BIMM University / Together We Create

8 hours to write a song? BIMM University Berlin students show us how it’s done

28th November 2023


14 students at BIMM University Berlin spent the day putting pen to paper at our second Songwriting Seminar. This year, the seminar ran under the theme ‘unlocking meaning through detail in songwriting’ and saw students and alumni coming together for some serious collaborative magic.

The day began with students heading down to L.A. Recordings, a studio run by former BIMM University Berlin alumni, Liam Blomqvist and Anna Vaverková. Liam (Songwriting, 2016-2019), alongside singer-songwriter Ryan O’Reilly, led the seminar.

This session focused on elevating the poetic content within the students’ songs, using a method borrowed from university-level poetry classes and developed in songwriters’ rooms in Nashville, Toronto and LA.

The students worked in pairs, putting this technique into practice. With students from Songwriting, Popular Music Performance, Music Production, and our master’s degree programme, Popular Music Practice, there was a wide range of influences and ideas on display.

Over the course of the day, the duos would write a track and then take it into the booth with the aim of creating a basic demo. At the end of the day, one of the pairs would be selected to have their track recorded at L.A., so it’s no exaggeration when we say that the stakes were high.

Image depicts a student and singer-songwriter Ryan O'Reilly sat at a piano in L.A. Recordings for the BIMM University Berlin Songwriting Seminar. In the bottom right-hand corner is the TOGETHER WE CREATE that captures collaboration across campuses in BIMM University.

Amongst all the incredible tracks written that day, ultimately it was Renate Andija Svenne (Music Production, Year 2) and Þordis Petra Olafsdottir (Songwriting, Year 3) that had their track selected.

 “I really enjoyed myself at the seminar – it was just what I needed to inspire myself to create again and the approach was new and interesting. I really enjoyed working with Renate and figuring out how to draw from both of our influences to create something fresh. I’m honoured our song was chosen and I can’t wait to see what happens in the studio.” — Þordis Petra Olafsdottir

Liam echoed this sentiment, saying:

“It was great to see how the students fully immersed themselves in the task straight away. The music written was remarkable, and I think they inspired me even more than I did them! Everyone seemed to enjoy this rather unorthodox way of writing, and it was fun to see how fast they got to work– not a single hand was still.”

For Peter Robaudo, BIMM University Berlin’s Events & Community manager, the Songwriting Seminar was a perfect example of the campus’ collaborative spirit:

“It was amazing to see how students worked together to create some truly killer tracks in such a short space of time. Collaboration is everything at BIMM University Berlin – whether it’s musicians working with musicians, actors working with filmmakers, or a combination of all the above.

“It was also great to work so closely with two of our alumni in putting this together. For current students, witnessing Liam and Anna’s studio in action – launched just a few years after graduating – is the perfect inspirational story. It shows that they too can build something incredible.”

A special thank you from everyone at BIMM University to Liam and Anna for inviting us into your wonderful studio space. We’ll be eagerly awaiting the final recording of Þordis and Renate’s track.

Discover more about BIMM University Berlin’s range of courses in music, film, acting, and video games here.


BIMM University

BIMM University provides an extensive range of courses in modern music, performing arts, filmmaking, and creative technology to over 8,000 students across 14 schools in the UK, Ireland, and Germany. We have a long-standing commitment to providing the highest quality in creative industries education, allowing students to maximise their career potential in an inclusive community built on a culture of shared passion, creativity, and collaboration. Berlin | Birmingham | Brighton | Bristol | Dublin | Essex | London | Manchester