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Track & Trace: Mattijn Willems

“Did you know that a lot of what you hear in movies is created afterward, in post-production? Even dialogues are sometimes re-recorded in the studio and then edited into the film. If we do a good job, viewers will never notice. I often pay attention to it during movies; letting go of my knowledge and work while watching a film is almost impossible. 

I create and edit sound. That is what I do as a sound designer. My work is extensive, covering the whole process of the so-called audio post-production—the music, voices, sound effects, backgrounds, and mixing of these things. I can tell and support a story with sound and subconsciously affect viewers. With this, I can let my imagination run wild and create entire worlds. Of course, in agreement with the director’s idea of a scene so that the right feeling can be conveyed to the audience. No project is the same, and each assignment requires a new conceptual approach. The freedom, thinking out of the box, and the open canvas sound provided is what I like best about my work as a sound designer. 


I can lose myself entirely in music. Ever since I was little, I have been playing drums and percussion. While studying Sound Design for Media at the HKU, my roommate and I used to make techno music. When making techno, I felt like stepping into a world without limits. Of course, nothing was finished at the night’s end, but we had a great time playing with synthesizers and samples in Ableton. Nowadays, my love for rhythm has evolved into playing and producing techno as a hobby. On weekends I often DJ with a friend of mine at his house. We put USB flash drives in the CDJs (digital turntables) and go, constantly feeding each other and completely losing ourselves in the music until the sun rises. It’s mostly electronic music that’s right up my alley, although I also think Nils Frahm is a genius. 

I love interesting progressions with beautiful melodies, but I can also immensely enjoy the abstractness of techno and diving into vague sounds. My playlist primarily consists of artists my friends and I listened to at different times, like Rufus du Sol, Elderbrook, or Thomas Schumacher’s remix of “The House of House.” The music we listened to brings me back to the festivals and parties we attended. 

A live set or performance at a festival is still one of the coolest things there is. I attended many international festivals with my elementary and college friends in my twenties. We went to Balaton Sound in Hungary, Meld and Nature One in Germany, Exit in Serbia, Dimensions in Croatia, and my favorites: Into The Woods and Awakenings in the Netherlands. So all of the music in my playlist brings back the feeling of friendships and brings back certain memories we shared. Besides it being beautiful and special music, of course.”

Listen to Mattijn’s favorite tracks:


Mattijn Willems

Sound Designer

Contact Mattijn