Hanns Eisler – ‘Composing for the Films’

White Flood clip 1
‘White Flood’ – clip 1 (1940-2, 1.1 MB, 30 sec.)

A Child Went Forth clip
‘A Child Went Forth’ – clip (1940-2, 1.4 MB, 30 sec.)

White Flood clip 2
‘White Flood’ – clip 2 (1940-2, 661 KB, 29 sec.)

Easily the most interesting of all Brecht’s composer collaborators
& in flat contradiction to the current myth spread by those
who dislike his politics, by far the better composer than the rather
dull Weill, Hanns Eisler’s keen intellect turned to questions of film in his
exile in the USA in the early forties.
Under the auspices of the New School & funded by the Rockefeller foundation
Eisler conducted an intensive investigation of the relationship between
film & music , often involving him writing new music to already existing footage.
You can see some of this footage here – but what you really need to do is to listen.
There is no-one who could not learn something from the amazing way Eisler
deploys music here.
After the project, Eisler went on to write, with Theodore Adorno,
himself no slouch intellectually (& also a practicing composer),
one of the key books on music & the movies –‘Composing for the Films’
These clips come from the website for a new edition of the book
released with a companion DVD documenting much of the Rockefeller experimentation.