Tag Archives: Soundtrack

SUISA Workshop at “Soundtrack Zurich”

Do you have any questions about remuneration for online uses of music in films, series or commercials? Visit the SUISA workshop at the “Soundtrack Zurich”, part of the Zurich Film Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

SUISA Workshop at “Soundtrack Zurich”

Workshop during the second instalment of the “Soundtrack Zurich”, the professional event for film and media music, in 2021. (Photo: STZ / ZFF)

For the third time running, “Soundtrack Zurich” will take place during the Zurich Film Festival, a multi-day specialist event on film and media music. The event consists of workshops, panels and case studies on current topics in today’s film and media music scene. One of its aims is to facilitate the interaction between business partners as well as with the international guests of the Zurich Film Festival through networking sessions.

In cooperation with SUISA, “Soundtrack Zurich” also offers music creators a platform to get answers to their questions about revenues in the audiovisual sector. The core topic of this year’s SUISA workshop is the remuneration for online uses of music in films, series and advertising.

SUISA workshop at the Zurich Film Festival
Wednesday, 28/09/2022, Festival Center (Sechseläutenplatz)
12am to 1pm SUISA Digital Challenge: Remuneration for online uses of films, series, advertising
Hands-on workshop in German with Irène Philipp (COO SUISA) and Michael Wohlgemuth (Legal Counsel/Licensing Manager SUISA)
Moderator: Martin Skalsky
A video with the recording of the event will be linked here at the beginning of October.

The Swiss film music conference “Soundtrack Zurich” is curated by Michael P. Aust (“Soundtrack Cologne”) and organised by FFM (Forum Filmmusik) in collaboration with the ZHdK (Zurich University of Arts) and “Soundtrack Cologne”.

The detailed programme and accreditations for the conference are available at:
www.soundtrackzurich.com

Related articles
Music in video gamesMusic in video games: Licensing and Addendum to Rights Administration Agreement What is a video game without sound? Video games are hard to imagine without music. Many games become huge hits precisely because of their music which is often even released as a separate soundtrack. What is the proper licensing procedure for music in video games and what is the purpose of the new Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement? Read more
“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality”“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality” The box-set “Swiss Film Music”, containing three CDs, one DVD and a book, released by FONDATION SUISA, provides fascinating insights into the history of Swiss film music between 1923 and 2012. A conversation with the musicologist and media scientist Mathias Spohr who acted as artistic director for the project. Read more
I want to advertise my products: What steps do I have to take with SUISA?I want to advertise my products: What steps do I have to take with SUISA? The production of advertising involves several areas. If you are producing an audiovisual commercial created and/or disseminated in Switzerland, you have to contact SUISA to obtain a licence to disseminate the commercial. This may raise several issues. The main points are addressed below. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any questions about remuneration for online uses of music in films, series or commercials? Visit the SUISA workshop at the “Soundtrack Zurich”, part of the Zurich Film Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

SUISA Workshop at “Soundtrack Zurich”

Workshop during the second instalment of the “Soundtrack Zurich”, the professional event for film and media music, in 2021. (Photo: STZ / ZFF)

For the third time running, “Soundtrack Zurich” will take place during the Zurich Film Festival, a multi-day specialist event on film and media music. The event consists of workshops, panels and case studies on current topics in today’s film and media music scene. One of its aims is to facilitate the interaction between business partners as well as with the international guests of the Zurich Film Festival through networking sessions.

In cooperation with SUISA, “Soundtrack Zurich”...read more

Music in video games: Licensing and Addendum to Rights Administration Agreement

What is a video game without sound? Video games are hard to imagine without music. Many games become huge hits precisely because of their music which is often even released as a separate soundtrack. What is the proper licensing procedure for music in video games and what is the purpose of the new Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement? Text by Michael Wohlgemuth

Music in video games: Licensing and Addendum to Rights Administration Agreement

Gaming corner at the internet café: every game has to have the right sound. (Photo: OHishiapply / Shutterstock.com)

The video-game industry has been chalking up continuous growth for years. The corona crisis gave earnings in this sector an additional boost. Never before have so many people consumed video games, whether on their smartphones, tablets, consoles, or PCs.

Although music plays a significant part in this success story, video-game producers have so far only cooperated with collective management organisations in isolated cases. Instead, the producers have worked directly with authors and artists who do not belong to a collective management organisation, which has enabled them to sign what are known as “buy-out dealsˮ.

This is mostly still the case today. To improve its members’ competitive chances in this flourishing market, SUISA has prepared a new addendum to the rights management agreement.

Buy-out
In a buy-out, the author transfers all their rights of use in their works to the producer against payment of a single lump-sum amount. As a result, once the purchase price is paid, the author is not entitled to any further revenues from royalties or neighbouring rights. As a rule, members of collective management organisations cannot sign buy-out agreements because they have transferred their rights of use to their collective management organisation. The very purpose of the collective management organisation is to ensure that its members receive royalties for every new use of their works. Clearly, a compromise had to be found in the case of video games (see text).

Basic principles

What music rights must a video-game producer acquire?

To produce or reproduce a video game, the producer must acquire the following rights:

  • Synchronisation right: This is the right to set an audiovisual work (in this case, a video game) to music. SUISA members (or their publishers) may settle the synchronisation rights directly with the video-game producer.
  • Reproduction and physical distribution rights: These rights are necessary to reproduce a musical work on a video or data carrier and to distribute the recording thereafter. SUISA manages the reproduction and distribution rights. The new addendum provides that these rights may be excluded from the rights administration agreement (for more, see the section “New Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement for SUISA members”).
  • Online rights (download and streaming): Nowadays, most games are also – or only – sold on Internet for the buyer to download. In order to make a game available for downloading, the video-game producer or the online distributor (e.g. the platforms Steam or Origin) need to acquire a downloading licence.
    Certain video games can only be played by streaming on a browser, for example. This then requires a streaming licence.
    SUISA manages these online rights. Such rights cannot be excluded from the rights administration agreement by the addendum.
  • Neighbouring rights: Neighbouring rights are the rights of the performers and the rights in the sound recording. These two rights are collectively referred to as “Master Rights”.
    Authors who play their compositions themselves and produce their own recordings may licence these rights, as a performer and recording producer combined, directly to the video-game producer for all uses. Otherwise, the owner of the Master Rights must license them separately to the video-game producer. SUISA does not manage these rights.

For legal questions relating to video games, please contact our Legal Department: legalservices (at) suisa (dot) ch

New Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement for SUISA members

Buy-outs are, as we stated above, customary practice for video-game producers. This has repeatedly placed SUISA members at a competitive disadvantage on the video-game music market because of their membership. Producers have preferred to work with authors who do not belong to a collective management organisation and who can therefore freely dispose of their rights.

The new addendum is designed to eliminate the competitive disadvantage for our members while maintaining the basic fundamentals of collective management. Since buy-outs cannot be reconciled with the basic principles of fair and usage-based remuneration, SUISA has opted for a compromise solution.

The new addendum to the rights administration agreement enables SUISA members for the first time to settle the synchronisation, reproduction, and distribution rights for commissioned compositions in one package directly with the video-game producers. At the same time, SUISA will continue to manage online uses like downloads or streamings – as is also the case in the film sector.

All other rights of use remain with SUISA in accordance with the rights administration agreement. Thus, when music from a video game is broadcast on the radio or performed at events, for example, SUISA will assert the rights of its member composer.

In practice, for the reproduction and distribution rights to be excluded from the rights administration agreement, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • the work must be a commissioned composition. Pre-existing works that have already been published cannot be excluded from the rights administration agreement.
  • • When the work is commissioned, the following particulars must be communicated to SUISA:
    • title of the work and video game;
    • playing time of the work;
    • name and address of the principal;
    • name and address of the game producer;
    • nature and aim of the game.
  • The exclusion cannot apply to games which are used by a company for advertising, sponsoring or other purposes in association with presentations about the company itself or its products and services.

The Addendum can be obtained from the Members’ Department: authors (at) suisa (dot) ch

Licences and tariffs

What fees does SUISA apply for online uses?

Online platforms (domestic*)

These licence fees apply to online platforms offering video games for streaming or downloading.

Downloads 2% of total revenues Minimum fee
Generally CHF 500 per 100,000 downloads or streams
Subscription 2% of total revenues Minimum fee
CHF 0.15 per subscriber per month

*The licensing for international platforms like Steam, Uplay, Playstation Store etc. is handled through our subsidiary SUISA Digital Licensing AG.

Other online uses (e.g. game-playing via live-streaming or browser)

The following licence fees only apply if the producer or publisher itself distributes the game (e.g. via its own website):

General 2% of total revenues Minimum fee
A. Music only in the game menu and intro or outro sequences
CHF 400 per 100,000 downloads or streams
B. Games with in-game background music
CHF 500 per 100,000 downloads or streams
C. Games with a focus on music
CHF 600 per 100,000 downloads or streams
Advertising games 2% of total revenues Minimum fee
A. Music only in the game menu and intro or outro sequences
CHF 800 per 100,000 downloads or streams
B. Games with in-game background music
CHF 1,000 per 100,000 downloads or streams
C. Games with a focus on music
CHF 1,200 per 100,000 downloads or streams

What fees does SUISA apply for reproduction and distribution rights?

Since video games are audiovisual productions, Tariff VI applies. The main points of this tariff are:

Physical reproduction for sale

  • 3.3% of the retail sales price, or of costs (if the game is distributed for free)
  • 4.4% of the actual invoiced price (AIP) if the customer has concluded a multiannual contract with SUISA covering royalty settlements and can furnish to SUISA the breakdown of its sales with the number of units and sales price per audiovisual recording per accounting period. The AIP is the price invoiced by the customer to the retailer or, if the customer does not distribute the recordings itself, the actual wholesale price invoiced by the customer’s official distributor.
  • The applicable rate is reduced as follows:
    storage space of the protected music to total storage capacity of the carrier
    (e.g. 500 MB protected music to 2000 MB storage capacity of the carrier = 75% fee reduction)
  • Minimum fee:
    29 centimes per game with music, regardless of its playing time,
    2.2 centimes per minute of music and per audiovisual recording, subject to a maximum of 29 centimes per audiovisual recording if the customer provides SUISA with an accurate breakdown of the music in the game.

Special case: Commissioned music by SUISA members

If a member of SUISA composes commissioned music for a game and signs the Video Game Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement, the licence fee can be negotiated directly with the game producer without involving SUISA.

Production music mark-up

The use of production music managed by SUISA is subject to the following mark-ups:

  • for the synchronisation right: 50%
  • for neighbouring rights:
    • 50% of the total remuneration for the reproduction rights under Tariff VI (see above) and the synchronisation rights if the game is distributed only in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
    • 100% of the total remuneration for the reproduction rights under Tariff VI (see above) and the synchronisation rights if the game is distributed internationally.

For video-game licensing or inquiries, please contact: customerservices (at) suisa (dot) ch

Related articles
Online licensing activities require early work registrationsOnline licensing activities require early work registrations From a sales perspective, online music distribution provides enormous opportunities. With little effort, music can be made available to a global audience within an instant. The distribution of copyright royalties, however, is complex when it comes to online usages. This is also due to the fact that the processes differ from those for performing and broadcasting rights. The most important advice is: First, register the work with SUISA as early as possible, then publish it online. Read more
Livestream licensing by SUISALivestream licensing by SUISA Driven by the pandemic, livestreaming of the most varied forms of events has grown in significance. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to share an event with a virtual audience despite the applicable bans and restrictions. This article outlines SUISA’s licensing practice and terms and conditions for livestreams. Read more
The Royalty Report is onlineThe Royalty Report is online News about “My account”: Thanks to user-friendly graphics, the Royalty Report provides a quick overview of how the copyright royalties developed over the last five years and allows individual analyses per mouse click. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

What is a video game without sound? Video games are hard to imagine without music. Many games become huge hits precisely because of their music which is often even released as a separate soundtrack. What is the proper licensing procedure for music in video games and what is the purpose of the new Addendum to the Rights Administration Agreement? Text by Michael Wohlgemuth

Music in video games: Licensing and Addendum to Rights Administration Agreement

Gaming corner at the internet café: every game has to have the right sound. (Photo: OHishiapply / Shutterstock.com)

The video-game industry has been chalking up continuous growth for years. The corona crisis gave earnings in this sector an additional boost. Never before have so many people consumed video games, whether on their smartphones, tablets, consoles, or PCs.

Although music plays a significant part in this success story, video-game producers have so...read more

I want to advertise my products: What steps do I have to take with SUISA?

The production of advertising involves several areas. If you are producing an audiovisual commercial created and/or disseminated in Switzerland, you have to contact SUISA to obtain a licence to disseminate the commercial. This may raise several issues. The main points are addressed below. Text by Anne-Françoise Emery

I want to advertise my products: What steps do I have to take with SUISA?

SUISA is an indispensable interlocutor for the production of commercials. (Photo: Proxima Studio / Shutterstuck.com)

Music is a key factor affecting the reach of a commercial and is vital to the successful marketing of the product concerned. Choosing the music is therefore an important decision. A commercial with music does not have the same impact as a commercial without it – and a well-known title will give the production a different feel than one that is unknown. If you wish to use an existing title, you must first obtain permission from the rightholders. The rights concerned – synchronisation rights – are not normally managed by SUISA, but directly by the rightholders (mostly publishers).

You may also buy production music which is available on specialised websites. Alternatively, you may commission music from a composer especially for your commercial. This is known as commissioned music.

Registering your commercials with SUISA

Whether or not your commercial contains music, you must declare your production to SUISA. SUISA identifies all audiovisual productions and issues licences for music reproduction rights and music uses. You need to have a licence with a SUISA number in order to broadcast your commercial on television, in cinema theatres or on Internet.

SUISA needs the following information to identify your commercial:

  • particulars of the commercial (title, duration);
  • particulars of the music (title, composers, publishers, playing time of the music used in the commercial);
  • planned broadcast/usage schedule on Internet;
  • customer’s particulars.

Once this information is provided, a licence can be issued quickly. You may send us this information quickly and easily using the form available online.

You must declare each commercial even if there are several versions of the same commercial. You may declare several commercials on a single form.

If your commercial was produced abroad but there is an arranged version (post-production) for the Swiss territory, please indicate this on the form.

Different rights concerned

The reproduction rights you pay to SUISA allow you to disseminate the recording of your commercial on television, in cinema theatres or on Internet. The rights are payable once for the entire duration of use of the commercial. You may thus use the commercial several times at different periods, but you only have to pay the reproduction rights once.

The copyrights for the dissemination of the commercial on television or in cinema theatres are paid by the broadcaster or the theatres. You do not therefore pay the broadcasting rights for offline dissemination to SUISA. The situation is different concerning Internet: you are liable for the rights for making-available on Internet (online). The licence fee is graduated depending on the media budget of the advertising campaign. You must report each new wave of the campaign to SUISA.

Analogue commercials, “free domain” works and commissioned compositions

All advertising must be declared, but there are cases where no invoice is payable. The different language versions and short versions are treated like analogue commercials. Accordingly, no reproduction rights are due. However, if these commercials are made available on Internet, you must communicate the media budgets to us, and we will prepare an invoice based on that amount. Commercials without any music, or using non-arranged music in the public domain, or music free of rights are not subject to a fee.

But the designation “free of rights” may only apply to certain uses or may not apply to our territory. You may therefore still receive an invoice although you bought the music on a site claiming that its music is “free of rights”. We must respect the agreements we sign with our partners and collect the agreed fees if one of the rightholders is a member of a collective management organisation. To avoid the impression of paying twice, do not hesitate to make the necessary inquiries of your provider.

Similarly, if you commission someone to create the music for your commercial, the agreement you sign with them will only concern the creative work and the right to use the music (synchronisation right), but not the author’s rights if they are members of a collective management organisation. These are not the same rights.

How much does it cost and where does the money go?

The fees for reproduction rights vary depending on the visibility of the commercial. The minimum (for a single local broadcasting) is CHF 7 per second of music. The same second of music will cost CHF 60 for a national broadcasting. The synchronisation rights are not included. The licence has to be negotiated directly with the rightholder. In the case of production music, synchronisation rights are included with a 50% mark-up on the reproduction rights tariffs. All the rates are listed in our tariff (section 5).

The licence fee for the dissemination of online campaigns is a percentage (2.15%) of the amount paid for placing the advertisement (media budget) with a minimum fee of CHF 200. For further information see our licensing terms and conditions.

The fees collected by SUISA are distributed to the music creators (composer, lyricist, publisher) net of a 15% deduction covering administrative costs.

Our team remains at your disposal for any further information: contact us by email advertising (at) suisa (dot) ch or by phone at +41 21 614 32 28 / 30.

Related articles
Music in companies: What to bear in mindMusic in companies: What to bear in mind Music plays an important role in many businesses. It creates a pleasant atmosphere for customers, guests, and employees, it enhances advertising messages, and is an important part of corporate events. The rights to use music are easy to obtain from SUISA. Depending on the type of use, different tariffs and rates apply. Read more
Common Tariff 3a: A hundred thousand new SUISA business customersCommon Tariff 3a: A hundred thousand new SUISA business customers | plus video With regards to Common Tariff 3a (CT 3a), SUISA has been managing all customers directly again since 01 January 2019. In order to do so, data of about 100,000 customers which received their 3a invoices via Billag in the past years, has been migrated into the SUISA systems. A new team of 16 staff is responsible for all customers of this tariff and provides customer service in four languages. Read more
Livestream licensing by SUISALivestream licensing by SUISA Driven by the pandemic, livestreaming of the most varied forms of events has grown in significance. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to share an event with a virtual audience despite the applicable bans and restrictions. This article outlines SUISA’s licensing practice and terms and conditions for livestreams. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

The production of advertising involves several areas. If you are producing an audiovisual commercial created and/or disseminated in Switzerland, you have to contact SUISA to obtain a licence to disseminate the commercial. This may raise several issues. The main points are addressed below. Text by Anne-Françoise Emery

I want to advertise my products: What steps do I have to take with SUISA?

SUISA is an indispensable interlocutor for the production of commercials. (Photo: Proxima Studio / Shutterstuck.com)

Music is a key factor affecting the reach of a commercial and is vital to the successful marketing of the product concerned. Choosing the music is therefore an important decision. A commercial with music does not have the same impact as a commercial without it – and a well-known title will give the production a different feel than one that is unknown. If you wish to use an existing title, you...read more

“Us composers, we are like surgeons for peopleʼs souls”

Romanian composer Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi attracted international attention at a young age. He moved to Switzerland in 2019 and recently joined SUISA. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi: “Us composers, we are like surgeons for peopleʼs souls”

New SUISA member: Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi. (Photo: Markus Ganz)

The music of Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi doesn’t just fit into one category: Born in 1989, the Romanian composes orchestral works, chamber music and choral works as well as soundtracks for film, theatre and games. He is “a true talent who combines creativity and versatility” reads the argumentation for the 2022 International Classical Music Awards Composer Of The Year Award. Among his many awards is the “Golden Eye” of the International Film Music Competition for the soundtrack to the animated short film “Happiness” – 304 composers from 44 countries had applied.

And yet Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi is modest, even humble, in the interview. “Sometimes I feel really small by having such giants of composers behind me, whose works we are analysing during our training.” He also sometimes felt daunted at festivals for contemporary music, but only in the beginning. “There are unknown composers presenting me with such clever theories and algorithms that I can hardly wait to apply them myself. But then I listen to their music and think to myself that they avoid everything that has anything to do with terms like “soul”, “inspiration” or “feelings”. As a consequence, there is often no communication. And that’s what music is supposed to be all about.”

Search for authenticity

Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi’s credo that he was not on a journey of originality, but one of authenticity, fits in with this. “It is not a search for novelty in terms of sound, but one for the most sincere, eloquent and meaningful musical manifestation.” In the context of talking about musical poetry, Stravinsky once said originality was a monster. For Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi, originality has something dishonest about it, as it is always just a means to an end, a tool to succeed … “Authenticity, on the other hand, involves honesty, honesty in the sense of a journey of self-discovery that raises questions. Who am I? Who am I in relationship to other people? Why am I composing music while other people are saving lives?”

It is questions like these that have been on Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi’s mind all the time, ever since he was in Romania for his first year of studies. “One of my teachers, Dan Voiculescu, said that as composers, we were like surgeons for people’s hearts and souls. That was a bit too poetic for me. But, once in a while, there are people who come up to me after a performance of one of my works and admit that the music moved them, some with tears in their eyes. This kind of reaction is one of the main reasons why I continue writing music and perhaps this is what authenticity is all about.” But he does not hide the fact that composing also has a hedonistic side for him. “Of course, I love the thrill of discovery; for me composing is like writing a story that is unravelling itself to me.”

Wages for compositions

For Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi composing also signifies a struggle to “find meaning in something that is not financially rewarding. The bohemian approach only worked until I got married, became the father of a child – and moved to the most expensive country in the world.” This made it all the more important for him to find a solid solution for his earnings from copyright. “As a composer, the royalties you receive from the performance of your music are essential. After several projects in Switzerland and talking to colleagues who are members of SUISA, I realised that I also wanted to join SUISA.”

In view of the high cost of living in Switzerland, however, the pressure to accept commissioned compositions is also great, explains the Romanian in his small studio, into which the piercing sounds of the dental clinic below sometimes penetrate. “Sometimes, just like now, I’m working on five or six projects at once – it’s insane.” In addition, there is a risk that authenticity would then suffer, which he hates. “That makes it all the more important for me to connect with the person I’m working with. If it’s a movie soundtrack or music for a theatre play, it usually leads to a kind of ping-pong of ideas with the director. If it’s purely a concert piece, then I have to play a kind of ping-pong with myself.”

A nightmare for Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi is, in his own words, to bore people with his music or to use compositional effects to compensate for something that was not there. “After so much education and training, I’ve mastered so many composition techniques that it’s easy for me to make something sound complex.” In fact, not only did he study composition in Romania, Great Britain, and France, but he is also currently finishing a second master’s degree (“Composition for Film, Theater, and Media”) at the Zurich University of the Arts and attended countless master classes by well-known composers. “The greatest joy for me, however, is to combine complexity with simplicity, without falling prey to over-simplification. In other words, that joy occurs when you combine the power of simplicity with what we’ve accumulated in a century of contemporary music.”

Diversity of contemporary music

What remains fundamental to Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi is that he wants the listeners to have a reaction to his music, to not remain inert in the face of his music. “It’s also okay under certain circumstances if they get a little bit angry. But angry as a direct result of them feeling something, something that stirs the very core of their being.” The Romanian is certainly not a radical “Neutöner”, or creator of new sounds, but he did use the sound of a chainsaw in his orchestral piece “Tektonum”. “I didn’t do this to amaze or provoke people. No, in that very moment I had to deal with the musical representation of the end of the world. The entire piece is inspired by our cosmogony, and I had to ultimately represent human nature. Then, by chance, I found this chainsaw sound in my instrument library. So, I thought, yeah, that’s a good symbol for what we’re doing.”

Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi seems to have virtually absorbed the many expressive possibilities of contemporary music. With all this variety, one wonders what is typical about his compositions, whether there are any characteristic features, something unmistakable. The composer hesitates briefly and then says: “You are asking about my style. This was a scary word for me even in Romania, because I felt an academic pressure to ‘find my own voice’. I hated the term even then, because it imposed on me that I could be pigeon-holed, that my music could be labelled as ‘post-structuralist’, ‘influenced by Boulez’, or whatever. I got the feeling that I would have to choose something and then to stick to it and limit myself to that. But that’s not my thing. I want to be able to do everything, to be free. If using multiple styles automatically leads to being perceived as ‘eclectic’ or ‘volatile’ then only time will tell if the pejorative nature of these labels was justified.”

Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi’s music is like a roller coaster, his professor Joe Cutler is said to have once told him. “That was true until about two years ago. However, during my master’s project in Zurich, some lecturers made me question a lot of what I was doing. One of them told me: ‘Sebastian, some of your musical pieces are impressive. But they don’t move me.’ That came as a shock to me and made me question everything.” He said he realised that sometimes he just wanted to please his lecturers. “Stephan Teuwissen, who taught me music dramaturgy in Zurich, told me: ‘Stop looking for dads. I don’t want disciples, I want a challenging adversary.’ So, I must search for my own music in my own way and find the freedom to reinvent myself again and again. If this means that I evolve from one style to the next, then so be it. But if someone asks me what my style is, then the answer is that it is what each piece requires.”

www.sebastianandrone.com, official website of Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi

Related articles
Christian Henking: “As a composer, you’re always a beginner”“As a composer, you’re always a beginner” | plus video In his composition for the project “Swiss Beethoven reflections”, Christian Henking uses the melody of the Swiss song used by Beethoven as a basis. In his six variations, he utilises different principles. Read more
New features in member services of SUISANew features in member services of SUISA SUISA has been enhancing its online service for years now, especially for music authors and music publishers. Self-service is key: It should be easy and comfortable for members to access all SUISA services online. This does not just save time for members: SUISA can thus also increase its efficiency and therefore distribute more money to rightsholders. In 2022, the conditions for membership will also be amended. Read more
Michael Künstle: “Orchestral spaces” or if music becomes spatially tangible when you listen to it“Orchestral spaces” or if music becomes spatially tangible when you listen to it In his work, composer Michael Künstle deals with the interplay between tonal dramatisation and dramatic tones. The 27-year-old Basel resident would now like to take the next step forward in his research by making the sound of an orchestra a spatial experience for the listener. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Romanian composer Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi attracted international attention at a young age. He moved to Switzerland in 2019 and recently joined SUISA. Text by guest author Markus Ganz

Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi: “Us composers, we are like surgeons for peopleʼs souls”

New SUISA member: Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi. (Photo: Markus Ganz)

The music of Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi doesn’t just fit into one category: Born in 1989, the Romanian composes orchestral works, chamber music and choral works as well as soundtracks for film, theatre and games. He is “a true talent who combines creativity and versatility” reads the argumentation for the 2022 International Classical Music Awards Composer Of The Year Award. Among his many awards is the “Golden Eye” of the International Film Music Competition for the soundtrack to the animated short film “Happiness” – 304 composers from 44 countries had applied.

And yet Sebastian Androne-Nakanishi is modest, even humble, in the interview....read more

Swiss Congress on Film and Media Music

From 29 September to 2 October 2020, the film and media music congress “SoundTrack_Zurich” will take place during the Zurich Film Festival. Swiss film and media music professionals can use this event to expand their network, broaden their expertise and exchange ideas with experienced, internationally active business insiders. Text by Erika Weibel

Sountrack Zurich: Swiss Congress on Film and Media Music

SUISA is supporting the first edition of the “SoundTrack_Zurich” film and media music congress, the programme of which is available at www.soundtrackzurich.com. (Photo: SoundTrack_Zurich)

Composers from Switzerland and abroad will share their experience and knowledge with the audience at two nearby locations. During the event, congress participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with international guests of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) in workshops, panels, case studies and lectures on current topics of the Swiss and European film music scene.

“SoundTrack_Zurich” is closely networked with the ZFF and its guests as well as with the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts), where a lively international exchange on university education for film and media music professionals takes place within the framework of the “International Media Music Competition” and Immsane (“International Media Music & Sound Arts – Network in Education”).

Star guest Ray Parker Jr.

Star guest of “SoundTrack_Zurich” is Ray Parker Jr. who composed the title song for the film “Ghostbusters” and will present the world premiere of the documentary “Who You Gonna Call” about his career.

Ray Parker Jr. wrote and performed in hundreds of top 25 hits. He has composed songs, performed on stage and worked as a session musician with some of the biggest icons in the industry, including Barry White, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, The Temptations, The Carpenters and The Supremes.

Copyright issues related to film and media music creation

On the morning of 29 September, lectures and information events will also be held on copyright issues. For example, SUISA experts can answer questions about documentation and cue sheets or provide information on SUISA’s distribution system.

In addition, a panel will be held on the “Digital Challenges” of today’s age, in which IT experts will discuss with business insiders what the future digital value creation in film music creation should look like.

SUISA sponsorship commitment

“Soundtrack_Zurich” is organised by SMECA, curated by Michael P. Aust (“SoundTrack_Cologne”) and organized in cooperation with “SoundTrack_Cologne”, Forum Filmmusik, ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts) and IMMSANE. “Soundtrack_Zurich” is organisationally and financially independent of the Zurich Film Festival.

“SoundTrack_Zurich” is to become a new hub for actors in the international film music scene. Film and media music creation also plays a very important role in the Swiss music business. For this reason, SUISA is pleased to contribute to the organisation of this event as a sponsor.

Web links to the event and the cooperation partners:

SoundTrack_Zurich
Zurich Film Festival
International Film Music Competition
Immsane.com
Smeca
Forum Filmmusik
ZHdK
SoundTrack_Cologne

Related articles
“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality”“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality” The box-set “Swiss Film Music”, containing three CDs, one DVD and a book, released by FONDATION SUISA, provides fascinating insights into the history of Swiss film music between 1923 and 2012. A conversation with the musicologist and media scientist Mathias Spohr who acted as artistic director for the project. Read more
Penny-pinching in digital music distributionPenny-pinching in digital music distribution Business in the online sector has been subject to constant change – not only for copyright societies. In the second part of the interview, SUISA CEO Andreas Wegelin reports on the status quo and provides an outlook on the scenarios that are being discussed. Read more
The revised copyright law has come into forceThe revised copyright law has come into force The coronavirus pandemic has naturally eclipsed this event. Yet the amended Federal Copyright Act came into force on 1 April 2020 after the Pirate Party failed its attempt to launch a popular referendum. Read more
Collapse article
  1. Hallo Erika,
    vielen Dank für die ganzen Infos zum Event. Auf Ray Parker Jr. freue ich mich besonders.
    Werdet ihr im Anschluss wieder darüber berichten?
    Freue mich wieder davon zu lesen.
    Liebe Grüße,
    Christoph

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

From 29 September to 2 October 2020, the film and media music congress “SoundTrack_Zurich” will take place during the Zurich Film Festival. Swiss film and media music professionals can use this event to expand their network, broaden their expertise and exchange ideas with experienced, internationally active business insiders. Text by Erika Weibel

Sountrack Zurich: Swiss Congress on Film and Media Music

SUISA is supporting the first edition of the “SoundTrack_Zurich” film and media music congress, the programme of which is available at www.soundtrackzurich.com. (Photo: SoundTrack_Zurich)

Composers from Switzerland and abroad will share their experience and knowledge with the audience at two nearby locations. During the event, congress participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with international guests of the Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) in workshops, panels, case studies and lectures on current topics of the Swiss and European film music scene.

“SoundTrack_Zurich”...read more

Michel Barengo: sound collector and tinkerer outside the comfort zone

Soak up as much as possible and then process it. That is Michel Barengo’s creed. The 37-year-old Zurich resident will have nothing to do with any comfort zones and now, thanks to the Get Going! grant, can pursue his creative urges on the Japanese underground scene. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Michel Barengo: sound collector and tinkerer outside the comfort zone

Michel Barengo (Photo: Michel Barengo)

Cowbells, the bleating of goats, squeaky doors, cackling hens, the gentle rustling of the wind in the trees, police sirens or lapping water: there is nothing in the world of sound that would not be of interest to Michel Barengo. He is a tireless collector of sounds who has created a substantial audio library of all kinds of sounds in his home studio. “Just sit for ten minutes in a bus station with your eyes closed. It’s incredible what is going on there,” he beams and the passion of this sound architect is unmistakeable from the way his eyes light up.

Now, the 37-year-old Zurich resident is not only a tinkerer with a tendency to make his own music, but is also one of the most in-demand protagonists when it comes to soundtracks for video games or sound backdrops for the theatre. In 2016, he won the FONDATION SUISA prize for the best video game music. But such commissions are just one part of the work of this jack-of-all-trades, who promotes his distinct musical identity with clear ideas.

The skills he has developed enabling him to implement his creative ideas professionally are very impressive. At the age of five, he started playing the violin and drums and afterwards he played in various garage bands with his brothers. They played punk, metal and alternative rock. Influenced by Mr. Bungle and Fantômas, the projects of Californian singer Mike Patton, Barengo followed his path and inevitably discovered the music of New York experimental saxophonist, John Zorn. “Grand Guignol”, the album by Zorn’s band Naked City, was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most influential experience in the still young Michel Barengo’s life. In a primitive yet subtle manner, Zorn deconstructs and reconstructs the music at breathtaking speed and creates an explosive sound cloud that has never been heard before from countless tiny fragments.

“Zorn’s affinity with the Japanese underground led me to begin to take more and more of an interest in the grindcore and experimental scenes there. Bands like Ground Zero, Korekyojinn and Ruins with Tatsuya Yoshida on drums, as well as Otomo Yoshihide on turntables and guitar. That was decisive when it came to my own experimental pieces, ” explains Barengo. The influences in both of his band projects, the jazzcore trio Platypus and grind noise band Five Pound Pocket Universe(5PPU) must not be overlooked.

Professional training

The facts that Barengo can move with ease through his sound cosmos and can build bridge after bridge between his own artistic path and his commissions, over which he dances nimbly, are to do with his professional training. He trained as a jazz drummer at the Winterthur Academy for Modern Music (WIAM) and at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) he obtained his Master’s in composition for film, theatre and media.

Whether opulent sounds reminiscent of Hollywood for a video game, roughly honed small pieces with his band 5PPU or finely crafted sound sample collages with Platypus: Barengo’s eclecticism is invariably fed by his urge to create a completely distinctive aesthetic. One that denies predictions and will not allow the listener to get any peace, because behind every individual sound another one might be lurking which surprises, questions or totally remaps the path laid down beforehand at lightning speed.

A restless person

The nature of the work is also motivated by the character of its creator. “I’m a restless person,” comments Barengo about himself. “There is so much that interests me. I also get bored quickly. I simply have to try things. Ultimately, that’s what drives you: soak up as much as possible and then process it. I like extremes and lots of variety,” he says and then adds, laughing: “It’s probably all down to the fact that I heard ‘Grand Guignol’ when I was just 13. That’s what it did to me.”

Barengo only feels good when he goes out of his comfort zone. And his Get Going! project is also based on an area of tension with two extremes. It has to lead him to a place where tremendous creative tension in the discrepancy between tradition and modern has prevailed for centuries. Barengo’s love of the Japanese underground led him to visit this country around a dozen times and now he wants to get a three-part project going there. “I actually have in mind a project in three phases consisting of two periods of residency in Japan followed by one in Switzerland for reviewing the work and processing it further,” he explains. “Firstly, using improvisation sessions with the Tokyo underground scene, I would like to get to grips with Japanese traditional music and its integration into contemporary music. After this I will meet up with 12 Japanese musicians in 12 hotels, with whom I can record a track in one room consisting of noises I recorded in that particular hotel. And last but not least, back in Switzerland I will review all the material I recorded, archive it for future composition projects and process it for my personal sound library.” The thrill of anticipation about this is great and all thanks to being able to bring it to fruition with financial support from the Get Going! award. “My project doesn’t fit into any existing categories. It’s neither an album production nor a tour. And it’s not working in a studio either. As I follow my creative path, Get Going! frees me from all constraints and compromises. Quite simply ingenious!” he beams. And even though his journey now had to be delayed until next year due to the coronavirus: back at home, the sound collector and tinkerer is unlikely to lose his ideas quickly.

www.michelbarengo.com

FONDATION SUISA started awarding new grants in 2018. Under the heading of “Get Going!”, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. Each year, our Portrait Series profiles recipients of Get Going! funding. The invitation to apply for 2020 expires at the end of August.

Related articles
«Get Going!» goes into the third round«Get Going!» goes into the third round «Get Going!» enables new perspectives: The idea of «Get Going!» is based on the philosophy of «making it possible». «Get Going!» consist of a start-up financing. Four such contributions of CHF 25 000.- each per year are advertised. Read more
Sampling and RemixesSampling and Remixes The articles about arrangements in the “Good to know” series have so far focused on “conventional” arrangements of musical works. Sampling and remixes are two additional and specific forms of arrangement. What rights need to be secured when existing recordings are used to produce a new work? What agreements have to be contracted? Read more
Cyril Bondi: “This crisis is indicative of a sick society”“This crisis is indicative of a sick society” Today, in the context of our “Music for Tomorrow” project, we are introducing Swiss jazz and improvisation musician Cyril Bondi, and his piece “We Need to Change”. In a written interview, Cyril tells us why he believes that politics and not the virus are responsible for the current crisis. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Soak up as much as possible and then process it. That is Michel Barengo’s creed. The 37-year-old Zurich resident will have nothing to do with any comfort zones and now, thanks to the Get Going! grant, can pursue his creative urges on the Japanese underground scene. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Michel Barengo: sound collector and tinkerer outside the comfort zone

Michel Barengo (Photo: Michel Barengo)

Cowbells, the bleating of goats, squeaky doors, cackling hens, the gentle rustling of the wind in the trees, police sirens or lapping water: there is nothing in the world of sound that would not be of interest to Michel Barengo. He is a tireless collector of sounds who has created a substantial audio library of all kinds of sounds in his home studio. “Just sit for ten minutes in a bus station with your eyes closed....read more

“Orchestral spaces” or if music becomes spatially tangible when you listen to it

In his work, composer Michael Künstle deals with the interplay between tonal dramatisation and dramatic tones. The 27-year-old Basel resident would now like to take the next step forward in his research by making the sound of an orchestra a spatial experience for the listener. FONDATION SUISA is supporting this project financially with Get Going! funding. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Michael Kuenstle: “Orchestral spaces” or if music becomes spatially tangible when you listen to it

The composer Michael Künstle (left) from Basel at work in the recording studio. (Photo: Oliver Hochstrasser)

Michael Künstle was completely surprised to win the International Film Music Competition in the 2012 Zurich Film Festival when he was just 21. “At that time, I had just begun my studies”, he comments today, adding, “I am only just starting to understand the significance of this prize now. It was a kind of springboard, also because it has always been an award for competence that nobody can take away from you”.

In the competition, Künstle was up against 144 fellow composers from 27 countries who were all set exactly the same task: composing the score for the short animated film “Evermore” by Philip Hofmänner. Anyone watching the film today can imagine what might have impressed the jury back then: Künstle came up with amazingly subtle sounds, which enhanced the story of the film.

“The fantastic thing about film music is that it is the result of a close exchange with others. A film represents an interplay between countless people and it is vital to take all aspects into consideration: camera work, use of colour and setting”, is the way Künstle explains his fascination with the genre. “The biggest challenge in a film is to say something with the music which has not yet been said in words or pictures, but which is essential for telling the story right up to the end.”

Whether it is in Gabriel Baur’s “Glow”, “Sohn meines Vaters” by Jeshua Dreyfus or “Cadavre Exquis” by Viola von Scarpatetti: the list of films for which Künstle is responsible for the soundtrack keeps on getting longer. The enthusiasm with which Künstle expresses his specialist know-how and thirst for knowledge in conversation is contagious. Also if he is talking about the greats in this field: Bernard Hermann’s knowledge of composition, for instance, or the unique capability of John Williams, “whose works clearly sound like orchestral pieces when listened to without the film, even though they suit the film for which they were written perfectly. This is incredibly difficult to accomplish, because symphonic music traditionally allows closer narrative structures than a film”.

“In contemporary music, the space is often just as important as other compositional elements, such as the subject matter or rhythm, but this essential aspect is often lost in the recording.”

Although he differentiates between concert music and film scores in his own work, he admits “that you can never fully give up one if you do the other”. Elements that he developed in collaboration with director Gabriel Baur for the film “Glow” found their way into the piece “Résonance”, performed by Trio Eclipse in 2016. “But in my concert music, it is mainly a question of compositional forms and structural ideas that cannot be expressed in the film.”

The idea for the project, that FONDATION SUISA is now going to jointly finance with a Get Going! grant, ultimately arose from another important aspect of Künstle’s creativity. Künstle follows, as he emphasises, a philosophy of the “real” which is as close as possible to an actual recital, thanks to the most up-to-date recording techniques. In collaboration with his working partner, Daniel Dettwiler, who owns the “Idee und Klang” (Idea and Sound) studio in Basel, and who, for years, has been researching new recording techniques, Künstle would like to create a spatial composition that can be listened to in a way that had not existed before.

“In contemporary music, the space is often just as important as other compositional elements, such as the subject matter or rhythm, but this essential aspect is often lost in the recording”, is the way he explains the starting point. “I want to reach a point where people listening on headphones hear the three-dimensional space occupied by the orchestra during recording, as if they could literally ‘feel’ the music.” For many years, this research and in a specific way also the conquest of these “orchestral spaces”, was just an idea for Künstle, because, as he stresses, “You can only make this happen in a studio with the best possible sound and the best microphones available”.

Thanks to Get Going!, the next step in this audiophile revolution can now become a reality and in no-less than London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios with an 80-piece orchestra. Therefore, Künstle will compose a piece in which the space where the recording takes place will play a central role. “I want to turn the composition process on its head”, is how he underscores the objective of his project. “Just like film music”, he adds. Again here, first and foremost you start with what you hear. Therefore completing the circle.

www.michaelkuenstle.ch

FONDATION SUISA started awarding new grants in 2018. Under the heading of “Get Going!”, creative and artistic processes that do not fall within established categories are given a financial jump-start. Our Portrait Series profiles recipients of Get Going! funding.

Related articles
“Get Going!” goes into its second round: “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age”“Get Going!” goes into its second round: “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age” Last year, FONDATION SUISA awarded four innovation grants under the title “Get Going!” for the first time in order to promote groundbreaking creative concepts outside the usual boxes. The positive reactions that were received were overwhelming. At the end of June 2019, the call for contributions enters its second round. Read more
“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality”“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality” The box-set “Swiss Film Music”, containing three CDs, one DVD and a book, released by FONDATION SUISA, provides fascinating insights into the history of Swiss film music between 1923 and 2012. A conversation with the musicologist and media scientist Mathias Spohr who acted as artistic director for the project. Read more
Arranging works protected by copyrightArranging works protected by copyright Musical works in the public domain can be arranged at will. But works which are still protected by copyright, i.e. whose author has been dead for less than 70 years, cannot be arranged without permission from the rightholders. How does one go about obtaining such permission, and what points must be regulated in the permission in order to be able to register an arrangement with SUISA? Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

In his work, composer Michael Künstle deals with the interplay between tonal dramatisation and dramatic tones. The 27-year-old Basel resident would now like to take the next step forward in his research by making the sound of an orchestra a spatial experience for the listener. FONDATION SUISA is supporting this project financially with Get Going! funding. Text by guest author Rudolf Amstutz

Michael Kuenstle: “Orchestral spaces” or if music becomes spatially tangible when you listen to it

The composer Michael Künstle (left) from Basel at work in the recording studio. (Photo: Oliver Hochstrasser)

Michael Künstle was completely surprised to win the International Film Music Competition in the 2012 Zurich Film Festival when he was just 21. “At that time, I had just begun my studies”, he comments today, adding, “I am only just starting to understand the significance of this prize now. It was a kind of springboard,...read more

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand died on January 26th 2019. He was 86. The composer leaves behind a prestigious career spanning 60 years that earned him a worldwide reputation. The maestro with a fiery temperament conducted his life by the baton. Obituary by Bertrand Liechti, member of the Board of SUISA

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand, here on 17 May 2017, before the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, had been a member of SUISA since 1998. (Photo: Regis Duvignau / Reuters)

Michel Legrand was born in 1932, in Menilmontant, a suburb of Paris, into a family of musicians: his father, Raymond Legrand, was a composer and conductor, his uncle was the conductor Jacques Hélian (Der Mikaëlian). He studied the piano, the trumpet and composition at the Conservatoire de Paris, in the class of Nadia Boulanger. He developed a passion for jazz and even recorded an album in New York (1958), alongside jazz greats like Chet Baker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. At the time, the New Wave was definitively embarking upon its revival of French cinema. Michel Legrand worked with Jean Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Jean Paul Rappeneau …

In the 1960s, he met Jacques Demy, whom he was to collaborate with on 9 films, including “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” (1964), which won the Palme d’or at Cannes, “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” (1967) and “Peau d’Âne” in 1970. History will recall that the script, lyrics and score of the “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” and of “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” were conceived in the Valais resort of Verbier.

“A musical giant, a genius of a composer, jazzman and conductor!”

Michel Legrand then moved to Hollywood where he won three Oscars for the score of Norman Jewison’s “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1969) with the hit “The Windmills of Your Mind”. He repeated this feat in 1972 for Robert Mulligan’s “Summer of ‘42”, and in 1984 for Barbra Streisand’s “Yentl”. At the same time, he recorded with international stars such as Frank Sinatra, Charles Aznavour, Ella Fitzgerald, Claude Nougaro, and more recently, Nathalie Dessay.

In March 2018, I had the privilege of overseeing his composition for Orson Wells’ unpublished last film, “The Other Side of the Wind”, for Netflix. Anecdotally, in a notebook accompanying this unfinished drama, the heirs of the great American filmmaker discovered an inscription with instructions from beyond the grave: “Call Michel Legrand!”

After 20 years of collaboration with Michel Legrand, I will remember him as a musical giant – a genius of a composer, jazzman and conductor.

www.michellegrandofficial.com

Michel Legrand joined SUISA as a member in 1998. In 2002, at the Locarno Film Festival, the French composer was honoured for his life’s work by FONDATION SUISA, SUISA’s foundation for the promotion of music.
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Michel Legrand died on January 26th 2019. He was 86. The composer leaves behind a prestigious career spanning 60 years that earned him a worldwide reputation. The maestro with a fiery temperament conducted his life by the baton. Obituary by Bertrand Liechti, member of the Board of SUISA

Michel Legrand, a life for music

Michel Legrand, here on 17 May 2017, before the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, had been a member of SUISA since 1998. (Photo: Regis Duvignau / Reuters)

Michel Legrand was born in 1932, in Menilmontant, a suburb of Paris, into a family of musicians: his father, Raymond Legrand, was a composer and conductor, his uncle was the conductor Jacques Hélian (Der Mikaëlian). He studied the piano, the trumpet and composition at the Conservatoire de Paris, in the class of Nadia Boulanger. He developed...read more

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

Composers and lyricists who are SUISA members and are also active as artists and/or producers and whose performances are broadcast by Swiss or foreign radio and TV channels are entitled to receive a remuneration from SWISSPERFORM. For all those authors-composers-artists/producers, a membership with SWISSPERFORM is thus a necessary addition to their SUISA affiliation in order to safeguard their rights and the full remuneration they are entitled to. Text by David Johnson, SWISSPERFORM/SIG antenne romande, guest author

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

It is recommended that SUISA authors such as Seven (pictured), who are also artists and whose performances are broadcast on radio and TV become SWISSPERFORM members. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Are you a musician and do you contribute to recordings which are used commercially or in music videos? Do you perform your own musical compositions or those of other composers on the radio or on TV? Are you a performing producer in the case of recordings? Do you perform music which is used in films, commercials or as main themes of broadcasts?

In that case, you do hold neighbouring rights and are entitled to receive a remuneration for the transmission of your performances. In order to receive such remuneration, you must be a member of SWISSPERFORM.

Neighbouring rights

The reason neighbouring rights carry their name is that they are in close ‘vicinity’ to copyright. Neighbouring rights do not protect the work itself but the performance of the work.

Artists, whether they are musicians, singers or conductors can at the same time be composers, lyricists and/or arrangers of a work that they perform. The performance of their works is therefore protected independently of the work that they perform.

In cases where artists finance their own recordings, they are also economic producers and therefore hold two different types of neighbouring rights, whose owners are remunerated by SWISSPERFORM in separate distributions for the relevant usages and which require artists to enter into a second membership type (producer). The term of protection in a recorded performance is 50 years. For the calculation of the expiry of the term of protection, the date of the first publication is authoritative, provided that the recording has been published for the first time within 50 years. Should this not be the case, the recording date is authoritative as a calculation basis for the expiry of the term of protection.

SWISSPERFORM

Switzerland is the only country in the world that has a collective management organisation which unites all rightsholders in the neighbouring rights realm under one roof: apart from artists and producers from the music and film sectors, broadcasters are also rightsholders within SWISSPERFORM. Members can pursue various activities and therefore belong to several rightsholder categories, for example musicians whose recordings were produced by themselves, played by their band and broadcast on the radio.

SWISSPERFORM’s activities are similar to those of SUISA. Musicians and producers assign their rights to the society for management purposes. SWISSPERFORM then collects the licence fees from the users based on the statutory tariffs and pays them to the entitled parties on the basis of its distribution rules which have been ratified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (supervisory authority).

SWISSPERFORM collaborates with SUISA when it comes to the collection of the licence fees. They are usually invoiced on the basis of the Common Tariffs which are set for each type of usage if exploitations affect the areas of activity of more than one collective management organisation and simultaneously affect copyright and neighbouring rights.

On behalf of SWISSPERFORM, SUISA collects, among other income streams, remuneration from private radio and TV stations as well as the levy on blank media and storage media integrated into hardware.

Ten percent of the entire tariff collections of SWISSPERFORM are allocated for the support of various autonomous legal entities with socio-cultural character. One part of these subsidies is used to co-finance the Swiss Artists’ Foundation, SIS, which supports professional musicians by providing them with means for concerts and tours in Switzerland and abroad.

Distribution of radio and TV usages

In the case of artists in the phono (audio) category, i.e. musicians, singers, conductors etc., whose performances were broadcast on the radio and on TV, a distinction is made between several distribution models.

SWISSPERFORM directly distributes the licence fees collected for the usage of commercially released sound recordings (sound recordings that are available in the marketplace) and from videoclips used on radio/TV. The income is allocated in proportion to the actual usage of the recordings. Main criteria for the distribution are the duration of the broadcast of a recording as well as the value of the roles of artists who contribute to a broadcast.

The following distributions are made on behalf of the Swiss Artists’ Cooperative Society, SIG, subject to a mandate from SWISSPERFORM. Licensing fees from the following areas are distributed:

  • the direct exploitation of performances and the usage from non-commercially released sound recordings (sound recordings that have not been commercially released or made available). This manual distribution is based on a declaration system and takes into account transmissions of concerts on the radio/TV, own productions of recordings by the radio/TV channels, musical performances in radio plays, commercials, jingles, ident tunes, theme tunes etc.;
  • the usage of music in films: This distribution is based on a declaration system at the same time as on an automatic system (depending on the broadcast on TV) and takes into account the music on sound tracks of films (score music), music from commercial sound recordings on sound tracks of films, music from non-commercial sound recordings (library music) on sound tracks of films, music from TV commercials as well as jingles etc.;
  • the usage of other audiovisual performances. This distribution is based on a declaration system and takes transmissions of concerts and artistic performances in TV shows into consideration, among others.

Please note: If you do not make a declaration to SWISSPERFORM and SIG that you have contributed to sound recordings or the transmission of your artistic performances, in order to receive your remuneration, the amounts that have not been claimed by you will expire after a limitation period of five years and will be re-distributed.

This is how you become a member of SWISSPERFORM

Membership with SWISSPERFORM is free. You can request your membership agreement online:
www.swissperform.ch/en/service/order-an-agreement.html

How do I declare my contribution to commercially available recordings?
www.swissperform.ch/uploads/media/Discography_01.xlsx
www.swissperform.ch/uploads/media/Explanations_on_the_discography_form_02.pdf

How do I declare direct performances, non-commercially released sound recordings, the usage of music in films and other audiovisual usages?
www.interpreten.ch/de/verteilung-ab-2017/info/

Further information:
www.swissperform.ch, SWISSPERFORM website
www.interpreten.ch, Schweizerische Interpretengenossenschaft SIG (Swiss Artists’ Cooperative Society) website

Related articles
Dual memberships: SUISA, and what else?Dual memberships: SUISA, and what else? SUISA manages the rights for its members globally. You should carefully review and consider the relevant effort and income if you wanted to become a member of several authors’ societies. If you live outside of Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein, you can also become a SUISA member. Last but not least, it is also possible to be a member of another collective management organisation in addition to your SUISA membership. The following FAQs are intended to summarise what you need to consider when contemplating a so-called dual membership. Read more
Play abroad, communicate with SUISA at homePlay abroad, communicate with SUISA at home How do I get access to my copyright remuneration for my concerts abroad? What do I need to consider when registering works with SUISA if the co-author of my song is a member of a foreign collective management organisation? Important and frequently asked questions on international musical activities are answered in the following. Read more
The beats from others – but your own songsThe beats from others – but your own songs The melody is a catchy tune but the groove just doesn’t match. For days, you haven’t got rhythm while some ingenious lyrics are on the tip of your tongue. There are many reasons why creators use someone else’s raw material for their own songs. The following legal and practical tips on how to deal with bought-out beats help you keep in sync with formalities. Read more
Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Composers and lyricists who are SUISA members and are also active as artists and/or producers and whose performances are broadcast by Swiss or foreign radio and TV channels are entitled to receive a remuneration from SWISSPERFORM. For all those authors-composers-artists/producers, a membership with SWISSPERFORM is thus a necessary addition to their SUISA affiliation in order to safeguard their rights and the full remuneration they are entitled to. Text by David Johnson, SWISSPERFORM/SIG antenne romande, guest author

Why SUISA members should also consider joining SWISSPERFORM

It is recommended that SUISA authors such as Seven (pictured), who are also artists and whose performances are broadcast on radio and TV become SWISSPERFORM members. (Photo: Tabea Hüberli)

Are you a musician and do you contribute to recordings which are used commercially or in music videos? Do you perform your own musical compositions or those of...read more

“Intuition and emotional effect are more important to me than inflexible concepts”

FONDATION SUISA awarded Balz Bachmann the Film Music Prize 2017 for his original compositions for Wilfried Meightry’s film documentary “Bis ans Ende der Träume” (Until the end of dreams). Guest author Markus Ganz in an interview with Balz Bachmann.

Balz Bachmann: “Intuition and emotional effect are more important to me than inflexible concepts”

“Each film is exceptionally unique, that is why I look for a bespoke musical language for each film”, Balz Bachmann explains. (Photo: Patrick Hari)

Balz Bachmann, how did you get to create the film score for Wilfried Meichtry’s film documentary “Bis ans Ende der Träume”?
Balz Bachmann: It was the first time that I worked with Wilfried Meichtry. Plus, it was his début as a director; until now, the graduate historian had only been active as a scriptwriter in the film sector. We started chatting during the Solothurn Film Days and soon discussed film projects in general but also potential collaboration avenues. After further talks with involved parties, I received the script, read it and discussed with Wilfried Meichtry, the producer Urs Schnell (DokLab GmbH, Berne) and the editor, Annette Brütsch.

How exactly did you start your work?
Well, it was the classical procedure at first: I received some film material, sometimes just rough edits, so that I would get a feeling for the underlying mood. After that I started to create musical sketches and sent them to the cutters. We then took a look at the interaction with the image. The result was some sort of a ping pong game between my music and the cut, each of them reacting to the other and vice versa.

What was special about it?
I had to find a certain kind of dramaturgy for a complex combination of documentary and fictional image material. The challenge was to create an overarching dramaturgy for the entire film despite of this. It was a close collaboration between the editor, the director and myself in order to find out what is needed to achieve this. At the beginning we thought that 25 minutes of music should be enough (the film is 82 minutes long). We realised, however, that the image material was relatively static as it contained many photos, and had intentionally been staged this way, also in the fictional parts. As a consequence, we became aware that some sort of movement, another level was needed which co-told and commented on the story: more music.

Did you create a suitable sound library for the film score at the beginning of your work?
That would have been an interesting approach, but I went about it a different way. I have to try out in each case how the image and the sound work together. I try to sense with my intuition what happens to me as a viewer when I use certain moods, tones and musical themes. In the case of this film, I chose a broad tone range in order to make the different times and places perceptible. I also used diverse stylistic elements: classical parts with a viola, for example, but also those which related to the places in question, more musically than from a sound perspective. After all, I did not want to fall prey to the cliché of ethnic music.

“You have to develop a proper musical language for a film and that is only possible if you compose music specifically for this purpose.”

No ethnic Caribbean romanticism for the place where the two protagonists got to know and love each other?
Exactly, the music should be a narrative form in its own right, in which the place is resonating, yet is translated individually and separately. As a consequence, the range of the film score I have used stretches all the way to pure electronic music which creates a rather interesting contrast to the old woman, for example. I have been undecided for quite a while whether this might work, whether this might be plausible to the viewer. This applies to film score, similarly as it does to acting: You perceive a person and are taken in by it, without realising that the character of that person is just being acted. Parallel to that, music has to suck you into a film – that’s my top rule.

Have you used different musical settings for documentary and fictional material in order to illustrate the difference?
No, quite the opposite: I have tried to combine the two types of material and allow them to overlap. I wanted to create a fluent transition between the two, so that viewers transcend from the documentary into the fictional scenes without realising it.

What do you think of the two basic approaches of film score creation whereby it is either created to reinforce or contrast a theme?
I don’t like inflexible or purely theoretical music concepts, I love intuitive elaboration. Each film is extremely unique and represents its own world which is why I look for a proper musical language for each of them. That’s why film scores exist in the first place, even though there is already a plethora of existing music. But that is exactly my point: You have to develop a proper language for a film and that is only possible if you compose music specifically for this purpose.

Do you therefore also not work with “temp tracks” (a provisional soundtrack with already existing music to be able to test the effect of the existing film material)?
For a film composer like me, this is, of course, an emotive term (laughs). Editors in particular support the notion of creating a rhythm for the images or because they are worried that a scene alone is not enough to carry the mood. I do not think such arguments count because, in my opinion, the rhythm of images can be better perceived without provisional music. As a consequence I think it makes more sense if you create it “dry”, without temp tracks. There is, in my opinion, the rather interesting approach to compose film score purely on the basis of a script, without having images at all. As a composer, I can, in such instances, draw from my own vision and imagination which I have created after reading the script for this story. That gives me a lot of room and freedom.

You are then able to create an autonomous level which has not already been pre-influenced by images?
Exactly. The second advantage of doing this, is that you can work with music that has been specifically made for the script during the cutting process, and try out how the music works. The third advantage is that you maintain a high level of autonomy from the very start. After all, a major disadvantage of temp music is that it inevitably becomes a reference – especially for the director and the editor – from which it is hard to break away again. People connect the two levels, image and sound, automatically in an emotional manner, which is why it is so difficult to separate the two from each other later on.

“In a film documentary, the dramaturgy has to be developed in a different manner to a feature film, where the scenes and the dramaturgy are much more pre-established by the script.”

The soundtrack is always a means to support the viewer when the story is told. Do you connect characters and places with sounds and musical themes?
Yes, I use themes in nearly every film, they stand for something and are repeated, which helps the viewers with their orientation. If you have seen a scene with a certain type of music and the music is repeated at a later stage, you automatically and quickly get access to the next scene as it is connected through. As a consequence, it often serves as a starting point for a project that I hook into a place or a character. The more I engage with the character and allocate a certain musical theme to it, the more the film structure gets reinforced by this action, especially on an emotional level.

Does the majority of your work take place parallel to the cutting process?
Yes, that’s usually the case, but not to such a major extent as for the film “Bis ans Ende der Träume”. Here, the music and cutting process took place in synchronicity for nearly half a year, and the work was nearly finished at the same time. The reason for this was that the cut was leaning on the music much more than usual. In a film documentary, the dramaturgy has to simply be developed in a different manner to a feature film, where the scenes and the dramaturgy are much more pre-established by the script.

The collaboration between you and the editor Annette Brütsch was very intensive, I gather?
Yes, as it is a process where cutting and music react to one another. Have to react to one another, because there were extremely different thematic sections: for example the travelling, and the century-old Benedictine priory in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where the woman later retires to completely – to a certain degree exactly the opposite, as she had enjoyed travelling to countries alone where women did not do so when she was young. We realised that the dilapidated house needed an atmosphere. But it was also clear that a melodic music would take up too much room, tell too much. I found it rather interesting at first how to deal with the ambient sound in the house. But I came to the conclusion that it’s not the room itself that makes the difference. The result was that I created a specific static sound for this house.

How did you meet the challenge of having to keep the suspense going for more than 82 minutes?
It is very important to watch the film as a whole during the screenings, since I only work on individual scenes. This is when you realise if there is something wrong with the rhythm of the film, as that is what matters. And we realised at some point that the viewer somehow fell into a hole when there was no music at all. That is how more and more music was added – now it is 60 minutes, which is a lot, especially as I prefer films with less music. But in this film, it simply made sense as it is an important element to convey emotion.

One and a half hours is not only the usual duration of a cinema film, but also of concerts. You are also active as a live musician, just like in the band of Sophie Hunger: Are there parallels?
Well, one factor that is certainly comparable whether it’s a performance during a concert or a film in the cinema: I am always nervous. I listen to music differently when an audience is present, my feelers are just opened much wider. That is different for a film such as “Bis ans Ende der Träume”: I had half a year’s time to create a dramaturgy.

Does your experience as a live musician also influence your work on sound tracks?
Absolutely. As a live musician, it’s all about moments of happiness where something special is being created. And that’s what I am looking for when I create film score, too.

Balz Bachmann (born 1971 in Zurich) is a trained printer and studied double base at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne. Since 1997, his main job has been to compose music for feature films and documentary films, among them “Yalom’s Cure” (2015), “Die Schwarzen Brüder” (2013), “Eine wen iig, dr Dällebach Kari” (2012), “Day is Done” (2011), “Giulias Verschwinden” (2009), “Sternenberg” (2004) and “Ernstfall in Havanna” (2002). Balz Bachmann is also an active musician and performs during many concerts together with artists such as Sophie Hunger and band. He is also President of Smeca, the Association of Swiss Media Composers.
Balz Bachmann had already received the Film Music Prize by FONDATION SUISA in 2003 (for “Little Girl Blue”) and in 2006 (for “Jeune homme”, together with Peter Bräker who, together with Michael Künstle was also involved in the development of the musical themes for the film in question “Bis ans Ende der Träume”). The award is valued at CHF 25,000 and is presented each year, alternating between the category feature film and documentary film.
The film “Bis ans Ende der Träume” tells the story of the Swiss travel journalist Katharina von Arx (1928 – 2013) and the French photographer Freddy Drilhon (1926 – 1976) in documentary and fictional sequences. They were adventurers, globetrotters and lovers. The couple settles down in a monastery ruin in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and soon faces the question how strong love is. The film is expected to be shown in cinemas in 2018.

Information on the Film Music Prize of the FONDATION SUISA
Video clip on the Film Music Prize 2017 of the FONDATION SUISA on Art-tv.ch

Related articles
Peter Scherer: “The most difficult question is which sound suits the film best”“The most difficult question is which sound suits the film best” At the occasion of the Locarno Film Festival in August, Swiss composer Peter Scherer was awarded with the Film Music Prize 2015 by FONDATION SUISA. He received the prize worth CHF 25,000 for his music to the film “Dark Star – HR Gigers Welt” by director Belinda Sallin. In a conversation prior to the award ceremony, the SUISA member Peter Scherer spoke about the challenges when composing film music, among other things. Read more
“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality”“Swiss Film Music features great diversity and high quality” The box-set “Swiss Film Music”, containing three CDs, one DVD and a book, released by FONDATION SUISA, provides fascinating insights into the history of Swiss film music between 1923 and 2012. A conversation with the musicologist and media scientist Mathias Spohr who acted as artistic director for the project. Read more
Revision of distribution categories 1C/1D and 2C/2DRevision of distribution categories 1C/1D and 2C/2D The rules for the distribution of licence fees for broadcast music in SRG TV programmes and in private TV broadcasters’ programmes are undergoing some partial changes. The relevant amendments in SUISA’s distribution rules affect distribution categories 1C, 1D, 2C and 2D. Read more

 

Collapse article

Leave a Reply

All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

FONDATION SUISA awarded Balz Bachmann the Film Music Prize 2017 for his original compositions for Wilfried Meightry’s film documentary “Bis ans Ende der Träume” (Until the end of dreams). Guest author Markus Ganz in an interview with Balz Bachmann.

Balz Bachmann: “Intuition and emotional effect are more important to me than inflexible concepts”

“Each film is exceptionally unique, that is why I look for a bespoke musical language for each film”, Balz Bachmann explains. (Photo: Patrick Hari)

Balz Bachmann, how did you get to create the film score for Wilfried Meichtry’s film documentary “Bis ans Ende der Träume”?
Balz Bachmann: It was the first time that I worked with Wilfried Meichtry. Plus, it was his début as a director; until now, the graduate historian had only been active as a scriptwriter in the film sector. We started chatting during the Solothurn Film Days and soon discussed film projects...read more