Composer Leonard Costner on his music for the film “Anselm” – SWR Kultur

Composer Leonard Costner on his music for the film “Anselm” – SWR Kultur

“Wim Wenders and I played ping-pong during the composing phase – that was very enriching for me,” says film score composer Leonard Kosner. He composed the music for Wim Wenders’ film about the artist Anselm Kiefer. In SWR2, the 29-year-old Gengenbach native talks about his extensive collaboration with the star director and how Anselm Kiefer’s powerful images influenced his music. “Anselm” hits theaters October 12.

Paul Celan as mediator

Director Wim Wenders, artist Anselm Kiefer, and film score composer Leonard Costner have one thing in common: they share a past with poet Paul Celan. In 2020, Kosner set the poem Ceylon “Loneliness“, this is how Wenders became acquainted with the composer. Paul Celan can therefore be considered an indirect intermediary.

While Anselm Kiefer is known for his large-scale pictures, according to Kosner, it was particularly difficult to highlight “delicacy and detail” with the music. Layered music plays a question-and-answer game with sensitive people.

“A ping pong game in the making”

According to Costner, Leonard Costner and Anselm Kiefer only met in person at the film’s premiere. The inspiration for the music came from the film footage and the artwork itself.

Director Wim Wenders also attaches great importance to the music, says Cosner. Because music was “very important” to Wenders, the director and film composer spent almost every day together in the editing room for six months. For Cosner, it was a collaboration of equals.

At the same time, working on Anselm brought with it something special. The film was created during filming, and according to Costner, the music also had an influence on the creation of the film, creating “a ping-pong game in the composing stage.”

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The composer’s favorite scene

70 musicians from the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra scored the film’s music. The composer’s favorite scene is a five-minute musical scene. Here, during an exhibition in Barjac, France, the works of Anselm Kiefer and his studio are examined; Here is the music “the most varied and varied,” as the composer explains, and here visitors should listen especially carefully.

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