Watch Fritz Lang’s Metropolis with a Modern, New Electronic Soundtrack (1927)

From sound artist Tomer Baruch and drum­mer Alex Bra­jković comes a new elec­tron­ic sound­track for Fritz Lang’s cen­tu­ry-old clas­sic film, Metrop­o­lis. The new score comes with this pref­ace:

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant themes in the dystopi­an fea­ture is the blurred-to-nonex­is­tent line sep­a­rat­ing man and machine; Human-like machines, Mechan­i­cal-humans, real-life android deep­fakes, and above all the city of Metrop­o­lis, an enor­mous machine and with­in it men, slaved to main­tain its oper­a­tion. The theme that was dis­turb­ing in the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry is as rel­e­vant as ever with the lat­est devel­op­ments in AI, forc­ing us to rethink again what makes us human.

In anal­o­gy to that the sound­track is based on archive record­ings of ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry machin­ery, on top of which Tomer Baruch and Alex Bra­jkovic play ana­log syn­the­siz­ers and drums. They inter­face with the machines and embody a relent­less­ly repet­i­tive mechan­i­cal motion, one which is usu­al­ly sequenced or pro­grammed. By cre­at­ing music which is in itself blur­ring the line between man and machine, by sub­ject­ing them­selves to machine-like pat­terns, the musi­cians become a part of Metrop­o­lis, cre­at­ing a dis­il­lu­sioned, inten­si­fied and dark­er than ever sound­track for the film.

Baruch and Alex Bra­jković cre­at­ed the sound­track for the Sounds of Silence Film Fes­ti­val, Den Haag in 2019. Stream it above.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent 

If Fritz Lang’s Icon­ic Film Metrop­o­lis Had a Kraftwerk Sound­track

Read the Orig­i­nal 32-Page Pro­gram for Fritz Lang’s Metrop­o­lis (1927)

See Metrop­o­lis‘ Scan­dalous Dance Scene Col­orized, Enhanced, and New­ly Sound­tracked

Behold Beau­ti­ful Orig­i­nal Movie Posters for Metrop­o­lis from France, Swe­den, Ger­many, Japan & Beyond

Watch Metrop­o­lis’ Cin­e­mat­i­cal­ly Inno­v­a­tive Dance Scene, Restored as Fritz Lang Intend­ed It to Be Seen (1927)

by | Permalink | Comments (7) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (7)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • ACaravaggio says:


    Adds noth­ing to the film. In fact it seems total­ly inap­pro­pri­ate and out of place and time.

  • Ivars says:

    The Gior­gio Moroder ver­sion (1984) with pop­u­lar artists such as Fred­die Mer­cury, Bon­nie Tyler, Pat Benatar, Adam Ant and Jon Ander­son, is far bet­ter.

  • sfemet says:

    In my first film stud­ies class, I was priv­i­leged to see a screen­ing of “Phan­tom of the Opera” with Chauncey Haines play­ing the organ. Chauncey played organ dur­ing the silent era. He had no sheet music, he just watched the movie and set the mood. As he explained after­ward, “If you’re aware of me, I failed.” I miss you, sir.

  • Moeskido says:

    Thank you for this. Look­ing for­ward to watch­ing this ver­sion. I love hear­ing new sound­tracks for old silent films.

    Anoth­er ver­sion was done for “Metrop­o­lis” in 1991 by the great Club Foot Orches­tra, a ter­rif­ic mod­ern jazz band that also put music to “Nos­fer­atu” and “The Cab­i­net of Dr. Cali­gari.” That’s the music I hear when I think of any of these films.

  • Wayne richards says:

    I hon­or the orches­tral mas­ter­piece. Why try to re paint the Mona Lisa?

  • Max T says:

    Orig­i­nal great. New one great. Both were cre­at­ed with love I assume.

    Detrac­tors and uber-crit­ics, rethink please.

  • Ken KNOWLTON says:

    If I under­stand cor­rect­ly, a musi­cal score no longer exists for Fritz Lang’s, Metrop­o­lis. It is dif­fi­cult to find a full length cut of the film. There is a 3 hour, 42 minute edit on ‘tombom­badil’ YouTube chan­nel. How­ev­er, there is no musi­cal score

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.