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Die Musik für Orgel und Schlagwerk

The music score for organ and percussion was commissioned for the festival, “Silent Film-Live – 100 Years of Cinema,” Leipzig, 1995, as a reminiscence of the great tradition of silent film music in 1920s Germany.
The score presents a typical combination of film music techniques from the silent film era with compilations (use of already existing or suitably revised works) and new compositions (specifically written for this film). Central themes from P. Tchaikovsky and M. Mussorgsky appropriately underscore the petty bourgeois outlook on art depicted in the film. The new compositions, however, give a sense of the spirit of music from the silent film era at the beginning of the 20th century.

It will sound as it could have in a movie theater in 1921 – the music should affirm the quality of the film and bring it to life by breathing an “acoustical life” into the on-screen action.

Just as it was in the era of silent films, the music is studded with thematic references (e.g., a quote from Edvard Grieg’s Vöglein, [Little Bird] when a singing bird appears on-screen), which, for the most part, are to be found in the renowned compilation, Motion Picture Moods for Pianists and Organists, published in 1924. A large portion of these musical excerpts will probably no longer be recognized by present day viewers (losing, thereby, much of their impact). I have chosen, therefore, to use more current references, which are effectively engendered with rhythms, melody, tempo, timbre and volume that are suited to the functional and emotional requirements. Precisely because of the individual’s personal associative relationship to them, these newer quotes uphold the historical tradition and techniques for “film funning.”

To date, this program has been successfully performed 22 times in churches throughout Germany as well as in theaters, film museums, etc., in Germany and abroad. More performances are being planned.