MUSIC WITH A CLICK TRACK: FILM MUSIC
Exploring the different mechanisms by which music impacts film | Close-up on new music | curated by Irene Suchy
New music | Concert | Education | 10+ | Children | Young people | Adults | School, secondary level
How does the music fit into film – and how does film fit into music?
How does it change the picture? How does it change events? What will you experience?
This concert, featuring film music composer Alexander Kukelka and his ensemble, offers some truly fresh perspectives; afterwards you will be able to “hear” films differently (including your old favourites), and to “see” film music in a new light.
Exploring these compositions in depth reveals how music and film can come together in perfect harmony. The evening will also feature stories from the world of film music; stories by, and about, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Rachel Portman, Hildur Gudmansdottir, and many others.
This event shows that film music dramaturgy – studying the dramatic effects of film music – is not a wholly and intrinsically musical reflection of a musical form; rather, the film is seen first and foremost as a “holistic work of art”, and the discipline always strives to embed the film’s non-musical elements – including image content, image design, dialogue, mood, background noises, sound design, etc – within the language of the musical resources selected, in a manner which excites and surprises.
Audience members will also have the opportunity to set a film to music, live, in collaboration with the musicians. They will also be able to ask questions about the origins of the music, and how composers and filmmakers work together.
“Exploring the different mechanisms through which music impacts films”
This begins with the opening sequence of a road movie, underscored by the sounds of Vivaldi, Mozart, Wagner, Debussy and Philip Glass, which provides an insight into the influence of classical music on film music.
Next we are shown the different ways in which music can change the impact of an image, by watching a fast-paced short made by Filmakademie Wien’s youth workshop and inserting a variety of newly composed tracks. During the process we see how the music follows the most common concepts in film music dramaturgy, including:
“Playing the action” (illustrating); “Playing against the action” (working as a counterpoint); and “Playing the subtext” (polarising). We are led through the full gamut of film music, all the way from the visual slapstick of the “Silent film” era and its “Mickey Mousing”, through the classic “leitmotif and mood” technique, and ultimately to the minimalist “building blocks” approach, with its use of abstract, noise-like, improvised textures, so that by the end of this process we have heard the most important sound aesthetics.
We see the celebrated comic actor Jerry Lewis performing a musical sketch featuring some virtuoso choreography, which raises an intriguing question about this scene: just who or what is accompanying who or what here?
As a grand finale, we get to hear much-loved film themes composed by masters of the genre, including Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Henry Mancini and Lalo Schifrin. This exciting potpourri of music is performed by a selection of extraordinary musicians: Aliosha Biz on violin, Wolfgang Kornberger on clarinet and Kevan Teherani on drums, with musical direction from the piano courtesy of Alexander Kukelka.
This project has been made possible by funding from the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport, and from the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna.
We appreciate their support!