A Very Sound Recognition

April 11, 2022

The Godfather of Modern Sound: Walter Murch Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at SoundTrack_Cologne 19

Walter Murch

For six decades he has revolutionized Hollywood in editing and sound design – now the three-time Academy Award winner will be coming to Cologne to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award at SoundTrack_Cologne 19. The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the IHK Köln. Walter Murch will also speak about his vast body of work on a panel on Saturday afternoon.

Since the 1960s, Murch has been working in film as editor, sound mixer, writer, and director– a genius ‘who has created new standards in editing and sound design’ (SRF). His career began in 1969 as a film editor and sound mixer on Francis Ford Coppola’s THE RAIN PEOPLE. Subsequently, he then edited with George Lucas on his first feature-length film, THX 1138, and was involved in the sound design of AMERICAN GRAFFITI.

(Murch’s work in sound design and sound mixing had a significant beneficial effect toward the sound of musical scores in the films he worked on. – Musique Fantastique)

Altogether he has worked on over 30 titles including cinematic milestones such as THE GODFATHER (I – III), THE CONVERSATION, APOCALYPSE NOW, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, COLD MOUNTAIN, and many other films. He collaborated with directors such as Fred Zinnemann, Philip Kaufman, Anthony Minghella, Kathryn Bigelow, Sam Mendes and Brad Bird. Murch is also the director and co-writer of RETURN TO OZ produced entirely in the UK (and scored by David Shire), and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Walter Murch at the mixing board

Murch has been nominated for nine Academy Awards (six for film editing and three for sound) and has won three Oscars: for best sound on APOCALYPSE NOW and for Best Film Editing and Best Sound for his work on THE ENGLISH PATIENT. His double win in these categories in 1997 was unprecedented in the history of the Oscars. In 1974 Murch received two BAFTAs for Best Sound and Best Picture Editing for THE CONVERSATION. 

Murch is a true pioneer in his field – he significantly shaped the term “sound designer.” Together with some of his fellow colleagues he devised the now-standard 5.1 sound format. And that’s not all, for the premiere of APOCALYPSE NOW in Cannes, he even installed his own sound system there overnight, because there were no movie theaters with 5.1 surround sound until then.

As the winner of the SoundTrack_Cologne Lifetime Achievement Award, Walter Murch joins the ranks of many renowned prize winners such as Craig Armstrong, Bruce Broughton, Cliff Martinez, Michael Nyman, Irmin Schmidt, Peter Thomas, Klaus Doldinger, Don Davis, and Rachel Portman.

For more information on SoundTrack_Cologne 19, see https://www.soundtrackcologne.de/

%d bloggers like this: