BIOGRAPHY

Arnau Bataller is a Spanish film composer for cinema and TV, who works with prestigious Spanish directors such as Jaume Balagueró, Fernando León de Aranoa, María Ripoll, Pau Freixas and Mariano Barroso amongst many others.

Based in Barcelona, he has been a composer in demand for the last 10 years, scoring a wide range of projects ranging from big-budget features such as Way Down, Rec4 or A Perfect Day, to more independent dramatic TV shows such as I Know Who You Are or Red Bracelets: to date, this includes some 25 feature films, 8 TV series, and many concert music commissions.

Striving to choose the best musical color to the picture, Bataller always works with Marc Blanes, one of the most sought after engineers in Spain, thus assuring the highest quality in his music. He has recorded with most of the Film music orchestras in Europe and was the first-ever to record a film score with The Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s Opera House. He also loves to explore new sound worlds, from ethnic instruments or synthesizers, always searching for a unique sonic palette for every project he works on.

Bataller’s music has been recognized with more than 15 awards and nominations such as the International Film Music Critic Association Award (IFMCA) for Best Original Score for Television or the VII Spanish Film Music Critics Award for Best Spanish Composer.

He graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (USC) where he studied in the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program, recording more than 10 times at Paramount Studios. Arnau also has a violin degree.

Arnau normally works in his studio with his friendly cat Tofu who loves to sleep, really cozy,  behind the computer monitors. Arnau is a proud dad of 4-year-old twins, Lluc and Laia (Catalan names for Luke and Leia)

Listen to the image to see the music

METHOD

Statement
I’m a filmmaker and my contribution is my music. I’m a composer. I create music from stories because I listen to the picture to see the music.

Five Areas
Every project is different: the story, the genre, the artistic and personal vision of the director, the production budget, the film editing, the acting, and so on.  But when starting a project, I always try to base my work on the following five areas:

1) Dramatic concept:
My starting point is always the concept or idea behind the movie. What’s the movie about? Can you summarize it in one word? I will try to do it with melodies, textures, and rhythms.

2) Musical color:
The hardest, yet most rewarding task for a film composer is to discover how a film should sound, musically speaking. Each picture has its own musical identity. My job is to find that unique color that defines a picture and differentiates it from the rest. Traditional orchestral sound? A modern hybrid orchestra? Indie or small ensembles? Eclectic and jazzy soloists? Electronic and driving textures? What if we mix everything together?

3) Musical dimension:
Is the music “bigger than life” or intimate and almost transparent? How dramatic is the saddest moment of the film? How comic is the funniest moment of the film? If we have to underscore action, how subtle or evident should the music be? Framing the musical dimensions is key to avoid overpowering the image or to the music not being noticeable when it should.

4) Musical narrative:
How many musical ideas do we need? What’s the hierarchy between them? How and when do we introduce each thematic idea? Do we transform the themes, evolving with the drama, or do we do the opposite? How many times do we repeat a theme? When do we have to introduce variations? Do we fool the audience? Do we help the audience? Do we trouble the audience? Do we move the audience?

5) Musical interaction with the picture:
Is the music mimicking the action and the narrative, is it accommodating to it, or is it intentionally ignoring what is going on in the picture? Which scenes will have music? Where is it going to start and end? How is it going to start and end? For instance: we have a scene where a character dies. Where do we start the music? a) When we enter the room and see the dramatic situation b) When he says goodbye to everybody c) When he closes his eyes d) When the rest of the characters react to his death?  Or e) Do we actually need music at all? Maybe silence is even more dramatic? There is not a single right answer but we have to contemplate that there are always questions to be asked. Our task is to decide what works best, depending upon the editing, the acting, the place that the scene has in the dramatic structure of the movie, and so on.

PROCESS

Process and Communication
Working on a movie is a collaborative process. Although I have a strong sense of what kind of music a film needs, communicating, sharing ideas and vision are key to the success of the movie. It’s my job to understand the creative needs of a project and to make them the starting point of my creative process.

I’ve learned that mastering the process, the calendar and the skills are key to being successful in the film business: tight deadlines, budgets, meetings, reviews, post-production… And yet without inspiration, we have nothing.

But nice melodies are not enough if you do not know how the process of making movies works. So working with a team that you trust and who makes your work easier is not an option, it’s a must. I’m proud to be working for more than 10 years with Marc Blanes, probably the most sought-after engineer in Spain. We have recorded with many of the major European orchestras, selecting the most appropriate for every project depending on the sonority, deadlines and budget available.


Creativity and Passion 

I’m always rethinking my creative process trying to find new artistic challenges on every project I start because I love what I do! I consider making mistakes part of the creative process. Repeating known formulas is an option but most of the time is not the best one. What happens when we try a different approach? We never know, but if it does not work we can always circle back to the safest strategy.

Composing to picture is a dream come true. At 14 years old I already knew I wanted to become a film composer and I enjoy every aspect of this vocational profession.

AWARDS
NOMI-
NATIONS

AWARDS:

2019 Valencian audiovisual Awards. Best Original Score for Vivir Dos Veces

2014 Berlin Fashion Film Festival, Best Music, Bronze Medal

2012 International Film Music Critic Association Award (IFMCA): Best Original Score for Television, winner

2012 Movie Music UK Award: Best Original Score for Television, winner

2012 Cue Awards: Best Action Music and Surprise of the Year, winner.

2012 Best Original Score at the Festival Valle de Bravo, Mexico for ‘Úrsula’s Victory’

2011 VII Spanish Film Music Critics Award: Best Spanish Composer

2010 and Breakout Spanish Composer, winner.

2011 X Goldspirit Awards: Best Spanish Original Score

2010 for “La Herencia Valdemar” and Best Thriller/Horror Score, winner

2006 XI Tirant Award: Best Original Score, winner for “Omar Martínez”.

2002 Jimmy McHugh Composition Prize

2002 BMI Scholarship for Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television.

2001 XIV International Orchestra Composition Competition Murcia 2001: winner

NOMINATIONS:

2014 Hollywood International Fashion Film Awards, best music

2013 La Jolla International Fashion Film Awards, best music

2011 III Gaudí Award: Best Original Score, nominated for “Herois”

2010 XI Tirant Award: Best Original Score, nominated for “Unió Muiscal Da Capo”

2010 V Jerry Golsmith Awards: Best Original Score for feature

2008 III Jerry Golsmith Awards: Best Original Score for feature

2007 VIII Euterpe Awards: Best symphonic music for wind ensemble, nominated for “Gene-sis”

2006 VII Euterpe Awards: Best symphonic music for wind ensemble, nominated for “Enderivell”

 

News
Press

” His talents clearly deserve significant success. Nonetheless, Arnau Bataller is surely in line for great things and is one to watch for the future. In LA HERENCIA VALDEMAR II, BATALLER has produced a score that any of the great Hollywood composers of today and yesteryear would be proud to call their own.”
Tracksounds www.tracksounds.com

“The Brotherhood is a proper thriller score, one of the true better examples of great scores in the genre.”
Soundtrackgeek www.soundtrackgeek.com

“Arnau connects immediately with the audience, and he knows how to maintain tension without monotony or repetition. He writes a music of textures with multiple layers, with a melodic sense that catches you and puts the viewer in a very well defined space. Serving the director, his music does not fear of complex orchestrations”
Alex Gorina El Temps

“I have to admit that Arnau Bataller’s score for The Brotherhood caught me completely off guard. I was expecting yet another collection of cliched atmospheric tracks that usually accompany horror movie scores”
Darren Rea www.sci-fi-online.com