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What does music look like?

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Published on May 15, 2013

Production report of the experimental film VIRTUOS VIRTUELL.
Author: Carola Wittrock, Hessian Broadcast Production (HR-Fernsehen)


Oscar Award Winner Thomas Stellmach and artist Maja Oschmann visualised classic music in their artistic film VIRTUOS VIRTUELL.


The overture of the opera THE ALCHYMIST by the early German romanticism composer Louis Spohr (1784-1859), is the basis of the seven and a half minute film, to which the drawer Maja Oschmann and the animation filmmaker Thomas Stellmach shared the directing. They combined their different artistic experiences of storytelling and expressive drawings to music, and developed an emotionally music visualisation.


Hand crafted ink drawings inspired by the composition and accompanying the music, play on the threshold between the figurative and nonfigurative, thus allowing for a wide range of associations to form.

The musical and dramaturgical versatility of the overture induced Stellmach and Oschmann to a story-like interpretation of the composition. They developed a "character" in an environment that through an interplay of careful encounters and dynamic pursuits, of agile lightness but also of confrontation, tell their very own story.
The waves, jumps, fades and surges of the films graphic elements express a variety of emotions such as curiosity, joy, anger or threat and take the listener and viewer on an exciting but equally poetic journey through the music into the abstract associative visual world.

Oschmann and Stellmach were in part stimulated by Kassel's Louis Spohr Museum that focuses on versatile experiences and activation of all senses. This film provides a reference point for visitors who are deaf as well, allowing them to experience the visual translation of a piece of music.

The premiere of VIRTUOS VIRTUELL was during the anniversary celebration of "1100 Years of Kassel" in the congress palace in February 18th, 2013. The film music was performed live by the State Orchestra of Kassel.

More information about the film see: www.VirtuosVirtuell.com

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