Milen Apostolov: Music Is The Highest Human Revelation

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Dec 11, 2019
June 23, 2023

You know what our passion is, right? With every new project, we are eager to create audio-visual content and experience for the client and the audience - combining all the elements you need to get a product that can touch you, make you smile, laugh or cry, make you act, turn your life around, influence or satisfy you for a while.One of the key components I am referring to is the music, which is not just an afterthought … if a commercial or a movie is a cell, the music often appear to be the DNA of the story.  

Sound and music are the invisible power of the visual message because you don’t want to just simply show some motion picture, you want to convey an emotion to the user.You do not want for your audience to see or hear, you want them to feel.

Nova Brasilia Grandma’s Coffee TVC - Director’s Cut

 Director: Demetry Vasilev @

 DOP: Dimitar Nedelchev

 Music: Erol Ibrahimov @ Wickeda | Vocals: Milena Stavreva, Nikolina Penkova, Veska Karchina, AnnaStoyanova

It’s scientifically proven that music affects your brain activity in a special way. Some studies show that we use the same parts of the brain to process music that are also responsible for emotion and memory. Neuroscientist Valorie Salimpoor discovered that music stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain.Yes, that’s right. Music or even only specific sounds are bringing you right back to the moment when you were listening to it for the first time or the time you felt deep feelings as a result of it.  Sound actually goes through our brains, penetrates our mind, takes us places we forgot, we dreamed of or just want to forget. Sometimes it takes us places we have never been. It hits you hard, straight to the soul, but “when it hits you, you feel no pain.”(Bob Marley).

Ekont The Telescope

Director: Zornitsa Dimitrova
DOP: Anton Ognyanov

Music: KaloyanDimitrov | Lyrics: Zornitsa Dimitrova | Vocal: Jessiah

If I have to somehow describe music in movies or commercials from my own perspective, as a producer and as a viewer, I can say that it’s the international language of emotions,feelings and thoughts. It’s not only a way to produce beauty of form, harmony,and expression (according to Oxford Dictionary) but also a way of deep communication which triggers intense experience and unique way to connect with what you’re watching.

UBB Mobile TVCs -Series Of Three

Director: Dimitris Georgiev
DOP: Georgi Andreev

Music and lyrics: Lily Geleva

I did an experiment while writing this article. I sat and played couple of scenes from Forrest Gump blindfolded. I dare you to try it. Follow every sound, cue, tone, every tune. They put you in a situation,create an atmosphere, connect the scenes, give sense to the emotional world of the characters, emphasize on particular cues in the story. Music is the identity of a film. And after I “watched” it without seeing I connected with the picture in a way very different and more special than before.

I’m not saying that music is more important than picture. I’m not trying to prove that there is something in the whole wide Universe that can exist all by itself. The thing I tried to do with this article is to get a deeper perspective on music in video production. That was my primary goal but in the end after reading so much about it I decided that there is so much info online that it’s better if I share a personal journey into film music with you.

And while doing this, I found the perfect company to talk this topic through. I’m pleased to introduce you to another bright talent here at handplayed’s blog and this is Milen Apostolov – composer, DJ, conductor, or just someone burning in the thought of music.

handplayed: When did you realize you are going to make music and how this whole magic happened?

M.A.: Actually it’s like I have always known it but I’ve realized it for sure just few years ago. Before I wondered if I am an artist…now I know I am.

handplayed: When was the moment you understood this is your path and way to express yourself?

M.A.: Music is the highest human revelation! It cannot be a way of life, it’s life itself. I think I still haven't realized that music is my path because it's something so vast that it's almost not worth trying to put a frame around.

handplayed: What do you feel when composing or playing music?

M.A.: Impulse, energy, awe, something beyond me that goes through me. You feel special and insignificant at the same time. Sometimes you feel all the pain in the world and sometimes you ascend beyond the earth in vast fields of love and light. In short – this is a Universe in a matchbox.

handplayed: What is your playlist today?

M.A.: Everything that sounds around me.            

handplayed: What and who inspires you?

M.A.: When a person is blessed / cursed to be a creator, they can be inspired by everything. Everything around us sounds, sometimes with more interesting music, some with more trivial, but it sounds. Occasionally I meet people with special music that won’t let me sleep; sometimes I see sunsets that fill my head with timbre, colors and melody; sometimes, when I don't want to hear sounds around me, I hear the music of the streets, the blocks, the trees...

Music is music. No matter where it stands, it should carry typhoons and sun. I've worked on several short films and videos so far. When you are an artist, you are one in every genre, no matter the direction. The only real difference with writing for movies (in comparison with theater,opera, ballet) is that everything is terribly fixed and frozen in time. This has its charm, but also its disadvantages.

handplayed: In your own opinion, what is the role of music in a movie? How does it help the story, what does it bring to it,why does it exist?

M.A.: Music can have many functions in a movie. In the course of my work, I differentiated three basic ones. Music as an illustrator of action, music as a commentator on action, and music as a layer revealing deeper character traits. Of course, its role may not go far, but in general these three directions seem to me to be the most basic. None of them is major, they are all equally important.

handplayed: Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack, who is it and why do you like it?

M.A. I couldn't say I have a favorite one, because when you like music in a movie it's kind of a complex – you love the whole experience, it inevitably goes along with the movie and the memory you associate with it. I would say any soundtrack in which music fits inorganically throughout, but also works as an independent work of art. Such titans are Nino Rota, Enio Morricone, Danny Elfman, John Williams and others. I won't have enough ink to write them all down.

Our whole world is full of sound - of breath and heartbeat, of rhythm and vibration, no wonder music has such an important role in the way we feel, the way we think,when we watch a movie or a commercial. So be careful when you choose stock music, compose a brand new film score or a song,because your decision will place the audience within the temporary reality on the screen and your choice will predetermine the message.