Fairytales by Lotte Reineger with music by Amiina

On my visit to Singapore, I was fortunate enough to catch the show Fairytales by Lotte Reineger with music by Amiina at the National Museum of Singapore.  Here is the description of the show taken from the National Museum of Singapore website

Fairy Tales of Lotte Reiniger with music by Amiina (Germany & Iceland)

Lotte Reiniger is one of the greatest creators in animation history. Inspired by Chinese silhouette puppetry, she made 60 beautiful and mesmerising films, 40 of which still survive today. These delicately wrought black and white marvels revolutionised the film industry in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, and brought timeless faerie tales to life for children and adults to enjoy like never before. 

Three members from Icelandic group Amiina created delicate and ethereal scores for Reiniger’s silent films of Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. Well known for their work with Icelandic band Sigur Rós, Amiina uses an assortment of instruments – including violin, glassophone, musical saw and water-filled glasses – to evoke magical soundscapes of wonders and possibilities.

About the Film:
Long before Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks there was Lotte Reiniger. She is a director and a silhouette animator from Germany who perhaps gave to the world one of the earliest forms of animation, silhouette puppetry on film. 

With silhouette puppetry, the entire story is showcased through black paper cut-outs. Each of the character's limbs for example, are drawn and cut separately, to be pieced together in the end. This allows for as much mobility as possible. Through the use of the stop motion technique, they now proceed to filming it.

Here's a video form You Tube showing the details of how it is made:

I was amazed at this kind of craft. Just look how detailed and precise her cut-outs are and she cuts them at lightning speed to boot. Lotte Reiniger is truly an artist. Not only is she talented and skillfull but very patient as well.

I couldn't find images or videos of the one that I watched: Sleeping Beauty and Alladin and the Magic Lamp but she has made countless other animated films as equally as amazing as the previously mentioned two titles and I hope you enjoy them

 Now while I am a fan of today's modern animation with everything coming up 3D and all, still I couldn't help but marvel at something like this, done without the frills of technology.

About The Musical Accompaniment:

Click this link to visit their site: Amiina

Originally a string quartet formed by four girls (edda rún ólafsdóttir, hildur ársælsdóttir, maría huld markan sigfúsdóttir and sólrún sumarliðadóttir) at the reykjavík college of music in the late 1990s, amiina went on to cut its teeth as sigur rós' string section for the next decade. now a sextet after a recent masculine infusion, amiina will release its second full length album, puzzle, in september 2010.
amiina's debut album, kurr (2007), was performed on a disparate jumble of instruments – musical saws, kalimbas, music boxes and seemingly anything that could be plucked, bowed or beaten on – resulting in a work that ebbed and flowed “in a strange, powerful place between sophistication and innocence,” according to the guardian.
while the above is equally true of puzzle, this time around the group's sonic palette is broadened by the contributions of drummer magnús trygvason eliassen and electronic artist kippi kaninus (guðmundur vignir karlsson), permanent members of the group since 2009. accordingly, the songs on puzzle are more rhythmically rugged than amiina's previous work and feature heavier use of electronics. amiina's long-standing fondness for zero-g melodies and open-minded instrumentation, however, continues.

I never thought I'd see someone play the water-filled champagne glasses without it seeming comical. I've never even conceived of the idea that a saw could produce such beautiful music. I'm no music connoisseur but from an ordinary person's hearing, I could probably best describe the sound as clear, pure, soothing. Not what I expected from a saw or a champagne glass. They are a unique and talented group. They created sounds that truly enhanced the storytelling of Lotte Reineger's fairytales and ultimately the audience's viewing experience. 

Lotte Reineger and Amiina makes for an excellent combination. An awesome show alltogether.


  1. Oh wow, I wonder if they are still playing it here. Such a wonderful experience! And fairytales, wow, that would have been perfect for our bimonthly theme. I am definitely intrigued. Will check this out. I have a feeling though that I missed this one. =( It's great to see your review though. More than makes up for it.

  2. @Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks
    I know! It would've been spot on for your bimonthly theme! I think they showed this one when they celebrated children's season in the National Museum of Singapore and I was lucky to have had my trip at the same time. I had an awesome time there. I hope they show it again though so you could watch it! If not, there's always you tube. :P


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