Volker Bertelmann, who lives the parallel lives of film scoring under his own name and under his artist alias Hauschka (more on that later), has recently completed writing music for one of the biggest German films of all time, Netflix’s seven-time BAFTA award winning (and four time Oscar winning) All Quiet On The Western Front. The Oscar-winning composer talks to Headliner about creating a score that works alongside the film’s huge battle sounds and that supports its gritty, anti-war message, working with the London Contemporary Orchestra and also at his studio in Düsseldorf.
Prior to becoming a prolific film composer using his given name for films such as Ammonite, Lion (earning himself and Dustin O’Halloran an Oscar nomination), and Netflix’s The Old Guard, first came Hauschka.
It’s the artistic alias he created for himself that he felt was fittingly ambiguous on many levels to go with his music on his solo albums which are mostly characterised by prepared piano techniques (which refers to creating different sounds from the instrument by placing objects like ping pong balls on the strings).
After two decades of struggling to create a career in music, in 2009 his album Salon des Amateurs saw him touring the world and spoken of in the same sentences as fellow composers such as Max Richter.