George Crumb: Voice Of The Whale
In 1976, "music filmmaker" Robert Mugge created his first music-related film. Titled GEORGE CRUMB: VOICE OF THE WHALE, it was this dazzling, 54-minute portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy-winning composer George Crumb. The film was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and makes innovative use of color and a dialectical structure to reveal Crumb's life (green-tinted-footage), his work (blue-tinted footage, and connections between the two (full-color footage). Included in the film are a performance of Crumb's 1971 composition, "Vox Balaenae for Three Masked Players"; samples of the rural, West Virginia gospel music that has influenced him; demonstrations by Crumb of exotic instruments and unusual effects that figure in his compositions; and scenes from his home and university teaching environments.