Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 117th birthday of filmmaker and visual artist Oskar Fischinger. Fischinger made amazing musical animations before computers were ever a thing, and today’s doodle gives you an opportunity to create your own visual music composition.
In the doodle, you make your own composition by creating your own pattern that then becomes music. Each note becomes a circle when played, and the pattern of ripples emerge. You can also add different instruments that also create different visual reactions, for a fully synesthetic experience. Somehow, no matter how random your pattern is, the music is lovely.
To get more familiar with his work Engadget shared his short “An Optical Poem,” which Fischinger produced in 1938 by hand.
The doodle is incredibly entertaining and a great interactive tribute to the artist, but I also want to share this message from his youngest child Angie Fischinger who worked on the project:
“My parents were German immigrants. They were forced to leave Germany in 1936 when it became clear that my father could not pursue his work as a filmmaker there (avant-garde was considered degenerate by Hitler and his administration). But many people who had already seen his films recognized his greatness. He received an offer to work at MGM and stayed in Hollywood after the war.
My father was incredibly dedicated to his art — some even called him stubborn. His passion and honesty were part of his brilliance, but they could also make him a bit difficult to work with. Sometimes our family struggled financially as a result, so everybody pitched in — the kids got paper routes or did babysitting. We were raised in a healthy, hard-working environment. We were happy, intellectually stimulated, and dedicated to education. Thanks to my family’s support and encouragement, I graduated from San Jose State and taught in the public school system for 30 years.
I feel incredibly proud of my family and am delighted to be the daughter of Oskar and Elfriede Fischinger. It means so much to me to see this celebration of my father’s art. It’s wonderful to know that his work, which has been steadily praised since the 1920s, will continue to receive worldwide recognition.”
Fischinger work, ahead of its time and provoking to the extent of prosecution, is inspiring and beautiful. This Doodle is a fantastic and colorful homage, so take some time to create some of your own music.
(via Engadget, image: screencap)
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