Sounds and silence is a musical road movie about the passionate career of a man obsessed with music.
On the way through a world of sounds and noise – with Manfred Eicher, the oustanding discoverer and mediator of contemporary music and founder of the music label ECM. On this journey we are meeting musicians and composers, but also people and places which are connected with him and with each other. We are encountering stories, landscapes, cities, disputes and hugs, tranquillity, hectic pace, work, self-doubt, joy, passion.
A search for clues at concerts, in recording studios, in back rooms, at waysides with the musicians Arvo Pärt, Eleni Karaindrou, Dino Saluzzi, Anouar Brahem, Gianluigi Trovesi, Marilyn Mazur, Nik Bärtsch, Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek and many others. A sensual, impressive, meditative road movie which accomplishes the extraordinary : to catch the magic of music.
"Manfred Eicher stands for music which shouldn’t be only consumed. He stands for artists and their life stories, convictions and their supreme musical mastery. It’s this world we want to present to you, to your eyes and ears. In times of artificial TV music stars, overproduction of video clips, soundtrack spam, commercial claim to omnipresence we want to treat music differently in a cinematic way. We want to create visual worlds instead of
randomly assembling short sequences, we want to trace the notes instead of reproducing sounds – and we want also give room to silence." - the film directors about their movie.
The film fascinates most when it makes the process of creating music visible and audible... There can hardly be a better choice for those who regard film as a school of listening.
Wolfgang Sandner, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
‘Sounds and Silence’ is an unusual experiment, an ambitious attempt to decode the language of music. The result is a highly original fusion of concert feature, artist’s portrait, episodic film and road movie.
Kai Löffler, WDR 3
An immensely fascinating, colorful film about passion, patience and sympathetic listening.
Wolfram Schütte, Hof Film Festival
direction: Peter Guyer and Norbert Wiedmer
with: Manfred Eicher
Camerata Orchestra Athen, Alexandros Myrat
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Tõnu Kaljuste
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Filarmonica Mousiké, Savino Acquaviva
Cinematography Peter Guyer und Norbert Wiedmer
Editing Stefan Kälin
sound, sounddesign, mixing: Balthasar Jucker
production: Recycled TV AG, Biograph Film
year of production: 2009