The basic motivation for this project is the in many respects symbolic life of the instrument "cinema organ". It seems to generally represent the function-bound use of music in film: the music performed on it mostly focuses on the background of silent films. In this sense it is conceptually bound to a functional use (the music functions for the film) and it is aesthetically linked to the products of a time period (the silent film era of the 1920s). Even if this is already a significant contribution to film historical performance practice, the instrument's connection to the medium of "film" necessarily raises some more questions that make the cinema organ particularly interesting for contemporary film composition:
- Is film necessarily a template for music?
- Can it also be understood as a "visual timbre" of the organ itself, as an element the organ itself owns?
These basic questions, which already formed the basis of many artistic and essayistic products of the early 20th century, will be considered from a contemporary artistic point of view. Possible conceptual and aesthetic approaches to visual music will be explored: Both image-music relationships as well as traditional genre norms will be critically questioned, examining their potential as contemporary compositional tools.
The project presentation in the second half of 2021 will take place in the context of a live premiere on the Welte cinema organ at the Filmmuseum Potsdam.
Project lead: Felix Römer
Partner: Filmmuseum Potsdam