Theme and Variations

Theme and Variations

2013
Duration 10 minutes 30 seconds

Theme and Variations is a stop motion animation that features music by Olivier Messiaen performed by violinist Tatiana Berman and pianist Irina Botan. It was premiered live in Cincinnatti Memorial Hall. Subsequently performed in Vilnius, Lithuania by Johnny Gandelsman (violin) and Andrius Zlabys (piano).

Painted images of anthropomorphic creatures are set in motion against a lush background of cloudy skies and green pastures, their movement hewing closely to the music. Unlike the composer who uses the variations form to reveal "a world in a grain of sand", Lanina plays it in reverse -- by zooming out. The fabled inhabitants of the multifarious realm are then shown to be fragments of one consciousness, that of a Cupid-eagle longing for a Psyche-butterfly.