Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis - soundtrack

by Liam Carey (postgraduate student)
September 7, 2016, 1:15 pm

Soundtrack to Act IV of the 1927 silent film Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and electronics, which was written as part of a collaborative project with four other composers. This my music for Act IV recorded live at FACT Liverpool on 7/3/16 as part of Open Circuit Festival 2016 with players from the RLPO.

What interested me about this film, and what I wanted to bring out in my score was two different kinds of opposition, firstly between the old and the new, and secondly between the real and the artificial. The film captures Berlin at a point of rapid technological change and highlights well the sense of tension between the old ways of life and the new Berlin. I decided to bring these opposition out in three ways: firstly by contrasting the acoustic instruments with the electronics; secondly by basing the instrumental sections on pre-existing material (Mahler and the folk song ’Schwesterlein’); and thirdly by contrasting foley with music - the foley all comes from environmental recordings so it that sense is ’real’, whereas the music seems more like an artifice.  

For additional information please see here.

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