Today would have been the German-American animator’s 117th birthday.

Google is celebrating the innovative German-American animator, filmmaker and painter Oskar Fischinger today with a sequencer that enables you to compose music with quick on-screen drawings. Fischinger, who was born in 1900, was one of the first people to create music-based animations and was known for special effects contribution to Fritz Lang’s 1929 pioneering sci-fi film Woman in the Moon.

Fischinger’s work was deemed “degenerate art” by the Nazis in the early 1930s and he left his native Germany for Hollywood after being offered a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1936. He was responsible for the original concept of the opening sequence to Disney’s Fantasia, but quit when they asked for his work to be less abstract. Some of his work for the Mouse did stick, though, as he created the wand animation for the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio.

With today’s Google Doodle, you can instantly create ethereal, atmospheric sounds and designs akin to his work like the short he created based on Franz Liszt’s ‘2nd Hungarian Rhapsody’ (which you can see below). Choose from four different images then click on the diamond-shaped “staff paper” to create a 16-beat loop. It is totally delightful and really addictive. Check it out here.



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