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United Nations? The landscape of music composing, commissioning and placement in 2019

The last 12 months have seen major changes in the role and value of acquiring, commissioning and synchronising music in media – from continuous changing of commissioning models from SVODs such as Netflix and Amazon, through to pan-European wars over creative copyright protection. Gaming has seen the rise of the super-independent sector, and the landscape and scale of music in advertising continues to struggle outside of tripe A placements – the ubiquity of the online advert and the struggles to monetise and value music within it. Royalties for music in cinema usage vary hugely from country to country, new models of music creation (machine learning and AI) continue to disrupt traditional revenue models, but conversely it has never been easier to mock up the sound of a full orchestra in a bedroom. This stage of the nation conversation will discuss these key areas of growth and concern, of threats and opportunities, and take an in-depth look at the sector in 2019. With… the award-winning or nominated panelists whose repertoire has been judged best in show for 2019!


Marco Bakkenhoven (Composer, SIDE-AND-CHAIN, NL)


Marco Bakkenhoven forms together with Marcoen Verrest SIDE-AND-CHAIN, music composers for film, trailers, tv series and commercials. They believe that music is the most powerful form of communicating emotions. And in combination with stunning visuals, both art forms can push each other to some truly special heights. Because of this, they love to work with people and organizations whose ideas and stories they believe in.
By doing so, they make music for trailers like the movie Extinction by Netflix and the series Warrior by HBO. Music for spectacular shows that open festivals like Medusa Festival in Spain and Amsterdam Music Festival in the Netherlands. And music for award ceremonies such as the DJ Mag Top 100 and the Edison Pop Awards.

Wouter van den Boogaard (Composer, sound designer, Major Fifth, NL)


After finishing high school at age 18, Wouter studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Shortly after, he realized he felt more passion for music productions. As a pianist Wouter decided to audition for the conservatory of Utrecht. There he got to know the art of composing for film. In 2015 he graduated with a Master degree in 'Composition and Music Production' at the HKU in Utrecht. During the last years of his study he started the company Major Fifth. With this company he composes music and sound design for film, commercials, motion graphics and series. At the start of 2017 Wouter got nominated for the Buma Award "Best original film score 2016" with his work for 'Het Jonge Sprookje'. Several tracks got synced in the feature film 'Kappen!' shown in most Dutch cinemas in 2017. From then on, the company started to grow rapidly. Today Wouter has been working on music for commercials like Liliane Fonds, Hertog Jan, Jägermeister, Ziggo, Sissy-Boy, Friesland Campina, Bavaria, Efteling and more. Besides he worked on leaders, jingles and sound design for shows on national television broadcasted on BNNVARA, NPO and RTL4.

Hans Brouwer (Founder & CEO, MassiveMusic, NL)


Hans Brouwer is founder and CEO of MassiveMusic, one from the leading creative music agencies worldwide, with offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Brouwer is a musician and entrepreneur in heart and soul therefore also a partner in a number of Amsterdam clubs and restaurants. He is, for example, a co-developer and partner of the A'DAM Tower. The former Shell Overhoeks Tower in Amsterdam Noord has been open to the public since 2016 and aims to become the creative center of the capital to be. A club, an observation point, a memberships club for the creative industry, three restaurants and companies from the music industry make the A'DAM Tower a true musical and creative draw.
Brouwer's entrepreneurship was awarded the Amsterdam Business Award in 2011. In 2017 he was chosen as the most indispensable person in the Dutch Marcom industry and achieved thus the No. 1 position in the annual Adformatie100. His vision and passion are praised: "Indispensable in the landscape of music and brands."
Hans Brouwer is also a member of the advisory board of the Metropole Orchestra, ambassador for the Red Cross, and board member of "More Music in the Classroom", the foundation that is committed to promote structural music education for all children in primary school.

Gijs Knol (Composer, GK Productions, NL)


Gijs Knol is an independent Dutch composer, multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer. He studied at the ArtEZ Conservatory and started his career as a radio imager working on international clients like KTU New York, Heart Radio London and Dutch station’s like Veronica and NPO Radio 2.
Nowadays his focus is on Audio branding, writing for film and original music for companies and brands. Some of the clients he worked for are TakeAway, StoryTel and Lidl.
Next to his composing activities as GK Productions he recently started a new company named “Cassette Audio Branding” together with the talented composers Bud Kolk & Thomas Gebben.

Jesse Koolhaas (Composer, Mystic Brew Music & Sound Design, NL)


With degrees in Audio Engineering, a Master of Music in composition and a Bachelor of Music in Sonology, Jesse Koolhaas (1979) has a large array of experience within the audio domain, ranging from music composition, to sound design, recording and mixing. In 2007 Jesse graduated a Master of Music at the Music Technology department of the HKU in Hilversum, where he mainly focused on music and sound design for image. Since then he has been working as a fulltime professional focusing on a large variety of styles and genres. From music for commercial projects for clients like Nike and McDonald's, to documentary and abstract work for audiovisual installations and modern dance. He has worked on big ad campaign for companies like Massive Music and Sizzer in the past and is currently more focused on working directly for clients. In 2013 he founded the studio Mystic Brew.
Since 2015 Jesse has been affiliated with the Conservatory Haarlem and teaches Music for Image and Music for Film there.

Martijn Schimmer (Composer, musician, producer, arranger & Found SMP Amsterdam, NL)


Martijn (1975) has been composing music for over 20 years. Starting his career composing and producing music for Dutch TV drama series "Westenwind" and Emmy Award winning "Peter R. de Vries – Crime report” he quickly grew to become one of the most successful media composers of the Netherlands. From TV series such as "The Voice", "DWDD", "Nieuwsuur" and "RTL Late Night" to Drama productions as "Zomer in Zeeland" and the critically acclaimed recently released "Mocromaffia" to features "Gek van Geluk", "Onze Jongens" en "Verliefd op Cuba", Martijn and his team can do it all. Today, he’s at the helm of the award-winning music production company "SMP Amsterdam" which houses 8 state of the art studio’s in Amsterdam, and where Martijn leads a team of 8 dedicated audio producers composing, recording and mixing round the clock tunes for TV shows, Movies and Commercials.

Merlijn Snitker (Composer, 'Bankier van Verzet', 'Publieke Werken', NL)


Merlijn Snitker (1970), who graduated at the conservatory as a performing artist (saxophone), is a self-taught composer - whence his original style and fresh approach of the trade. His soundtracks for Publieke Werken (Public Works, 2016) and Bankier van het Verzet (The Resistance Banker, 2018) were both nominated for a Gouden Kalf (the Dutch equivalent of the Oscar). Under the umbrella of a composers collective Snitker won in 2010 the Flemish 'Outstanding Achievement Film Award' for the soundtrack of Dossier K.
Snitker is not only composing for the Dutch cinema, but also branching out to Belgium (De Premier) and Sweden (Siv Sover Vilse). Snitker’s eclectic style, a cross-over of acoustic and electronic music, proves that soundtracks can be both inconspicuous and mesmerizing.


Mark Gordon (Founder Score Draw Music, UK)


Mark Gordon runs Score Draw Music; a multi-award winning composition company working in film, television, advertising and animation. The last 12 months have seen the company win the Royal Television Society award for best music for their work with Dolly Parton on the pre-school Nickeodean Jr series 'Lily’s Driftwood Bay'. The company also contributed a co-write to the 2018 Oscar-winning film 'The Shape Of Water', and more recently has had music used in shows including Netflix's 'The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina'. Alongside this the company’s current slate of work includes music and songs for an 80-part series for PBS America, the music for a 52-part series for Disney, a recent commission for a Playmobil animated series, feature documentary score work for BBC and Channel 4, and ongoing music for a range of global brands including a longstanding partnership with Adidas for whom the company supply bespoke music. Mark has also programmed and spoken on many music and image panels and discussions, including at SXSW, Primavera Pro, Paris Sync Summit and The Great Escape.