Edvard Munch’s Famous Painting The Scream Animated to the Sound of Pink Floyd’s Primal Music

in Animation, Art, Music | April 9th, 2015

In this short video, Romanian animator Sebastian Cosor brings together two haunting works from different times and different media: The Scream, by Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch, and “The Great Gig in the Sky,” by the British rock band Pink Floyd.


Munch painted the first of four versions of The Scream in 1893. He later wrote a poem describing the apocalyptic vision behind it:

I was walking along the road with two Friends
the Sun was setting — the Sky turned a bloody red
And I felt a whiff of Melancholy — I stood
Still, deathly tired — over the blue-black
Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire
My Friends walked on — I remained behind
— shivering with anxiety — I felt the Great Scream in Nature

Munch’s horrific Great Scream in Nature is combined in the video with Floyd’s otherworldly “The Great Gig in the Sky,” one of the signature pieces from the band’s 1973 masterpiece, Dark Side of the Moon. The vocals on “The Great Gig” were performed by an unknown young songwriter and session singer named Clare Torry.

Torry had been invited by producer Alan Parsons to come to Abbey Road Studios and improvise over a haunting piano chord progression by Richard Wright, on a track that was tentatively called “The Mortality Sequence.”  The 25-year-old singer was given very little direction from the band. “Clare came into the studio one day,” said bassist Roger Waters in a 2003 Rolling Stone interview, “and we said, ‘There’s no lyrics. It’s about dying — have a bit of a sing on that, girl.'”

Forty-two years later, that “bit of a sing” can still send a shiver down anyone’s spine. For more on the making of “The Great Gig in the Sky,” and Torry’s amazing contribution, see the clip below to hear Torry’s story in her own words.

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Comments (10)

  1. rfhartzell says . . .
    April 10, 2015 / 7:14 am

    Until now I knew nothing of the circumstances behind Torry’s vocal; I didn’t even know Torry’s name.

    It’s simply astonishing that she improvised the whole thing. My feeling, vaguely, is that I don’t want to know anything more about the circumstances — including watching the Torry interview above.

    I don’t want any more of it explained to me. That’s what Virginia Woolf said, once (I paraphrase): I don’t know what it is, but the moment something’s explained it becomes hateful to me.

    I know exactly what she means.

  2. Alex Griffiths says . . .
    April 11, 2015 / 11:57 pm

    The vocals on “The Great Gig” were performed by an unknown young songwriter and session singer named Clare Torry.

    Unknown? How do you know her name then?

  3. Jeff says . . .
    April 12, 2015 / 5:34 pm

    OK,OK–she was little-known at the time. Is that better?

  4. nyx says . . .
    April 12, 2015 / 7:48 pm

    …she was unknown at the time. i cant believe thats wat youre dwelling on lollll

  5. Gary says . . .
    April 13, 2015 / 10:11 am

    thanks for sharing this – love both the music and the painting. brilliant job bringing them together and making a new piece of art.

    (on a cheeky note suggests a new genre – Modrian and Kraftwerk perhaps, some Turner with what ? er Pentangle….the Mona Lisa doing that Serge Gainsbourg about love…)

  6. Bluecat says . . .
    April 13, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    This is great. Now I would like to see a painting video to the Pink Floyd song called “Scream Thy Last Scream Old Woman In A Casket.”

  7. attilla says . . .
    April 14, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    How wonderful to hear the story behind the haunting tune and to see whose voice that was. My teenage years in the Orient in the 70’s can blame/credit Pink Floyd for providing the backdrop to some incredible experiences. Thanks again.

  8. Ben says . . .
    April 14, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    Thing is … it’s actually the very best moment on Dark Side of the Moon .. and there are some brilliant moments, as we all know.
    Apparently she got some sort of undisclosed payment years later (the session fee was only £20 or something derisory like that).
    A happy moment in recording history.

  9. Monkey's Uncle says . . .
    April 20, 2015 / 5:54 am

    Friggin’ idiot.

  10. Monkey's Uncle says . . .
    April 20, 2015 / 5:57 am

    ‘Friggin’ Idiot” was meant for Alex Griffiths.

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