Edgard Varèse, een Visionair in Geluid

By Frank Scheffer

Described by Henry Miller as "the stratospheric colossus of sound", the French composer Edgard Varèse (1883-1965) emancipated percussion and sound in music. His rhythmic adventures inspired composers like John Cage, Elliot Carter and Pierre Boulez. Even today, 40 years after his death, he is immensely popular in the DJ scene. Scheffer masterfully integrates music and images to create a poetic journey through Varèse compositions and catches the pulse of this beautiful, muscular music.

Scheffer's film and documentary work is closely connected to the history of music in the 20th century. Like no other director he has followed the traces of its development and its numerous branches for over twenty years: from Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schönberg and Igor Stravinsky to Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage and Frank Zappa.

In his new film, which will be premiered as the opening film of Doku.Arts, Frank Scheffer’s vision is extended through the use of his own as well as historical footage from the archive of the Filmmuseum.

In spring 2007, Filmmuseum Amsterdam took over the complete archive of the 51 year-old filmmaker. Frank Scheffer is one of the few contemporary Dutch documentary filmmakers to have this honour bestowed upon him. As part of the Dutch Experimental Film Project, partly funded by the Mondriaan Foundation, the Filmmuseum is restoring and creating new copies on 35mm of the following films: “Time is music”, “Helicopter String Quartet”, “Eclat”, “The Final Chorale” and “The Nature of Space”. Doku.Arts will present the first of these new Blow ups on Sunday 8th of June, a new 35mm film print of “Helicopter String Quartet”.