People often ask me: A
sound maker – is that something like a rainmaker, a clown, an
illusionist? Do they still exist today?
Yes, they still exist. Yes, they really do create illusions; in the
studio, for example, when sound effects are needed, such as a
gigantic forest fire, bones breaking or a galloping horse.
Of course, the Foley artist cannot recreate all sound effects; there
is also the sound engineer – as well as the sound libraries.
Generally, the Foley artist starts his work when the capabilities of
the archive have been exhausted and the sound engineer has run out
You think that everything already exists in the archive?
That is what I once believed as well, and if I think back to the
beginning of my career I would never have dreamt of the type of
world that would open up before me.
Originally my dream was to become a cameraman, so therefore after my
apprenticeship as a photographer I chose a career in film editing.
As an editor I learned to look at the dramaturgy of motion pictures
in a new way and I quickly began to understand the key role played
by sound in any movie.
Due to the fact that the soundtrack was a regular part of my work, I
encountered Foley artists for the first time, such as Willy Kluth,
Heiner Hars or Hans Walter Kramski. They made quite an impression on
me with their ability to create sound effects with the use of
I soon recognized that my true calling was working with soundtracks
and therefore decided to increase my knowledge in this area by
working as a sound engineer for dubbing and mixing.
Here I also had the opportunity to discover and respect the work of
Foley artists and started to consciously utilize my knowledge in
sound engineering to additionally support them in their work.
Fascinated by these experiences, I started to experiment after work
with different resonance bodies in the studio. In order to better
evaluate the various microphone types and positions I worked with
headphones. Thus I was able to control the entire signal path and to
take advantage of the abundance of engineering capabilities for
creating various sounds.
That was new.
To gain experience, I practiced creating sound effects in
synchronization with completed productions, since this is one of the
Foley artist’s main tasks. Over the years I filled a multitude of
trunks with Foley props, which I had collected during my daily
routine and at flea-markets and which often had to be specially
The colorful spectrum of assignments, which I created for myself —
from motion pictures to TV, radio plays and advertising – has
continually inspired my creativity and imagination.
My collection continues to grow, because the great variety of sounds,
which I had created to bring pictures to life, is almost