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Film Variations

by Marcus Fischer

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The music collected here was written for the short film "Youth" directed by Brett Marty and produced by Joshua Izenberg. These eleven tracks make up the original score as well as material not included in the final version of the film. All of them are variations on a few melodic and tonal themes and several feature my frequent collaborator Ted Laderas on cello and synthesized strings.

You can find more of Ted's music on his Bandcamp page.

Notes from Marc Weidenbaum, Music Supervisor:

“Sounding Out Time”

It's a love story. Like many love stories it has a quality of being timeless. Unlike most love stories it deals centrally with matters of time — and because it's a science fiction film, time is a quite tactile element, something that humans can, for both better and worse, warp to their own desires.

The film in question, Youth, tells a dark tale of growing old in an era of eternal youth. Not to give too much away, the couple at the heart of Youth have been together for a very long time, and thanks to futuristic technology they get a glimpse of an opportunity to extend that romance.

When I was approached to assist on the film as music supervisor, I found a lot of material in it that I was excited to explore. A key notion, to me, was how much the future within the film looks like aspects of our present day, and how elegant and enticing that sleek normality is for the viewer. The attractive homes, like the attractive physiques of the protagonists’ circle of friends, mask the repercussions of what technology has wrought. My suggestion was that the score could be quiet and calm, itself as refined and tasteful as the scenery, and similarly let slip echoes of darker truths.

After discussing numerous potential composers whom I proposed to the film's director, Brett Marty, and producer, Josh Izenberg, we commissioned our resulting unanimous first choice: Marcus Fischer. The plan was for Marcus to develop lovely music with an undercurrent of dread. Aspects like clocks ticking and chimes glimmering would connect to the story and to the sun-dappled setting of near-future San Francisco.

Sealing the deal was Marcus' long-running collaborative relationship with Ted Laderas, a master of the electronically enhanced cello. Ted's job, as featured soloist, was to inject just a bit of old-school sentimentality into the score, to serve as the sonic representation of the main characters' mutual affection and personal history.

This album collects themes from the Youth score, lightly edited and reworked with standalone listening in mind. It was initially produced as a reward for the generous supporters whose pledges helped fund the film. Now it’s available for a general audience. It makes a great soundtrack for everyday life, albeit with occasional reminders of our collective mortality.

—Marc Weidenbaum


released June 8, 2017

Music written + recorded by Marcus Fischer with additional recording and cello by Ted Laderas / The Oo-Ray on tracks 2, 5, 9 + 10.

Fall 2015 - Winter 2016

Music Supervision by Marc Weidenbaum

Cover Image is a processed still frame from "Youth"


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Marcus Fischer Portland, Oregon

Marcus Fischer is an interdisciplinary artist and musician based in Portland, Oregon. He has released music and performed under his own name and with various collaborators. In 2019 two of his sound works were included in the Whitney Biennial. One of those pieces, "Untitled (words of concern)" is now in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. ... more


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