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Episode 53 show notes: The Silent Film Music Podcast

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Episode 53 Show Notes: Playing For The Talkies

Reflection on Episodes 5152, Interview with William Perry, the impact and the quality of his accompaniments to silent films

William Perry’s Trobriand Music

Use of main themes and leitmotivs, especially for his new piano score for Sky High (1922) starring Tom Mix

How To Accompany a Silent Movie for Halloween” adapted for American Guild of Organists magazine “The American Organist”, Oct 2022 issue.

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What makes you want to play for a particular film? Ben’s answer: the audience

For audiences who know the Halloween chestnuts (Phantom of the Opera, Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), Ben played for The Bat at Cinema Arts Centre with a 35mm print from UCLA

Adding an organ score to Frankenstein (1931) at the Library of Campus Packard Campus Theatre – Culpeper VA –Walker digital Wurlitzer organ

Finding places for music, for example, transitions

  • The prologue – adding a “magical” celesta-like accompaniment
  • Reveal of the creature – reaching for the light
  • A transition
  • The Creature menaces Elizabeth
  • March of the Angry Villagers

Other early synch sound films which might accommodate live scores (Mad Love, The Three Stooges)

A recommended resource: After the Silents. Hollywood Film Music in the Early Sound Era 1926-1934  by Michael Slowik

Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman at Founder’s Hall in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center on a Reuter pipe organ

Listener questions

Ben’s outro

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