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Carrie de Swaan

Music is the air I breathe: A Documentary on Singer Cathy Berberian (1925-1983)

Music is the air I breathe portrays Cathy Berberian’s life and work. The film is composed of archive sources from twenty-five years of Berbian’s artistic career, personal letters, and interviews with musicians, friends and family, like Louis Andriessen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Luciano Berio, and Cristina Berio.

Carrie de Swaan received her Masters of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 1973. Since 1969 she has been making radio and television programs, documentaries and theatre registrations as a writer, a director, a producer and an editor. She has also been the director of Swaan Produkties since 1990.

Her films include:

Photo: Emmy Andriesse, 1991
Music is the Air I Breathe, Cathy Berberian (1925-1983), 1994 (Mention Spéciale Musique at the Festival International du Film d’Art (FIFAP) in Paris 1994 and Best Documentary at AFFMA Festival in Hollywood 2002)
Gisela May: Every Song Tells a Story 1998 (Prix Meilleure Vie d'Artiste at FIFAP 1998)
Tracks in the Flats, 2002 (nominated at FIFAP 2003)
Jona and The making of Jona, 2002-2004

For more information:

Screening of rare footage: Circles, Sequenza III, Stripsody

During the conference, unique film footage of performances by Cathy Berberian in the early 1960’s will be shown. Circles and Sequenza III were created in close collaboration between composer Luciano Berio and Cathy Berberian. Stripsody is one of Cathy Berberian’s own compositions, which was based on cartoons.

The screening of the films is possible thanks to the kind permission of: