Raphael Sommer, born in Basel in 1989, is the composer and founder of „Sommer Filmmusik”. At the age of twelve, he discovered the magic of film as part of a project week at his school. He then continued to shoot, cut and produce his own short films. He taught himself the relevant skills. At the age of 14, Sommer attended various evening courses to refine his technique. After finishing school, he did an internship as a film editor.

Subsequently, he was accepted into the theater and drama school. The time of his studies proved to be groundbreaking in two ways: On the one hand, he found a Steinway piano in the school building, into which he breathed new life into through improvisation. In this way, Sommer discovered a passion for composing. On the other hand, he became aware of the American dancer Tyler Burkett at a ballet evening . Sommer instinctively decided one day to write a ballet composition on the body of the dancer. Its graceful movements reminded him of a golden swan – “Golden Swan” was to become a leitmotif for the composer years later.

At the age of 19, Sommer started his own business and founded the company “Sommer Filmmusik”. He programmed the company’s own website himself – another talent that he learned autodidactically. He initially concentrated on the background music for apps and games quickly making a name for himself. His work was also heard in commercials and short films. For example, music for advertising by Pilatus-Bahnen AG, the Möbelhaus Schweigert store and the Zurich Hyatt Hotel. Sommer was always open to new projects, new genres – and thus also to new styles: epic string music, experimental sounds or playing with exotic instruments. Thanks to his experience as a film editor, Sommer found the right tone for the picture.

He describes his compositions as a breakthrough for the documentary films “Schweizer Geist” (2013) by Severin Frei and “Camino de Santiago” (2015) by Jonas Frei, both of which were shown in the cinema. A little later, Sommer’s music was also heard in feature films. The titles include the science fiction film “Reborn” (2016) by Claudio Sipka, the adventure film “Der weisse Hirsch vom Gantrisch (2019) by Robin Bezençon or and the action thriller“ 2nd Chance ”(2020) by Daniel Königsberg. Sommer is already working on further soundtracks that will soon be heard.

In addition to his film work, Sommer also started with concert assignments. In 2017 he published his “Requiem” for a project by Florian Kirchhofer. The work was experienced together with an orchestra as part of a Swiss tour. The “Elysium for Ballet” also emerged from this work, closing the circle again. In the meantime, the intellectual successor to the Requiem has also started: “Dimension” is to be premiered this year with an orchestra.

Sommer also devotes himself to the spoken word. Together with actress Nina Iseli, he wrote the radio play “Die Welt von Arven” (The World of Arven), a fantasy fairy tale that was published in 2016 with prominent speakers (including Walter Andreas Müller and Christoph Schwegler ). The second part is due to appear later this year.

He will soon release an anniversary album on which his fantasy works and soundtracks are represented. The images for the album cover – with ballet dancer Tyler Burkett – were taken in January 2020 in the United States.

“Sommer” wouldn’t be “Sommer” if he wasn’t already working on new compositions.

“For me, the joy of music and the variety of genres is the most important thing. I like to decide on a project when I have the feeling that I can add value to it. Especially with challenging topics I can passionately immerse myself in them.”

– Raphael Sommer

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