Aelita – Queen Of Mars
Aelita – Queen Of Mars (1924) is a magic treasure of vintage cinema. Aelita was the first Soviet science-fiction film, and also the first film to depict life on another planet. With its impressive constructivist sets and costumes, Aelita introduced fantastical elements and tropes still echoing in current sci-fi.
The music for Aelita is built from samples and sounds of later Soviet sci-fi production from 1936 to 1989, in effect having Aelita’s “children” as a sound-design and musical tool. The score also uses musical techniques and devices from modernist composers and productions contemporary of director Protazanov.
Häxan – The Witch
Häxan – The Witch (1922) is an episodic docu-horror of witchcraft. It was the most expensive – and most censored – Scandinavian cinema production of it’s time. Directed by Benjamin Christensen, it is loosely based on Malleus Maleficarum, a judicial document from 1486 on the prosecution of witches. The film intellegently – and highly visually – investigates how “being different” has always been a risk to queer and innocent people.
The score for Häxan is created with hundreds of recordings of intimate, microscopic sounds of performing sorcery. Burning leaves, dissecting frogs, popping eyes. The score also uses real sounds recorded at Blocksberg, a mountain in central Germany. Historically located on the border of East and West Germany during the cold war, Blocksberg became a listening post for the Soviet regime. The mountain is to this day still filled with our contemporary tools of witchcraft and sorcery: Surveillance equipment.
The score for Haxan combines all these sonic elements to support and enhance a narrative of suppression, fear of “the others” and invisible abuse of power.
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928) is considered a landmark of cinema, especially for its stylistic visual production, Dreyer’s unique direction and Falconettis captivating acting.
The film is renowned for its spectacular set design and art direction – of which there are only brief glances in the film – but most famous for it’s focus on natural faces and emotional reactions, edited in such elegant speed and flow as rivalling most modern music videos.
The music for Joan Of Arc uses contemporary film soundtrack scoring and musical sound design to weave a sonic texture that both contrasts and compliments the aesthetics of the images. The score utilises heavily manipulated and processed recordings of Middle-Age religious music, live electronic processing of an acoustic violin and modern digital micro-sound structures.
The music is also available as album releases, released winter 2016/2017.