Soundtrack to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (2012-15)
This is designed to be synced to the 2014 restoration by Bertelsman and the Murnau Foundation which is available here.
I have been fascinated by this film since I was in my very early teens, maybe earlier. It was that famous image of Cesare carrying Jane over the rooftops of Holstenwall that grabbed my attention. Many years later I realised that it was Art itself that was drawing me in, but at the time it was a fascination with the bizarre and unusual vision of the film's designers. Amongst other highly unlikely (and visual) movies (Things to Come, Vampyr and, most ridiculously of all, 2001:A Space Odyssey) Caligari was a film I wanted to remake with my Dad's Standard 8 Cine Camera, with no resources and no money: oh yes, and I was a young teenager. I managed to select some music (mostly early OMD) for the score, and even cast a schoolfriend as Francis, but that was all I could achieve. In fact I didn't even have a script, nor had seen the film! The attraction was purely visual, and I devoured all the books I could find at Keighley Library which might have a mention of Caligari, or even better, a picture of a scene I hadn't yet discovered. In time my desire to make movies was tempered by realism and the more solitary artforms of painting or music making became more viable.
Caligari would remain dormant in my mind for years.
The internet age allowed this old door to be re-opened.
Firstly I actually acquired the film on DVD and was pleased to find that it was curious, and strange and not disappointing after so many years of wondering what it was actually like. In 2012 an idea clicked: musically (and otherwise) I respond best to projects, and making a soundtrack to Caligari seemed so obvious that I should have thought of it years earlier. There followed much tortured technical learning, not only to make the film into computer pixels, but then to sync it to Renoise. This done the soundtrack came together quickly in the winter of 2012. And then... I did nothing for a year, it was as good as finished, but I wasn't ready to finish it. In December 2013 I picked it up again only to find that a restored version was coming - should I wait and sync my soundtrack to this version? - Yes! It was worth the wait, and in September 2014 I got my hands on a significantly better version of the film (in terms of picture quality).
I write this in January 2015 and am still in no rush to complete the soundtrack...