Today, Google celebrates famous French composer Achille-Claude Debussy, who was born on this date 151 years ago, with an animated, musical Doodle.
The Google Doodle features a historic moonlit French city scene reminiscent of the 1800s that unfolds as one of his most famous musical works, “Claire de Lune,” plays in the background.
Doodler Leon Hong provided some insight on the creation of the Doodle:
We sought out to create an animated doodle to commemorate Debussy as one of the most influential composers of all time. At the outstart, the task of creating and coding visual imagery that does justice to the spirit of his music seemed incredibly daunting. But, as it turned out, all I needed to do was to resurrect my trusty CD player and hit play, and the inspiration would start flooding in. I felt flickering lights, a quiet city and pouring rain set against the magical melody of Clair de Lune.
“Claire de Lune” was one of four movements in Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque,” a noted piano composition that began in 1890 but did not publish until 1905. He was 28 at the time.
Debussy began piano lessons as a child and entered into the arts college Conservatoire de Paris at the young age of 10.
Considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, Debussy grew to become one of the most prominent figures in impressionist music, although it’s been said he didn’t like that label for his music.
While Debussy’s personal life was marked with turmoil and scandal, he finally settled with Emma Bardac, a woman with whom he had his one and only child, daughter Claude-Emma.
Debussy died at the age of 55 in Paris of colon cancer after battling it for nearly a decade. After a temporary fix during one of the first colostomy operations performed, he passed away amidst a German attack on France in World War I.
His funeral procession was made through deserted streets while the Germans continued to bombard the city, which meant there was no graveside ceremony fitting for such a well-known figure in Paris.