Sehsucht: Konzerthaus Dortmund “Black Poem”

This stunning promo from Sehsucht for the Konzerthaus Dortmund concert hall celebrates a new season of musical performances with a lyrical ode to fire. It’s a perfect example of Sehsucht’s inventive approach to motion design, one that blurs the line between real and unreal as abstraction becomes literal.

This isn’t the first time that Sehsucht has worked their magic for Konzerthaus Dortmund and agency Jung von Matt. Like last year’s effort, “Black Poem” uses a natural phenomenon as a medium, pushing it to lyrical extremes that extend the beauty of the spot’s soundtrack. This year’s muse was Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say, whose wild fugues fueled the project’s impassioned permutations of fire.

It’s rare that a work of motion graphics actually quickens my pulse, but this one manages it. The editorial pacing combined with the increasingly frantic camera work and animation creates a mounting sense of exhilaration that creeps into your bloodstream before hitting your heart like a hammer. Beautiful stuff. Sehsucht remains one of my favorite studios not just in Europe, but in the world.

Client: Konzerthaus Dortmund

Jung von Matt

Director, 3D&2D Animation, Compositing: Niko Tziopanos
Art Direction, 3D&2D Animation, Compositing: Alexander Heyer
Art Direction, 2D Animation, Compositing: Martin Hess
Art Direction: Alexander Hanowski
2D Animation: Tom Abel
Compositing, Rotoscoping: Daniel Hummer
Compositing, Rotoscoping: Alexander Saum
Producer: Kristina Neurohr

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.


Jon Saunders

Sehsucht is also one of my favorite studios, they certainly dont get enough credit, but the continually release excellent work that is not only visually stunning but have interesting ideas as well. Just as an example of how good they are and how little press they seem to receive, go to their site and check out their two most recent project for Mercedes-Benz, one released in May and the other in January. Both our outstanding animations and both seemed to fall through the cracks.

Kevin J

Man that was nice. Can anyone tell me if there is a plug-in that will allow me to fire similar that? I’m just getting started with motion graphics.

Thanks in advance.


Marc B.

Nice effects.
I agree the origami spot is well done too however it’s very close to the Version2 AICP opener.

Robby Trione

Wow! That is awesome. Thanks for sharing that.


@ Kevin J

Sorry, no plug. Mostly done in C4D


Holly f#*%!!! That was amazing, perfect soundtrack, even gave me goosebumps! :-D
Weel done guys!


gut gemacht, jungs!
wer kommt mit surfen?



absolutely fantastic! the fire elements are a great device, photorealistic from a distance, but close up they become lifelike little demons, perfectly complements the narrative. this shit is of the highest tier.


Stunning.. Absolutely stunning..


Amazing. Jaw.y = 0;


very nice work,
though i must note that I c lots of “inspiration” from Pierre Michel’s, fire flower can check it out here,
and u be the judge.

Excellent execution, NOT so original from my point of view


;) yes, especialy the last take. We know that. But We started with the concept before Pierre Michel published his work. We had a real problem with that issue, because after that we had to change our direction. The only thing we kept was, the ending. and thats because we had no idea for it one day before deadline ;) To fill that kind of music with pictures was a hard task.
But i think in general it came out as a complete different kind of work.
For those who asked…
We shot some fire footage and the burning names on HD. Mostly we used those clips as textures in C4D – on planes for the swarm and on distorted spheres for the wolfes. Some other effects, like all the foreground particles are just made with particular and form. The last take are just composed layers of ceiling fire footage in 3D space in AE…just ask Pierre ;)


Thank you for the insight of your process. This is really a good piece that has a subtle impact. The motion graphics with the audio gave me goosebumps (I swear)… This utterly dramatic.

Neo K

A-W-S-O-M-E. Well done!!


wow… bloody similar!
Maybe they thought you wouldn’t notice. :-)

But I like both clips.

Marc B.

Now that i think about it the scene at the end with the spiraling thin fire threads look exactly like these here in this lexus ad:


Yeah, an thousand others. And this one from lexus looks exactly like that one in that björk video …and so on. And the fire swarm somehow looks like MTV HD … what else? ;)

Marc B.

Oh man now that you say it, the fire deamons remind me of the dragons in the movie Reign of Fire.


The lexus add looks similar to the music video air – electronic performers (more towards the end of it, around 4:30)

Definitely the same concept.


shit, and i thought nobody saw that movie


To tziopanos:

Thank you for the insight into your work flow and apps.


Nice piece of work, very well executed. Good to see that German motion designers are finally waking up and showing us some world class motion graphics.
Thanks for sharing the insight, wish more people would do that.

Jim Carey

Hy tziopanos & Sehsucht,

Nice Work, nice work, but at the first seen your movie remnd me a lot Pierre Michel’s movie cause of reflexion on the floor, shallow depth field, and most particulary one part that i found exactly similar (i join with this post a still frame which allow you to make your own opinion…)

Plus on this i sneek a peak to your others work cause of the good quality of this movie, i found others work which remind me again others work from differents company. I put again still frame to let people see by thereself…

Your Mercedes Advertisement-> Olivier Gondry

Your OTTO Advertisement ->Zoom from Belief×360&extension=mov&width=480&height=360

Is the copy paste stronger than inspiration ?

You can see me on Liar Liar movie (

Jim Carey.


Hi Jim,
i make it short… show me any piece of motion design and i find you something similar.
And by the way, in my onpinion zoom and the oliver goundry spot are totaly different from the work you compare with. I mean, just because it is also a paper spot you think it is similar?? i can show you work wich is much closer to it and we did not copy them anyhow. same with zoom.

and yes, we have nearly the same reflections in the “black poem” and ohhh, depth of field! we have written those element in our concept before pierre published his work, and honestly… what is special on that? there are thousands of spots which looks the same.
But whatever… it is not about the reflections ore depth of field… – and yeah, i copy paste the camera movement from “battlestar galactica” – it is about the drama, it is how about all this stolen or not elements come together to tell a story in a new way.


Hey tziopanos,
Don’t bother with these “you copied this and that” comments, the piece is amazing, flawless on every level. ;-)
I wouldn’t waste my time with people who bash pieces like this simply because they can’t create something as good and inspiring, haters will always be haters, man.
Thanks so much for the insight info, really interesting stuff.
Great piece! :-D
Keep up the good work!


How come people only seem to talk shit about the really good work that’s posted here? But the crap either gets no comments or praise? I guess that’s up to interpretation…

And Jim, you have way too much free time on your hands.. Maybe spend more of that time creating than worrying about other people’s possible inspiration.

While you’re referencing Belief’s work… Check them out on this same subject matter.

And by the way, the whole ending of Star Wars Episode 4 was ripped off from The Dam Busters.

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