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  • Metaphysical Vienna

    I did a stop-motion animation film called Metaphysician's Dream over the last year (hand-made animation takes a while...) and used Vienna Instruments/MIR for the music score  -

    it is Solo Viola, Bass, Flute, Celesta, Harp, Musical Glasses, and some old Roland Juno 60 analog synthesizer -     

    Metaphysician's Dream

  •  Hi William,

    Thank you for posting this superb visual and musical work. The blurring between the real and the unreal, dream and reality, themes that are dear to you. I also love the winks of Baedeker's "Handbook for Traveler" for the imaginary world of Althyria, a reference I suppose to your 2018 film. Everything is part of the mystery, up to the reverse map of Vienna ... Fantastic !
    As for the music, it reminds me in many aspects of Barry Gray in Space 1999, with the use of the harp and mallets, as well as sounds like those we hear between 1:55 and 2: 40 that you realized I guess with the Juno 60.
    Bravo, I love it!

  • A lovely art film, William. The main models and their animation, the sets, props, lighting and foley: they're all a delight.

    For me the music finds a good median: keeping material normality at bay whilst not venturing overly far into the odd and alien. It's practically impossible to say which compositional style I prefer between the familiar, stirring and romantic, such as John Williams' choice for Star Wars, and the strange, bleak and unsettling, such as Jerry Goldsmith's approach for Alien. I love both and perhaps it's a false choice - both have valid places in the vast world of film-making.

    I've always enjoyed contemplative fantasies like this one but these days they're all too rare. My other half watched your video and said she enjoyed the models (she has designed and built several miniatures, some of them quite complex), the animation and music, but would have preferred a stronger storyline. We agreed to disagree. Call me eccentric but while viewing some works of art I tend to dislike strong built-in narratives wherever they constrain or interfere with my contemplative musings. However, it's also pretty clear that narrative as such has become the be-all and end-all for most folks in these days of the global village.

    Very well done and many thanks for the contemplative musings.

  • Macker, thanks and you're right I was going for less of a story but still having something there in the background.  That way I could improvise though in ultra-slow motion one frame at a time. 

  • Hi Philippe, thanks and you're right about that Baedeker book and the map!  In the feature film the main character, in a more straightforward story line, is dreaming of this place.   I'm not sure but I think this went too far off to be included in the other film.

  • Hi Wiliam,

    This is stunning in many aspects: as an animation movie, musically, for the mysterious atmosphere, the noising, the alienating impression...

    True craftsmanship in every aspect!



  • Thanks Jos, I appreciate  it!  

  • (I left this same message on the YouTube of the video, but I thought it needed to be shared here, also.)

    Bill, this is simply astonishing! Absolutely fantastic work! I was especially struck by your attention to the tiniest detail: the Foley work, the lighting, the incredible props, the computer-animated sequences...right down to the scratchy "needle-in-a-worn-record-groove" sound in the silent spots. The music is wonderful; every cue compliments the visuals perfectly, right down to the source cues. I'll let folks know that they need to check this out, if only to get an idea of what one talented person can accomplish with modern audio/video equipment and a ridiculous amount of creativity and hard work. Thanks for sharing it. I'm curious...there must be some sort of contests in the film production bag for which this would be a strong entrant. Are you going to submit the Dream for consideration in something?

  • Thanks a lot Tom, that's nice of you!  I have submitted it to some festivals - not sure what's going to happen with that though. I'm glad you noticed the noise track - I like film optical sound noise, and used that.  Somewhat perverse to add exactly what people desperately tried to get rid of in the past...

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    @Macker said:

    My other half watched your video and said she enjoyed the models (she has designed and built several miniatures, some of them quite complex), the animation and music, but would have preferred a stronger storyline.

    Macker, this is exactly what happened at my house! My wife Gerrie is a director and actor in local theater. She watched it with me and immediately stated that she wanted a stronger storyline. Interestingly, she worked out a rather specific story, which differed from the one I had worked out in my own head. Which is precisely why I enjoy such a nonspecific, abstract work; it lets you write the story you need to hear. That may be why I've always preferred instrumental music to songs with lyrics. I know the bass lines and horn figures to songs that I don't recall any other words than the hook. And I'm talking about Hall of Fame, #1 hits that everyone else in the world has completely memorized. Music, to me, is not just a vehicle to dispense poetry....without words, it tells me the story I need to hear.

  • Tom, you described it for me too.

    I was still pretty young when I had to give up wanting more instrumentals to go up the pop charts and realise I was in a tiny minority, lol. My parents' choice of music was exclusively serious orchestral and piano works - but hey it was the '60s! I still relish the rare moments when an orchestral piece, an art film like this one of William's or perhaps some underground electronica lights up my imagination without me having to ride tramlines.

    Even so, I guess I've become naturally more conservative over the years and now sometimes even enjoy wallowing in videos of Wagner's staged productions with singers and full cast! (Maybe I'm becoming Bavarian :D) Well, Wagner's take on high drama somehow doesn't wear me down - maybe cuz he was a fellow Gemini, lolol).

  • Absolutely fabulous! Thanks for sharing this little cinematographic jewel with us, William. 

    ... and I had a good laugh when I saw that framed map of Vienna's city district on the wall. :-D 

    /Dietz - Vienna Symphonic Library
  • Dietz, thanks I'm glad you liked it!  

    I think I was channeling Vienna because I had forgotten I used the reverse map in that scene.  I had a Baedecker guide to Austria circa 1908 that was the basis for it...

  • I had congratulated Bill privately on this film, but I believe it merits a 'bump' on the forum, as well as a public appreciation for this wonderful creation. Very warm atmosphere and colours (at an age when most people do grey for some reason), great imagery and visual concepts!

    Please do more!

  • Thanks Errikos, I appreciate it.  

  • As strange as it is beautiful, thank you.

  • Really fantastic work!  Very creative and clever use of motion graphics tools and amazing stop motion.  Great technical aspects in terms of color, lighting, and blending in the music in a very supportive way.  That's also a huge amount of work to do all by yourself too. Thank you for sharing. 

  • FRG and synergy thanks very much!

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on