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Animation Day in Cannes

The joint initiative from animaze and (launched in 2015)  stops this year to leave room for Annecy and Marche du Film and their NEW INITIATIVE ANIMATION DAY: May 19, 2019 

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Animaze Daze in Cannes Selection Fantasy on Sarabanda by Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir


A visual fantasy in claymation on the movement Sarabanda from J.S. Bach's D-minor partita for solo violin. The piece is a video of an animated sculpture which interprets the expressions in the music like in a ballet, pantomime or a silent film.

J.S. Bach’s music is loaded with deep thoughts, allegorcally hidden messages and strong emotions but in a very modest and distant way. Bach´s personal detatchement from his works create freedom and opens up a world of possibilities that are the inspiration to this claymation piece.

  • Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir
  • Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir


  • Film Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Music Video, Other
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 10 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 14, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    0 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Iceland, Netherlands
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:

Director Biography

Icelandic violinist and visual artist Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir put her visual art studies on hold in order to enter a carrier as a performing violinist. Guðbjörg has since been active as a performing musician both in the indie pop scene by touring the world with bands like Sigur Rós, múm and Seabear but also as an active performer in the early music scene of Iceland. She is a creative member of the bands Umbra Music Collective, Symphonia Angelica and Brák Baroque Ensemble. 
A few years ago Guðbjörg decided it was time to return to the visual art world. She now explores her talents in these two different fields of the arts by merging them together. She has collaborated with other artists in creating interactive installations like Reversed Liturgy (2011) but also done solo works like the claymation video piece Fantasy on Sarabanda (2016).

Director Statement

My expressive visual imagination on music is something I usually keep inside my head while playing or listening to music. This piece was an attempt to make that imagination real and create a visual interpretation of one of my favorite pieces for solo violin. I like to think of music in general as being motion in the dimension of time. Music is also a spatial art and that calls for Choreography.

Sarabanda being the the movement of my choice for this piece is a very mysterious dance. Originally from 16th century Spanish culture and Latin America it is a triple meter dance with emphasis on the 2nd beat. Around 1583 it was thought to be too erotic and controversial and therefore banned for some time in Spain. The Inquisition punished the singing and dancing of Sarabandas with two hundred lashes of the whip, with expulsion from the kingdom for women, and six years of servitude on galleys for men. It seems to have been somewhat like a forbidden fruit. I don’t think that in my imagery I was very focused on the erotic part but more on the forbidden fruit take on the passionate erotic nature. This dance is loaded with expression already only within the structure and the emphasis on the 2nd beat. Then J. S. Bach adds on to that and I dive into this pool of emotional material and express my visual imagination through a clump of clay.

As a performing musician I play a lot of early music and it is one of my favorite things to do. In the Baroque area music had a purpose. Music and art was to deliver a message. I find this very interesting to keep in mind while working on Fantasy on Sarabanda because it kind of reassures me that it is worthwhile to dig up a message or a story within the music. If all music from this time was a way of communication, and since music in general is a nonverbal communication like dance or pantomime, it really made sense to me to use these art forms, visual choreography and music, together while interpreting Bach´s work.

J. S. Bach is never directly in his music, always safely outside somewhere, pulling the stops. The emotions are therefore generalized and not personal. This is makes me feel like Bach´s personal detachment creates freedom and in some way a permission to find your own interpretation and take it to different hights.


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