CompositionInstrumentalSoundtrack

Gerstl’s Ghost

String Quartet – Soundtrack

Gerstl’s Ghost is an immersive film / VR piece by Peter Bathurst which explores the last days of the painter Richard Gerstl.

I was commissioned to compose original music to underscore the dramatic narrative sequence leading to Gerstl’s suicide and subsequent interactive VR sequence.


Gerstl was a painter who committed suicide in 1908 after an affair with Mathilde Schöenberg.

These tragic events coincide with the composition of Arnold Schönberg’s – String Quartet No. 2, a work cited by the Schöenberg centre as:

“a milestone not just in the history of his composing, but also in the development of New Music as a whole. It represents the transition from tonal to atonal composition, and also an extension of the genre (the soprano added in the 3rd and 4th movements relaxes standard string quartet scoring).”

https://www.schoenberg.at/index.php/en/nature-online/1725-objekt33e

Further details about the affair and its influence on the development of Schoenberg’s music into atonality, can be found on Raymond Coffer’s research website here: http://www.richardgerstl.com/