A visual music piece with embedded messages about discrimination.


Oskar Fischinger – Inspiration for this piece

            Oskar Fischinger was a famous German animator that specialized in visual music.  When first starting out he worked with Walter Ruttmann and did things with three-dimensional modeling.  He worked with wax and the lights would often melt his work.  As a result, he gave up with working on three dimensional wax models.  He then in 1924 started working with Louis Seel to make cartoons and also began making abstract films on his own.  He was soon poor and walked 350 miles.  He took many photos and released it as a film.  Once he arrived in Berlin he became a special effects artist and worked on many films.  He then started working on visual music, which he ended up becoming famous for.  Eventually he ended up moving to Hollywood and this is when his visual music career started taking off.  One of his most noticeable works was a piece he made for Walt Disney’s Fantasia in 1940.  He was also notable for creating the Lumigraph, which was a device that produced colored light and was useful in animation.

Oskar has a very good sense of motion in his films.  All of the animation goes exactly along with the music.  He also tries to use shapes that truly characterize the music.  If the music is soft and legato he uses smooth shapes like circles, if the music is fast and staccato he uses sharp figures such as triangles the really personify the music.  A good example where this can be seen is in his Classic Short Film titled “An Optical Poem” from 1938.  The film has music that is constantly changing and Fischinger uses a variety of shapes to really show what the music is trying to tell us.  He also does this by using different colors to help depict the music.  If the music is soft, he will use relaxing colors such as blue or white.  If the music is fast he will use warm colors such as red or purple.

In my piece I tried to incorporate the use of triangles and loud colors to truly personify the music.  I was very choosy when I decided what I was using to compose the piece.  I also tried to follow along with exactly what the music was telling me.  I looked for subtleties and little things that would make it seem as though the music and the visuals were one in the same rather than separate entities.  This can also be said about all of Fischinger’s works.  His style really spoke to me and is something that has truly left a great impression on my style.

I feel I was very successful in incorporating Fischinger’s style into my own work.  While I don’t have the machines he used at my disposal to accomplish the same special effects that he used, such as the growing and shrinking.  I felt his pieces were truly inspiring and captivating and had visual elements that I knew I could incorporate into my work.  The reason I chose this artist was because I really liked his style and felt that I could do a good job when trying to channel him.


About JamesWrobel

I'm a junior at Alfred State College majoring in Digital Media and Animation. I specialize in digital art and photography rather than drawing and painting. It's a work in progress and I'm working hard to achieve my dreams.
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