THOMAS KÖNER Live Soundtrack to E.A. Dupont's "Das alte Gesetz"
Presented by Non-Event
October 13, 2012
The film will be introduced by Veronika Fuerchtner, Dartmouth College
THOMAS KÖNER is a pioneering multimedia artist whose main interest lies in combining visual and auditory experiences. Over his long, much celebrated career, his work has included sound art and installations, minimal soundscapes, and dub techno (as one half of Porter Ricks). He attended music college in Dortmund and studied electronic music at the CEM-Studio in Arnhem. Until 1994 he worked in the film industry as editor and sound engineer.
Using an array of field recordings, electronic hums, drones, and static-filled interference, Köner creates meticulously constructed soundscapes that unfold at a glacial pace, playing with conventions of time and space. Surprisingly, given his relatively cool sound palette, Köner creates starkly beautiful works of exceptional emotional and physical resonance.
For the past decade, Köner has composed film soundtracks and music to accompany historic silent films for the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, Paris, who describe him as a major innovator in the contemporary electronic music scene.
His three classic albums from the early nineties -- Nunatak Gongamur, Teimo, and Permafrost -- as well as the acclaimed first Porter Ricks full-length Biokinetics were reissued last year on the Boston-based label Type.
His most recent album, Novaya Zemlya, was released in July on the Touch label.
Praise for Thomas Köner's Novaya Zemlya
"Novaya Zemlya is a grand statement. But then again, Thomas Köner doesn't operate in any scale other than monumental.... An easy contender for 2012's album of the year. - Aquarius Records, San Francisco
"Where Köner really excels here is in his imbuing of an ostensibly detached sound palette - consisting of field recordings, electronic interference and soft drones heard as if over great distance - with great emotional resonance, without resorting to tired cliché or obvious melodic manipulation. - The Quietus, UK
About the film
Das alte Gesetz (The Ancient Law) (1923) is a rarely screened film by one of the greatest German directors of the silent film era, E. A. Dupont, who also directed the much acclaimed 1925 film, Variety. The Ancient Law tells the story of Baruch Mayr, the son of an orthodox rabbi from Galicia, who decides to break from the family tradition and leave the shtetl to become an actor in Vienna. The film is notable not only for Dupont's distinctive visual style, but also for its evocative depiction of Jewish life and the atmosphere of Viennese theater.
The film has not been shown in the U.S. since 1924
The soundtrack by Thomas Köner was specially commissioned by the Goethe-Institut Boston