’
That’s how far I will go with trying to conjure up a semi-pretentious intro for what is meant to be a short manifesto for our music and sounddesign company BLUWI.
Every professional and responsible film producer, director etc. knows not to neglect the audio, and if so inclined to actually taking the time reading this here pamphlet, I assume you are at least somehow blessed with a little knowledge of the area.
So let’s get down to business:
BLUWI has been around since the late 80ies – founders Stefan Will and myself had played in several bands, among them avantgarde-punk band ‘Palais Schaumburg’ and the westcoast-rock influenced ‘Grace Kairos’, before starting what was then kind of new territory in Germany – a company that composed and produced music for TV-commercials. Moving to London in 1990 and from there to the states in ‘93, I had first hand experience with the concept of working creatively for other people – something not every musician is comfortable with. 20+ years and lots of growing pains later, we have found and perfected a formula to keep the ego in check, while still pouring our hearts into every project crossing our (by now mostly virtual) doorstep.
Formula? More to the point – how do you not lose passion having to write for somebody else? You embrace the process! Music is not a science and cannot be measured in miles or pounds. Just as it goes straight to your heart, it is decided by your gut. So if you’re happy with your composition, give your client the right to feel the same way about it – or not. Rather give her/him the option to listen to a few more ideas that she/he might like than pushing the one you’ve been labouring over for the past 3 days. In fact, at BLUWI every job starts with an internal pitch ... wait, back up a little – I might have to elaborate what BLUWI is by now ...
WE are BLUWI – 10 composers based in 4 cities, aged from early 20ies to early 50ies, coming from all different kinds of musical backgrounds, handled (oh, they hate that word – how about guided?) by 4 experienced producers. The ratio speaks for itself – this is a company founded and dominated by musicians – the emphasis is on creation. We are not an agency dealing with a faceless legion of everchanging mercenaries, nor are we promoting another catalogue or archive of library music. At BLUWI, everything is made to order – the briefing/storyboard/treatment comes in and we go to work. BLUWI-style. Yes, we have a style – defined by our roster of composers and fine-tuned by what we hold very highly since day one – production value. We don’t cut corners – what can be played, will be played. And what has to be programmed ... which brings up the subject of authenticity – our composers cover a lot of ground – from classical film score to purely electronic sound design. But when in doubt, we get in the specialists. We are constantly updating our extended circle of artists with our very own A&R department – and again, we’re not talking about a bunch of ‘tracks’, these guys start from scratch, just like the rest of us.
With our current studios in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and New York (plus a satellite in New Orleans), we are not only able to be close to the people we work for, but also to tap into the unique talent each of these cities provide. This is especially true for singers – we pride ourselves on having a special relationship with the most marvelous instrument, the human voice.
Over the years, BLUWI has gone where no musician has gone before ... not quite, but we ventured into other areas, found interesting new niches or simply adapted to the changing market. BLUWI now composes a lot of feature film music, handles corporate image films or sound CI’S, does sounddesign and music for websites and produces for what is called ‘spatial communication’, media installations in museums or, for example, in several pavilions at the last two world-expos. This includes designing and implementing multi-channel sound solutions and mixes beyond Dolby 9.1.
We are now what they call an ‘award-winning’ company (the term always makes me chuckle) – but, since it’s part of the game, we collected quite a few of those statues over the years, as you can see in our awards category.
And, to bring this story arc to a somewhat elegant close, one of our latest projects, the german film ‘Barbara’, recently made it on the shortlist for an Oscar-nomination/best foreign film.
T. +49. 40. 278 78 567
F. +49. 40. 278 06 612
M. +49. 151. 40 51 00 34
M. +49. 172. 912 35 20
M. +49. 151. 58 88 44 64
EBERSWALDER STR. 6
T. +49. 30. 60 95 49 91
F. +49. 30. 60 95 49 93
M. +49. 172. 99 88 2 44
T. +49. 89. 32163981
M. +49. 179. 79 73 094
BLUWI New York
88 NORTH 1ST STREET
11211 BROOKLYN, NY
M. +1 917 797 6197
M. +1 702 606 9482