In Newmarket, Ontario, I was introduced in grade school to the piece, Danse Macabre, by Saint Saens. They would darken the classroom as we watched this slideshow of watercolor paintings by Harold Dexter Hoopes. It is a piece of music that I have never forgotten. In fact, I bought a tape of the music and crank it up full blast in my car sometimes.
I love music that tells a story, especially songs that build into a climax the way a good story does. Perhaps that’s why I love listening to orchestrated soundtrack music so much. One of my favorite musical score composers is Thomas Newman. My favorites of his are: Shawshank Redemption and How to Make an American Quilt. I also love Randy Newman’s score for The Natural. Also John Barry (Somewhere in Time, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves). I love music that makes me FEEL something.
Danse Macabre, when pumped up full volume, makes me POUND the air with my fist at it’s climactic moment when the big loud drums go BOOM! within the tornadic intensity of the violins. At it’s peak I imagine a whirlwind of spirits!
What a delight it was to find a kindred spirit in Gavrilo Gnatovich, animator and owner of Horrendous Fiasco Cartoons (my husband’s boss in the late 1990’s at Knock Knock Cartoons). Danse Macabre was a major musical focus for his short film, Lazar. I highly encourage you to watch it and enjoy this new visual interpretation of the classic music, Danse Macabre. Very different from the ghouls in the original imagery shown to me when I was little, but a good example to show that music can be interpreted in so many ways.
This music tells a story. What story speaks the most to you? Or do you have your own to share?
Click HERE or on image to go to Gav’s website – and click on the “Lazar” image on the page link to view the movie.