Cadillac: A Look At Harmony
Cadillac concern, 2017

Over the 115 years of its history, Cadillac has been a leader in the field of progress and sets new standards in sophisticated technology. The first automatic transmissions, air conditioning, 8-cylinder engines and an absolutely breakthrough design set the tone in the automotive industry of the XX century. Symphony "A Look At Harmony" illustrates the achievements of 115-year history of the brand and reveals the secrets of creating the perfect design of Cadillac cars.


A Look At Harmony
Synopsis of the Symphony. Harmony as agreement among measures and proportions

At 00:00 we hear the organ part. The most acoustically perfect instrument performs music, in which each transition is based on the musical interval major third. This proportion scales through musical links, gradually becomes more complicated, acquiring its musical form in a melody with superimposed counterpoints.

Geometric fractality in Cadillac models is illustrated starting from the second half of the organ piece. The self-similar fractal part begins at 1:00. This is pronounced in the repetition of musical phrases in higher timbre, in the higher tessitura of the organ, as well as in a twofold increase in the pace.

As though moving from larger design details to smaller, say, from the contour of the car to the radiator grille, the organ piece retains the proportions of the main elements. The piece ends with the stressful tritone-third chord CT6, commensurate with the dimensions of the car, which resolves into the major-likeness of the golden ratio.

At 01:37 we hear a bugle call to action at Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit, established by chevalier de Lamothe-Cadillac. The signal symbolizes the ability of the brand to arise after adversities and its ability to storm new heights. The call will be heard later many times in different versions, reminding us of the brand's cradle and the historical events that form the foundation of its history. Gradually, the music becomes more refined, which reflects the brand's passion for accuracy, elegance and luxury in the decoration.

01:55 - The music transforms into the style of the beginning of the past century. This is an American foxtrot in the manner of early American musicals, symbolizing the nascence of the American car industry. We see the triumph of Harley Earl, the company's legendary designer. His leitmotif at 02:52 is an unusual melody, repeated in the golden ratio. The beginning of Cadillac LaSalle.

03:25 - Races in Indianapolis and Cadillac wins. The music of fast and elegant racing cars in the spirit of the 30s. Buick Y-Job of 1939 - model ahead of time.

03:53 - The Great Depression breaks out and Cadillac faces a drop in sales. The scandal with the legendary black boxer Joe Louis. The music is intense, sometimes dark. The solution to the problem of segregation in Cadillac thanks to the President of the company Nicholas Dreystadt. There is hope in the music. At 04:44 the bugle from the Fort toots calling for mobilization. The brand gets a new breath.

Model 60 Special by Bill Mitchell is created. Automatic transmission and air conditioning are innovative technical solutions. At this stage World War II begins. Cadillac played a big part in our allied victory. The production is adjusted and Cadillac manufactures tank and aircraft engines. American aircrafts equipped with engines from the Cadillac conveyor are consigned to the Red Army.

In the postwar years Harley Earl is once again on the scene. He endows Cadillac cars with design elements drawn from the military technology - the panoramic windshield and tailfins. The first fins appeared in 1948 inspired by the two-beam fighter Lockheed P-38 Lightning keels. Then Dagmar bumpers with fangs and fencing bumpers mimicing artillery shells are conceived. The Cadillac Eldorado 1959 becomes a symbol of the American dream.

04:53 - Machinery is the central part of the symphony. Machinery is a hymn to the brand's technological breakthrough. The introduction of new technologies allows the production of more powerful and expensive cars with increased adaptability and ecological safety. Gradually the music becomes more powerful. Revolutionary ideas are embodied. Record-breaking sales are reported. The company pioneers the concept of automotive safety and comfort - 2-circuit brakes, seat belts, climate control, adjustable steering column, heated seats, etc. The culmination is perceived as the perfect Seville that becomes the car of the year 1992, and the birth of the breakthrough Escalade that upturns the idea of a premium SUV and opens new horizons for the development.

07:27 - The music of the CT6. The harmony of the five senses. Thinking about new ways in the development. 07:47 - the anticipation of a new era in the automotive industry that will change people’s lives for the better. 08:03 - the melody of the car seems to undulate like the ocean waves - magnificent interior, decoration, and driver’s amenities. Then the motif transposes on the golden section with the addition of new colors. 08:19 - the music becomes dynamic with accelerations, slowdowns, turns etc. At 08:48 the music reaches its apex, it soars on wings to enter a realm of comfort and harmony at 09:17 when the time comes to relax - the driver has parked at a cafe, is having his coffee and flipping through Cadillac magazines. But at 09:52 he just can't help it, jumps behind the wheel again and demonstrates a dynamic ride. Then at 10:30 a feeling of satisfaction sets in expressed in solid major chords which turns into a feeling of warmth and comfort at 10:37.

10:46 - One more time we return to the idea of universal harmony and once again we hear the musical expression of the perfect shape of the car in the CT6 which is played at the very end of the symphony.

Slava Serzhanov, composer of the Symphony

Track list


Composed by Vyacheslav Serzhanov
Orchestrated and conducted by Vyacheslav Serzhanov
Performed by The Russian National Orchestra
Recorded and mixed by Gennady Papin at Mosfilm Studio