We have a silent board!

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Re: We have a silent board!

Postby Johndav » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:30 am

Well, i quite enjoyed Piccadilly, but it falls some way short of a masterpiece. Sweet mentioned it having had ovations when screened recently- but i guess that may have been partly for the musical accompanist? Brecon film soc silent screenings would always get a big cheer for the composer/pianist! Blackmail is considerably better- yes, probably the best British silent-, and one we did screen; excellent score by Paul Shallcross, who took quite a fancy to heroine Anny Ondra. I prefer the silent version to the sound one with the famous bread cutting/ "knife" scene.

Re: We have a silent board!

Postby A » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:28 am

Hmm, I haven't watched the silent version with a score yet, as I try to avoid every acompaniment the first time I watch a film. Of course a great score can make the film even better. Maybe I'll listen to the one by Shallcross when i watch it next time...
Every time I watch a silent film in the cinema, the live band/ composer get a big cheer. And usually they are better than the film!
So far I have heard many great live accompaniments, and I'm always astounded at the "bad" scores most films get on DVD/VHS...
Maybe it is because artists tend to improvise more when playing live, whereas the company usually tries to make a safe bet?

Re: We have a silent board!

Postby Johndav » Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:10 am

Ah, for Shallcross' score, you'll either have to see him perform it live or get hold of a copy from him (as it's not with any video/dvd releases)- he's just Brecon's resident silent film composer, who does the rounds at venues in England too. We were lucky he lived there! Neil Brand is easily the best known silent composer in the UK, linked with the BFI (and accompanied the silents in Paul Merton's TV series). He tends to improvise more than Paul, is a more natural pianist, but Paul has a knack for matching the music very closely with the specific image, sequences and moments. He's mainly written for piano. Silent composers must get to know the films as intimately as anyone. He's very methodical, but with no loss of charm. I'm a musical dunce but i did convince him to alter his opening sequence for Potemkin!

Re: We have a silent board!

Postby A » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:28 pm

You are very fortunate in this respect.
I once bought a CD from a great percussionist who accompanied some silent shorts on dozens of percussion instruments. It was fantastic, but the CD isn't working. I'll try to change it next time I meet him, but I've already missed an opportunity, and this was in 2004, I believe.


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