Press Release for Stravinsky/Bacal/Malinowski video

Subject: YouTube animation brings Rite of Spring to 21st century audiences
Contact: Stephen Malinowski, stephen@musanim.com; 510-235-7478
Images: High-res images, suitable for publication, comparing a passage in The Rite of Spring video with the same passage in a conventional score


Stravinsky's 20th century masterpiece meets 21st century technology with music animation

A high-tech treatment, available on YouTube, provides access for all to a work that has challenged listeners since its debut 100 years ago.

The ballet The Rite of Spring with music by Stravinsky was first performed in Paris on May 29, 1913.

The occasion caused a riot in the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Objects were thrown at the musicians. The police were called.

That was just the beginning. The Rite became arguably the most influential piece of music written in the 20th century. It broke the mold, from the elements of its composition, with its raw repeated patterns, defiance of the expected rhythmic form, combative polytonality, to its elemental use of non-Western melodies and harmonies.

Its influences can be heard in the compositions of many who followed, from Olivier Messiaen to Aaron Copland. It is one of the most recorded works in the classical repertoire, and was featured in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia.

The Rite of Spring remains a hugely influential and provocative work, still challenging but very rewarding for listeners.

In celebration of the centenary of its premiere, music synthesist Jay Bacal and music animator Stephen Malinowski have collaborated to create an animated, graphical score for viewers.

The animation, which you can watch and listen to on YouTube, is a musical score that nonmusicians can understand. It's a welcoming way to appreciate the structure of the work, and heightens your listening by enlisting the visual channel, which allows one to easily follow the different lines of the orchestration.

"The animation lets your eyes lead your ears," Malinowski says. Malinowski, based in the Bay Area, has created music animations for more than 200 pieces of music. He has provided animation for Björk and provided live animation synchronized to performances by symphony orchestra, chamber music groups and soloists.

The video can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02tkp6eeh40.