AUDIONAUT: Bringing ‘Artist Police’ to life with a deeply psychedelic musical experience!

[blockquote author=”AUDIONAUT”]With his sure sense of the right tempo in every single movement, Khanh was the „master clock“ and the conductor of the film.  As musicians it was our challenge to follow him through his dances, his life and make his feelings audible in every moment of the film.[/blockquote]

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“Artist Police” is an experimental art film, it’s part fantasy, part doc.  What were your thoughts seeing the project for the first time?

[dropcap]When we watched the movie for the first time – without any music or sound effects – we were really impressed by the whole project.  The wide range of amazing places in Vietnam where all the dancing scenes were shot: beautiful, lonely nature, crowded parks, industrial ruins and dark clubs were all perfect and impressive backgrounds for each single scene!  And of course Khanh, with his unique way of movement, dance and such varied self-expression.  With his sure sense of the right tempo in every single movement, he was the „master clock“ and the conductor of the film.  As musicians it was our challenge to follow him through his dances, his life and make his feelings audible in every moment of the film.[/dropcap]

What made you want to write the music for the film?

[dropcap]First of all, there is the exciting story how the director of the film (Matt Dworzanczyk) and Audionaut met each other.  As so often in the summer we were playing one of our public gigs at Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin, a rare and perfect place to perform our electronic music in a crowed public space.  While we were playing, Matt only gave us his card and said: „Contact me, we have to work together on a film project!“  The next day we got in touch, met up and started to work together…

From the beginning – the project was a creative challenge and that made the whole experience exceptionally exciting for us.  First of all, there was the unique status and importance of the music in this movie!  In contrast to conventional documentaries, in Artist Police the music is always of central importance during the performance scenes; our soundtrack had to pick the viewers up and take them on a journey.  We wanted to live up to this challenge.  Furthermore, we had to find our way to musically emphasize the main statements and emotions of the individual performances.  To do that, we had to break new ground, expand our electronic world of sound and venture into areas of pop, jazz and traditional Vietnamese music – then process these influences as Audionaut.[/dropcap][two_col]

What were your key influences?  How did you approach the soundtrack?

[dropcap]Before we started the musical work, we talked to Matt several times and got a lot of valuable background information. It was necessary to understand the whole story from the director’s point of view and to know as much as possible about the scenes, about Khanh’s life, his art, his way of performance and his intention. Based on this foundation, we started to build and compose first ideas for rhythms and melodies following our own interpretations and feelings during the performance scenes. Watching the scenes again and again we developed the tracks step by step, added new parts, instruments and sounds. We always tried to follow the movements and tempo of our conductor – Khanh.

This way of work took a lot of time and we spent many nights in our studio to create more than one hour of music.  We are thankful that Matt gave as the time we needed to realize all our ideas in detail.



[image_float url=”” width=”300″ height=”410″ type=”left” title=”” lightbox=”false” crop=”c”]Max Josef Zeller, during an AUDIONAUT performance in Berlin[/image_float][/two_col_last]

How did you go about creating musical variety between the different scenes while also ensuring creative continuity? What is the key message you wanted to convey to an audience with the soundtrack?

[two_third][image_float url=”” width=”430″ height=”350″ type=”left” title=”” lightbox=”false” crop=”c”]Andreas Koulouris during an AUDIONAUT performance in Berlin[/image_float][one_third_last][dropcap]In the beginning we didn’t have a concrete plan in which direction the tracks should move and what kind of music and style we will use in the individual tracks.  We kept our minds open. But when we started to work with each performance, for most of them the rough direction got fixed quite fast.  The places and surroundings, the environments, the dancers, their costumes, the way they acted and moved – all this gave us a lot of inspiration to build our sound to what we saw and felt by watching the scenes.  The wide range of musical variety we used is the result of the wide range of Khanh’s performances and the diversified story of his life.  Music is our way to express all this…[/dropcap][/one_third_last]

Do you have any favorite tracks?

[dropcap]In the end we are really satisfied with all tracks we produced.  We think each single one works perfectly with the scene, the intention and the message of each performance.  Our Audionaut favorite though is the club scene!  That one is the closest to our typical electronic Audionaut music style and we will definitely play in our future lives in clubs!  We can hardly wait to play it…  and our dream is to perform this track and the performance together with Khanh in the original venue in Hanoi![/dropcap]

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[pretty_image url=”” width=”700″ height=”177″ gallery=”slug” title=”Dao Anh Khanh in ‘Artist Police’” crop=”c”]Dao Anh Khanh in ‘Artist Police’[/pretty_image]

Any tracks that were particularly difficult?

[dropcap]Yes, there were two tracks that were not so easy to produce.  The problem was not to come up with ideas or the production of the tracks themselves, but there were different interpretations and perspectives of the same scenes between Audionaut and Matt.  So the music we created in the beginning did not exactly represent the intention and atmosphere Matt wanted to create.  We discussed these scenes together and, of course, there was no right or wrong interpretation.  But if you watch some scenes from another point of view, it leads you to other ideas and a different spirit.  Once we precisely understood Matt’s way of thinking, we produced tracks that worked even better than any of us initially imagined – even if the way to get there was quite hard and took a lot of time. [/dropcap]

Artist Police’ is sort of a ‘puzzle’, isn’t it?  What is the film really about – to you?

[dropcap]We’ve worked on the music for the film over the last year and we can only confirm the picture is a big puzzle!  Every single part of it tells its own story, but you have to step back to realize the whole size and dimension of this puzzle.  For us, it is all about life, how to live and how to survive with the power of arts.  Anytime we watch the movie again, there is a new small part of the puzzle we discover and think about.[/dropcap]


What’s next for AUDIONAUT?  What are you working on and where can we see/hear more from you?

[dropcap]At the moment we are preparing a few live sets for this summer to play in different clubs, venues and in few public places in Berlin.  You can find more info on our music and our shows by subscribing to us on social media![/two_col_last]

Artist Police” completed production in April 2019.  We are about to begin our festival run with the film and look forward to premiering the movie later this year.  To find out about upcoming screenings in your region, be sure to subscribe to us on facebook at .

AUDIONAUT is a synth’y, electronic duo from Berlin, formed by Max-Josef Zeller & Andreas Koulouris.

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Check out our sneak peek trailer!