Thursday, June 20, 2013

hans richter soundtrack project

very excited to be working on a web project related to the los angeles county museum of art's hans richter exhibition. i was invited to respond to the show, and decided to work on several different approaches towards making a soundtrack for the film "ghosts before breakfast".

richter originally conceived of the film with composer paul hindemith (who appears in the film), to be premiered at a music festival at baden-baden, with richter shooting the images, and hindemith composing its soundtrack. at some point the nazis got ahold of the master print of the film, and when it was destroyed the original soundtrack was lost forever.

for this project, i'm basically working with ideas for approaching the film, related to it's history, imagery, and richter's own writings about sound and film, such as this quote from 1947:

"i believe firmly that music for the silent avant garde film is essential. of course it depends on what music. however i do not believe in the synchronization of sound and image...i agree with man ray that we must avoid complete synchronization. we should find a way to let the sound and the picture move on its own in the same direction, but nevertheless, separately. this refers to the spoken word as well as to the musical and other sounds."

for the first soundtrack, i used an iphone app that transforms iphone images into sound, while the second involved rubbing sandpaper over the surface of an LP of hindemith's music, so that the loss of music is not just an absence, but a presence of destruction.

each of the soundtrack will be posted on the lacma website, along with extensive notes.
a link to the lacma page can be found here.


Anonymous Paul Yates said...


Really love the week 2 soundtrack. Listened with headphones and the start sounded just brilliant in stereo.

thanks for sharing

12:41 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

hey paul,
thanks so much for the kind words! i'm hoping to complete 10 of them :-)

3:20 PM  

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