Hardenberg composer Koen Cramer leaves for Hollywood with a suitcase full of dreams

As a composer, Koen Cramer wants to conquer the film industry in Hollywood. “The music appeals to a different sense, allowing you to evoke specific emotions.” Picture © Michelle Acosta

Jesper Langbroek 09-01-20, 08:26

Music composer Koen Cramer is aiming for a breakthrough in Hollywood. The young Hardenberger is leaving for Los Angeles next month to build up his life there in film music.

If you want to make it in the film industry, Hollywood is the place to be. Koen Cramer (24) realized that and therefore sent around fifty emails to Los Angeles. He often received no response, but Cavalry Music wanted to use the Hardenberg composer.

Three months in Los Angeles

“That is a production house that made the music for the trailers of Spiderman and Star Wars,” says Cramer. From the Netherlands, he started managing the Cavalry database and was allowed to compose music for future film trailers. Next month he will go to Los Angeles for the second time to work on location for three months on his dream: his music in a big Hollywood film.

If I want to pursue my dream, I have to get on the plane myself


,, LA is a city where all kinds of creative people come together with the same ambition. You have a lot of competition, but at the same time everyone knows each other and everyone wants to help you. Networking is almost automatic. Before you know it, you will spend a day with someone and you have a connection with important people in the film industry, “Cramer says.

He will leave for the United States temporarily in February after completing his study MediaMusic, but in the near future he wants to settle permanently in LA.

Opportunities are there for the taking

“Every day there are opportunities for the taking,” says Cramer. The next three months he will stay with his Mexican girlfriend Gina, who acts and dances in LA. Cramer himself has several projects in the pipeline. In the spring of this year his music can be heard in a short film by Dutch director Edwin Schaap, recorded in LA and on the program of various film festivals.

In the coming period Cramer will pitch music for new movie trailers and assist in the productions that Cavalry Music makes. ,, They are very successful and it offers me many opportunities to work with them. Ultimately, I want to make the film trailers the step to full films. “

I am standing on the edge of a high diving board and about to jump into the deep

Cramer realizes that writing soundtracks for large films is not for everyone. He looks up to his great example Hans Zimmer, who composed music for more than 150 films, including The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight trilogy and The Lion King.

,, Such a big status in Hollywood is still far away for me, but if I want to pursue my dream, I have to get on the plane myself. I’m on the edge of a high diving board and about to jump into the deep. “

The art of good film music

At a young age, Cramer was impressed by film music. Because he could never find sheet music from those songs, he started replaying the music by ear on the piano.

,, That is difficult in the beginning, but it is getting easier. It gives you a better ear, “he says. In the meantime, he also composes digitally and can use programs to imitate entire symphony orchestras.

During his studies, Cramer composed music for short films and other videos such as a film for football club Bayern Munich and a documentary about Enschede.

,, The art of good film music is that it is never too present. It had to focus on and support the story. The music appeals to a different sense, allowing you to evoke specific emotions. With that you can manipulate the story, that is where it becomes interesting for me as a composer. “