50 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
Stravinsky’s Fantasia soundtrack actually came from his famous 1912 ballet,
The Rite of Spring. In it, he often inserted ostinatos — continually repeated
(obstinate) musical motives or rhythms. However, unlike other composers
who might use one or two ostinatos against a more stable musical backdrop,
Stravinsky would cut-and-paste up to thirty at a time, all repeating at
different intervals. This technique is often called “mobiling,” because they
are heard as the sonic equivalent of an infant’s mobile with multiple images
spiralling freely above a cradle.
For the student’s project, more than fifty of these ostinatos were separately
written into the composition software and placed in a “loops” folder.
Students listen closely to each of them while watching the film extract,
which is also loaded into the program. Students then cut, paste and layer
the ostinatos to fit the extract, effectively rewriting Stravinsky’s music using
the composer’s own original method. Two birds killed with one stone:
developing the skill of soundtrack composition while interactively learning
one of the most important scores in the “classical” tradition—an ideal
preparation for the IB music course.
Screenshot of Anna’s soundtrack to Fantasia
Watch Anna’s film