Film, Music and In Between

100 years since the birth of Ingmar Bergman

For Bergman, “film and music are nearly the same. They are both means of expression and communication which bypass reason and reach our emotional centers.”

2018 marked 100 years since the birth of Ingmar Bergman, one of the greatest authors of all time. This project casts a light on one particular aspect of his film work: his understanding of music – the way it was developed, produced and how it resonates with contemporary audiences. It is also a biographical journey, in which we tried to approach and understand Bergman through music, film and a live multimedia performance.  Matti Bye, awarded Swedish film composer and pianist who worked with Bergman himself participated in several events in Belgrade in October 2018. 

On Sunday, October 21 at 20.00 at Belgrade Philharmonics, Matti Bye performed a solo concert on the prepared piano. Matti performed some of his most successful compositions that have brought him significant awards in Sweden and abroad, as well as compositions from his new album This Forgotten land. Matti’s music is usually compared to Debussy and Satie. “His studio is an analogue world of synths, pianos, celesta, Mellotron and organs, and his music alludes to the strange, romantic mood you get when you hear old merry go rounds, or mechanical instruments in small amusements parks, and abandoned places.” — The Wire

Introductory session was performed by a group of musicians, composers, audio and video designers – participants of the workshop that Matti had held before the concert.

Bye has composed music for over 30 films and TV series as well as additional scores for Theatre and Dance pieces. In 2014 Bye was nominated twice at Sweden´s Guldbagge Awards in which his soundtrack for the film Faro won the award. Bye also won a Guldbagge in 2009 for his score for the film Everlasting Moments. Bye has recorded and released numerous solo and collaboration records, include Hydra’s Dream, with Anna Von Hausswolff; Maailma, with cult Finnish songwriter Lau Nau. With his Ensemble he works in the field of musical improvisation and performs all over the world. Matti loves to explore the piano as an instrument, and often plays on the prepared piano while including other sounds and atmospheres in his work. He has been described as “extraordinary performer with his own incomparable style of improvisation.” 

On Monday, October 22, at 18.00 at the Yugoslav Film Archive audiences had an opportunity to see The Last Gasp, Ingmar Bergman’s TV film that Matti Bye worked on as a composer.  Projection was followed by a Q&A session with Matti Bye and a roundtable that examined the role of music in Bergman’s films, while also going broader into analyzing film music in the contemporary cinematography. Roundtable was moderated by Ivan Velisavljević, and participants were Matti Bye, composer, Ana Krstajić, composer, Maša Seničić, dramaturge and Igor Stanojević, director.   

Eho animato organized this program with the help of partners – The Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, Belgrade Philharmonics, Yugoslav Film Archive and Geopoetika publishing house. Project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia.