DAS CABINET DES Dr. CALIGARI
directed by Robert Wiene
music and sound design : Luigi Ceccarelli, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, Alessandro Cipriani, Mauro Cardi
In the little village of Holstenwall on the Dutch border, fairground hypnotist Dr.Caligari (Werner Krauss) puts on show a somnambulist called Cesare (Conrad Veidt) who has been asleep for twenty-three years. At night, dressed in a black body-stocking and with a ghostly white face, he slithers through the town murdering people on the doctor’s orders. A student (Friedrich Feher) has his suspicions about Caligari after a friend is found dead and it transpires that the doctor is the director of a lunatic asylum. But the story also has a sting in the tail… A masterpiece of expressionist cinema and the first cult-movie in cinema history, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari takes its inspiration from the most advanced experimental work carried out at the beginning of the last century in literature and art. Strongly imbued with a theme that denounces the sufferings of a deceptively free human condition, poised constantly between reality and fiction, Wiene’s film also seems to be filled with surprising historical premonitions.
After more than eighty years, the composition of the electroacoustic soundtrack by Edison Studio brings us once again a film that is eloquently redefined. The composition, commissioned by the International Computer Music Conference (Singapore 2003), was preceded by a lengthy phase of analysis and interpretation of the film. This led to the definition of the expressive atmosphere, formal programme and sound material that constitute the choice of timbre in the score: instrumental and vocal samples, pre-existing musical fragments, concrete and synthetic sounds. The score is for computer, MIDI keyboards connected to samplers, percussion instruments and resonant objects. The performance in real time, in keeping with and going beyond the silent film tradition, restores the excitement of a live invention not only of music but also of sound and verbal language environments that themselves blend into music and make it possible to develop flexibly and dynamically the intricate relationships existing between the sound material and the expressive and symbolic world of the characters and places.
Founded in 1993 by Mauro Cardi, Luigi Ceccarelli, Fabio Cifariello Ciardi and Alessandro Cipriani, Edison Studio is internationally recognized in the electroacoustic music scene thanks to the numerous prizes and awards it has received for its works (Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, Prix Ars Electronica, International Computer Music Conference, Venice Biennale, Ravenna Festival, Musica Nova Praga, etc.).
The Studio’s activity is based on the production of collective live electroacoustic works.
The constant and mutual co-operation between the composers, over time, allowed common ideas to cross over from individual approaches into a single and unified style.
Edison Studio recovers the old tradition of silent movies with live music, including the re-invention of sound environments and voices of the characters.
Via S.Pietro Barisano
14 October 2018