Skip to content

Episode 60 show notes: The Silent Film Music Podcast

  • by

Episode 60 Show Notes: “Music on the Road: Late Summer – Autumn 2023”

Ben demonstrates contrasting styles and instrument sounds for shows of The Loves of Casanova (1927), Safety Last (1923), Second Fiddle (1923).
Theme & Introductions
MoMA in August
  • Silent Movie Week: Silent films not previously seen in New York City
  • High turnout for lesser-known films
  • Ben played for Padlocked (1926) directed by Allan Dwan
  • Differences in reactions between San Francisco and New York audiences
  • There are very many watchable films which are not the Film History 101 warhorses
  • Later in August, MoMA programs for early color film processes, including The Loves Of Casanova (1927)
  • Playing for longer or shorter films – pace yourself
  • Ben compares the experience to playing for Gance’s Napoleon
  • Demonstrating the contrasting moods of The Loves of Casanova
  • Style of music can differ from the visual style of the film
“Safety Last” in the Adirondacks
  • Safety Last (100th anniversary) at the Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake, New York
  • Recording featuring audience reaction in the climbing scene
  • Alternation of heroic theme, tension and release, and comedy themes
“Second Fiddle” at Capitolfest
  • Second Fiddle (1923)  accompanied on a 1927 Moller Theater Pipe Organ at the Capitol Theater during Capitolfest in Rome, New York
  • Very little-known film
  • Modest use of the organ’s percussion section
Other Projects:
  • Kickstarter to make Roland West’s The Bat (1926) available as an additional entry for Halloween 2024, using the UCLA restoration
  • Ernie in Kovacsland has been published and is available everywhere
  • The Silent Film Universe progresses and will be published in 2024
“The Mark of Zorro” in NJ:
  • The Mark of Zorro at the Williams Center, Rutherford, NJ
  • Due to technical complications, Ben accompanied the film on a 1970s Roland Juno Synthesizer
  • Inspired in part by Lee Erwin’s late-career synthesizer lash-up.
The Podcast’s new theme music:
  • Silent Film Music Podcast Theme on the Estey pipe organ at Epsilon Spires in Brattleboro, VT, based on a waltz first realized as a theme for live-stream of art house exhibitions during the 2020-21 lockdown period.
Sign up for Ben’s regular email here to keep up with all his activities.

Leave a Reply