Google is celebrating filmmaker and abstract animator Oskar Fischinger’s 117th birthday. Fischinger, notably, created abstract musical animation many decades before the appearance of computer graphics and music videos. Fischinger, also a painter, has created special effects for one of the first sci-fi rocket movies ever produced. He made over 50 short films like Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), it has been listed on the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress.
The Google Doodle starts with Fischinger’s famous quote, “Music is not limited to the world of sound. There exists a music of the visual world”, it then takes you to a page where you can visually compose music by selecting dots on a grid. You can select between four different instruments. Each dot represents a note, the composition is played on a loop.
Who is Oskar Fischinger?
Fischinger finished his school and later learned at an organ-building firm until the owners were drafted into the war. He also worked as a draftsman in an architect’s office. He left Nazi Germany for Hollywood in 1936 as Hitler cracked down on abstract art.
Fischinger’s short film An Optical Poem, 1938 was made entirely with paper in stop-motion fashion.
Fischinger was also given an office at Paramount. He also made a film named Radio Dynamics which was planned for inclusion in the feature film The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936). However, Paramount only allowed its release in black-and-white, which was not communicated to Fischinger when he began his work. After many years, with the help of Hilla von Rebay and a grant from the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (later The Guggenheim), he was able to buy the rights of the film. He re-painted the cels and made a coloured version, which was then called Allegretto. It became one of Fischinger’s most popular films.