Music and Movie

3 movies with live music


Alexander Nevsky




Directed by: Sergei Eisenstein
Music by: Sergei Prokofiev, arranged by Jeroen van Veen

Musicians needed for live performance:

Conductor
Mixed Choir
Solo: Mezzo Soprano
Two pianists
Six Percussionists

Eisenstein drew on history, Russian folk narratives, and the techniques of Walt Disney to create this broadly painted epic of Russian resilience. This story of Teutonic knights vanquished by Prince Alexander Nevsky’s tactical brilliance resonated deeply with a Soviet Union concerned with the rise of Nazi Germany. Widely imitated—most notably by Laurence Olivier’s Battle of Agincourt re-creation for
Henry V—the Battle on the Ice scene remains one of the most famous audio-visual experiments in film history, perfectly blending action with the rousing score of Sergei Prokofiev. Dutch pianist and Composer mad an exclusive arrangement with permission by the Prokofiev Foundation replacing the Orchestra by two pianos. In the same manner as Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Year: 1938
Arrangement van Veen: 2003
Duration: 1:12



Entr’acte



Directed by: René
Clair
Music by: Erik Satie, Darius Milhaud arrangement for piano four hands, completed by Jeroen van Veen in 2010

Musicians needed for live performance:

Two pianists performing on one piano.

This extraordinary early film from director René Clair was originally made to fill an interval between two acts of Francis Picabia’s new ballet,
Relâche, at the Théâtre des Champs- Elysées in Paris in 1924.  Picabia famously wrote a synopsis for the film on one sheet of note paper, headed Maxim’s (the famous Parisian restaurant), which he sent to René Clair.  This formed the basis for what ultimately appeared on screen, with some additional improvisations. Music for the film was composed by the famous avant-garde composer Erik Satie, who appears in the film, along side its originator, Francis Picabia.  The surrealist photographer Man Ray also puts in an appearance, in a film which curiously resembles his own experimental films of this era. Entr’acte is a surrealistic concoction of unrelated images, reflecting Clair’s interest in Dada, a fashionable radical approach to visual art which relied on experimentation and surreal expressionism.  Clair’s imagery is both captivating and disturbing, giving life to inanimate objects (most notably the rifle range dummies), whilst attacking conventions, even the sobriety of a funeral march. As to what the film actually means, well that’s anyone’s guess.  Like all good surrealist art there are an infinite number of possible interpretations, and one’s appreciation and understanding of this film is very much a subjective experience.  Themes which appear to dominate the work are death, mortality and  the hastening pace of technology.  Hence, one possible interpretation is that the film is mocking mankind’s attempts to cope with the brevity of his existence.  As progress is made, man has to run faster and faster to cram more and more into a fixed duration, his limited lifespan.  Could the Entr’acte of the film’s title represent that short period of what we call "life", that too brief an interval between two acts of an eternal duration?

Year: 1924
Arrangement: van Veen 2010
Duration: 20 minutes





NLXL



Directed by: Karel Tomeï & Jeroen van Veen
Animation by: Pianomania
Music by: Jeroen van Veen

Musicians needed for live performance:

Two pianists
Two toy pianos
Two synthesizers
ADAT with multitrack and amplification

Karel Tomeï arranges a wide-ranging forms of functional aerial photography. As arial photographer he flies both at home and abroad to accomplish a wide diversity of assignments. In addition, his work enjoys worldwide acclaim as an art form with separate identity. His work has been honoured repeatedly. Jeroen van Veen annimated and directed a movie based on his most famous book showing the Netherlands from above; NLXL. The movie shows the Netherlands from above like you’ve never seen it before. Van Veen composed the music for this movie using soundscapes and live instruments. In 2011/2012 Van Veen will tour extensivly with his latest production in the Netherlands and abroad.

Year: 2009/2010
Duration: 1:20