A descent into the Maelstrom

Author: Poorhouse International

Music by Philip Glass based on a short story by Edgar Allen Poe re-arranged for the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • A Descent into the Maelstrom | Copyright: © Beacon Isle Films

    A Descent into the Maelstrom © Beacon Isle Films

Director Jan Vardoen came across a neglected piece of music by Philip Glass composed in the 1980s for the Australian Ballet. “Descent into the Maelstrom” is based on a short story by Edgar Allan Poe about two fishermen caught in torrents raging between the mountainous islands of Lofoten, inside the Arctic Circle of Northern Norway.

A treacherous whirlpool drags their boat down and only one of them survives. With the blessings of the composer, Beacon Isle Films has produced an arrangement for the Artic Philharmonic Orchestra, the world´s youngest and northernmost professional orchestral institution, which gives some 150 concerts each year covering the entire Northern Norway and the High North. The recording took place in the surroundings that inspired Poe's story, the spectacular, wild and harsh landscape of Lofoten. Tim Weiss conducts the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra with Berit Norbakken Solset assuming the soprano solo part. Once the soundtrack was ready director Jan Vardoen used it to depict the tough life of the Lofoten population following them through the seasons.

“A Descent into the Maelstrom” puts everyday life in the Lofoten to the music of Phil Glass with great sensitivity. Running Time 68 Minutes

“Approaching the maelstrom” tells the story of how music and pictures were put together and which adventures the Arctic Philharmonic let themselves into. Running Time 50 Minutes

“A Descent into the Maelstrom” – the concert presents the actual recording of the music matching an orchestra with live synthesizers. Running Time 63 Minutes

Production year 2019
Video format 4K
Production Company Wegge Films, Beacon Isle Films
Director Jan Vardoen
Duration 68, 50 and 63 Minutes



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