A seamless tapestry of music and sound.

Symphonie Diagonale

A film made in 1924 by Eggeling that experiments with film as a means of expression.

Symphone Diagonale, the emphasis is on objectively analyzed movement rather than expressiveness on the surface pattering of lines into clearly defined movements, controlled by a mechanical, almost metronomic tempo. The spatial complexities and ambiguities are almost non-existent here. Above all, a sober quality of ryhthm articulation remains the most pronounced quality of the film…” (Standish Lawder, “Structuralism and Movement in Experimental Film and Modern Art, 1896-1921). Paper cut-outs and then tin foil figures were photographed a frame at a time. Completed in 1924, the film was shown for the first time (privately) on November 5. On May 3, 1925 it was presented to the public in Germany; sixteen days later Eggeling died in Berlin.  Upon first viewing Symphonie Diagonale, it is even difficult to perceive a beginning or an end. There is no story, no personality, but only a constant shifting of pattern upon pattern inside an undefined space, like the universe itself. According to Moholy-Nagy, Eggeling was “the first to discover the all-prevailing, revolutionary importance of an esthetic of time in film.” By building his animation from a musical foundation, Eggeling prepared the future for animators to come.

I took this silent film and put music and sound effects to it. Viking Eggeling experimented with film as a means of expression, adding a dimension that is inaccessible to the artist as a painter: time. I wrote an underneath piece of music that was stable throughout with hardly a beginning or end, inserting musical instruments and sound effects that represented the different geometrical shapes in the film. To me, the music tries to put place you into the film with no concept of time.

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Comments on: "Symphonie Diagonale" (1)

  1. Great blog!! You should start many more. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned 🙂

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