Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Musicians at the Silent Film Festival

Music is an integral part of the annual San Francisco Silent Film. Every film - whether a feature or a short - is accompanied by live music, just as films were during the silent film era. Here are the musicians who will be participating in this year's Festival.

Alloy Orchestra
Alloy Orchestra is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources. Founded 20 years ago, Alloy scored 23 feature length silent films and more than 30 shorts. The group has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era by touring extensively, commissioning new prints, and collaborating with archives, collectors and curators.

Stephen Horne
Stephen Horne has long been considered one of the leading silent film accompanists. He is based at London's BFI Southbank, but plays at all the major UK venues and numerous international festivals in Europe and North America. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates flute, accordion and keyboards into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. In the past year, Stephen has recorded several scores for the forthcoming Treasures From American Archives 5.

Dennis James
For over forty years Dennis James has performed historically authentic silent film score accompaniments utilizing the actual published musical source materials from the silent film era while incorporating the actual period performance practices with unwavering professional commitment to stylistic integrity. He tours internationally with his Silent Film Concerts production company performing to silent films with solo organ, piano, and chamber ensemble accompaniments in addition to presentations with major symphony orchestras throughout the world.

Matti Bye Ensemble
Matti Bye has been a music score composer and live silent movie piano performer at the Swedish Film Institute since 1989. He is also a regular performer at European film festivals, including the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, the Bologna Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Finland. The Ensemble includes Bye, Lotta Johansson, Kristian Holmgren. Guest performers include Sarah Jo Zaharako, Alex Kelly, and Lisa Mezzacappa.

Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra is a quintet based in Colorado that revives the sound of the silent film orchestra. Using an extensive library of “photoplay music” that once belonged to movie theater orchestra leaders, Mont Alto compiles film scores by carefully selecting music to suit each scene in the film. The ensemble—cellist David Short, clarinetist Brian Collins, trumpeter Dawn Kramer, pianist Rodney Sauer, and violinist Britt Swenson is versatile enough to play music ranging from Tchaikovsky to the Charleston.

Donald Sosin
Donald Sosin scores films for major festivals, archives and for DVD. San Francisco Silent Film Festivals performances include Lady of the Pavements with his wife Joanna Seaton, Prince Achmed, and many shorts. In February the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra premiered his octet for Harold Lloyd’s Now of Never. Other commissions: Chicago Symphony Chorus, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, MoMA, TCM. Donald is the proud father of Nick, RPI class of 2011, and baby Mollie, an emerging pianist/drummer/singer. They live in Connecticut. 

Giovanni Spinelli
Born in England and raised in London, New York, Stockholm and Florence, Spinelli lives and works in New York City. His multicultural background is reflected in his music with influences as diverse as Arvo Pärt, Astor Piazzolla, Brian Eno, Henryk Górecki, Michael Nyman, John Adams, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Dead Can Dance, Joy Division, Radiohead, Interpol and Sigur Ros. The diversity of his music, which ranges from orchestral to ambient and electronica and from rock and pop to world music and from rock and pop to world music, is reflected in his work for film and theatre.

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Following the Saturday afternoon panel, "Variations on a Theme: Musicians on the Craft of Composing and Performing for Silent Film," a number of the panelists will be upstairs on the Castro mezzanine were they will be meeting with the public and signing copies of their CDs and DVDs, which will be for sale. Its a great opportunity to say "Hello" and ask a question.

1 comment:

  1. a number of the panelists will be upstairs on the Castro mezzanine were they will be meeting with the public and signing copies of their CDs and DVDs, which will be for sale

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