ANIMAZE 2015 - The Land of the Magic Flute

An Invitation into the Colourful Abyss

The audience was immediately swept into a world of mystery. Was it a dream, or was it a strange, fantastical reality? Perhaps it was both?

Berlin artists Fons Schiedon, Philippe Lambert, and Benjamin Schreuder have devoted the past two years to this outstanding project, based on the desire to find ways of bringing classical and operatic music to younger generations. The project was based on the famous Mozart opera, The Magic Flute. The music is heavily inspired by the opera itself, and the story is an adaptation of the libretto written by Emanuel Schikaneder. The festival presented a short film/motion comic based on their interactive graphic novel.

For those who are unfamiliar with motion comics as an artistic medium, it is essentially short film presented in the form of a graphic novel. Comic strip panels are turned to animated scenes, often with music, voice acting, and other audio elements found in film. This particular work had no spoken word and the folly was seamlessly incorporated into the live, electro-acoustic accompaniment. The result was an immersive viewing masterpiece that put the viewer at the heart of innovative storytelling. One can only imagine how much more entrancing the full work must be.

In its short film form, the piece was wholly mesmeric. It began by washing the audience in ambient music that was kept alive buy subtle changes that helped tell the wordless story. When the scenes depicted water, the ambiance had the persistence of waves eternally kissing a shore. When the characters journeyed through a forest, the music was alive with the buzz of insects and wild grasses teeming with life. There was a great comfort to familiar sounds in an alien world.

Visually alluring, the transitions between scenes were slow and hypnotic. With moments of pure black, nothing but the entrancing ambient music was there to foreshadow the beauty that the audience was enveloped in. When the art reappeared, it granted its audience abundant time to absorb every detail and mesmerizing movement. Each gesture on every panel ebbed and flowed with the musical backdrop as the story unfolded. The simplicity was powerful.

The characters and scenes were crafted with their own musical layers and themes. As images overlapped and played with one another in a firework of calculated chaos, their accompanying themes would imbricate and tessellate, sending chills through the audience, herding us to teeter on the edge of tears.

Journeys this compelling are rare. Do not miss the chance to embark on this profound, emotional odyssey, available at The Land of the Magic Flute - The Motion Graphic Novel.


--Tune in to The F Hole (Monday 12-2PM) and Shibuya Crossing (Wednesday 4-6PM) for all your musical needs! Only on CJLO 1690AM in Montreal.