Made in 1929 to accompany silent movies, with 913 pipes and 66 registers, it was the biggest cinema organ in Germany.
But the organ’s grandeur wasn’t celebrated for long. Soon after its construction, sound film took over and the Babylon’s instrument became superfluous. Now, almost a century later and thanks to a dedicated team, Kino Babylon in Berlin Mitte has become a haven for lovers of silent film.
But it takes more than outdated technical equipment to experience this fading art in an authentic way. It requires quick fingers and the ability to improvise in real-time with a myriad of keys and buttons. A rare skill – and one that Babylon has found in the organist Anna Vavilkina.
Featuring Timothy Grossman, managing director of Babylon, and the organist Anna Vavilkina. Recorded in November 2018.
Phoebe McIndoe and Marta Medvešek are audio producers from the UK and Croatia, living and working in Berlin. They love producing creative, cutting-edge documentaries as well as poetic sound meditations. Most of all, they like to play. They say that collaborating helps them remove the pressure and allows them to have fun in the process.