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NEW MUSIC TO OLD FILMS

Metropolis

Film by Fritz Lang (1927)
restored version from the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung (2010)
Music by Martin Matalon (1995/2007/2010) GP of the new version

Ensemble Modern
François-Xavier Roth, conductor
Norbert Ommer, sound direction
Stephan Buchberger, production

BIG cinema Leipzig, projection

Sat 19-03 | 19:00 | artist discussion
Helga de la Motte-Haber talks to Martin Matalon (in English)

The original music by Martin Matalon for Metropolis was commissioned by IRCAM – Centre Pompidou Paris. The adaptation of the score to the film version from 2010 was commissioned by Ensemble Modern with the friendly support of the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and was realised in co-production with GRAME centre national de création musicale Lyon and the Ensemble Intercontemporain Paris. Realisation of the electronic playback Ircam: Cristophe de Cudenhove, Atau Tanaka, Max Bruckert

In cooperation with Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, supported by Réseau Varèse – European Network for the Creation and Promotion of New Music, with funds from the European Union’s Culture Programme

Metropolis is one of the greatest films in cinematic history. It is the first ever film to be inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. This expressionist silent film, the fantastic utopian vision of filmmaker Fritz Lang, depicts life in a futurist city with a manifest two-tiered society. First screened on 10th January 1927, the three hour long film premiere fell flat with the audience and critics alike, which is why a shortened version was shown in Germany. Around a quarter of the original material was destroyed. Since 1961 many attempts have been made to restore the original version and yet freeze frames and commentary still replaced missing material in the reconstructed version from 2001. It only became possible to almost entirely fill in earlier gaps thanks to a copy of the film discovered in Buenos Aires in 2008. This version, restored by the Murnau-Stiftung, celebrated its acclaimed premiere at the Berlinale in Berlin on 12th February 2010. The Argentine composer, Martin Matalón wrote a new soundtrack to Metropolis in 1995 under commision by IRCAM Paris. The result is an extremely colourful music, not far from jazz, that exploits the rhythmical structure of the film to build a contrapuntal network between images and sound. Now he has adapted his score to the as yet most complete, newly reconstructed version of the film.