Found after 40 years: “Notes on a Triangle”

Frame from "Notes on a Triangle" by René Jodoin

In the late 70’s – some 40 years ago now – I was attending kids’ art classes at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. For a short time, there was a film on display in the lobby on a self-playing sort of mini-player/kiosk. It was a short, animated film of geometric shapes set to a lilting waltz on the piano. I loved it.

I was entranced by the visuals, but especially the music. I loved the simple, catchy melody so much that I worked out how to play it myself on the piano, and for all these years, the melody and chords have been etched in my brain with complete clarity. But I’m quite sure that I never saw the film again since that time.

A few years ago when the NFB first offered their iOS app, I did search for it, but – having no recollection of the title, just the song – I couldn’t locate it. Maybe it wasn’t yet online; maybe the search tools are now better; maybe I should have done what I did today on their website, and searched on “waltz”. No matter, what counts is that my shot in the dark hit the target: it came right up. I was vindicated – the film exists, the visuals are what I remember, and most importantly, the song (by Maurice Blackburn) is EXACTLY as I recalled it!

Thank you, internet / NFB / Canadian government for making this charming film (and all the amazing work you have supported over the years) so readily available!

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