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Tallinn Black Nights: Soundscapes Puts Focus on Composers

As the Tallinn Black Nights festival continues until Nov. 29, its Industry@Tallinn program unspools unique features, such as Soundscapes, which spotlights five Estonian composers who will present their showreels to international and domestic film directors and producers. The aim is to foster more international collaboration and introduce up-and-coming Estonian tunesmiths to festival visitors, with a particular emphasis on creating connections between composers and debut directors, as well as helmers with films in development and participants from the European Genre Forum. The showcase is followed by an informal dinner that allows discussion in a more casual setting.

Estonians have always been known for their love of music. The country boasts several famous composers, including Arvo Part, whose works have accompanied international hits such as “The Great Beauty,” “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Little Buddha.” Likewise, Veljo Tormis is lauded for his choral works as well as domestic film compositions, and former synth pioneer Sven Grunberg has scored more than 150 titles during his 40-year career.

The idea for the Soundscapes platform emerged in 2012 when the Producers Guild of Korea expressed interest in Estonian music. In collaboration with Tallinn Music Week, the fest launched an online platform in English and Estonian for international professionals: filmmusic.ee. It offers sound samples, short bios and contacts for some 30 composers. This online platform enabled the Laotian-French-Estonian co-production “Dearest Sister,” helmed by Mattie Do, to find composer Sten Sheripov.

Sheripov, also a producer, musician and sound designer whose style ranges from orchestration to acoustic and electronic creations, is one of the five featured artists in Soundcapes this year. Others include experimental musician Liisa Hirsch; Tiit Kikas, who recently scored the Estonian film “Ghost Mountaineer,” which will world preem during the fest; Liina Kullerkupp, who composed the soundtrack for the hit Estonian childrens’ film “Secret Society of Soup Town”; and newcomer Marianna Liik, winner of the 2014 SoundTrack Cologne film music award.

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