The Happenstancers Release Five Short Films Accompanying Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire

By Chris Ruel

Toronto-based chamber orchestra, The Happenstancers, has announced the release of five short films to accompany Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire.”

The films feature soprano Danika Lorèn of the Canadian Opera Company and Toronto Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Simon Rivard. Toronto-based filmmaker Jake Kovnat was behind the camera.

Kovnat shot the films in black and white, in a surrealistic style, using various creative camera and editing techniques to construct an intriguing series in which video and music align in a hallucinogenic montage. Excerpts from Schoenberg’s Three Times Seven Poems from Albert Giraud’s “Pierrot Lunaire” include XIV. Die Kreuze XII. Galgenlied XI. Rote Messe XVIII. Der Mondfleck VIII. Nacht.

Five artists participated in Barbara Hannigan’s Young Artists initiative, with Hannigan and Equilibrium providing financing.

The Happenstancers include Rebecca Moranis (flute and piccolo), Brad Cherwin (clarinet and bass clarinet), Hee-Soo Yoon (violin and viola), Sarah Gans (cello), and Alexander Malikov (piano). Brad Cherwin produced the films, and Matt Antal led audio production. Lighting Design was by Adam Harris.