I admit, I am struggling to write something today.
I have had numerous false starts, mainly because my husband and I keep discussing last night.
He will pop out of his studio to share an idea, and I keep stopping my own "work" to post a link or a comment on a fan page.
So what's all this buzz about? My husband and his pal, percussionist Tony Steve decided to create a silent movie event. They chose two short films and one "serial" and arranged a score complete with the cartoon sound effects that we associate with slap-stick comedies.
The films were shown with the guys' unique musical score last evening at an old restored movie house downtown. The show was a sell out.
The comedy shorts featured the biggest names in silent films: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Fatty Arbuckle.
My favorite actor of the evening was Fatty Arbuckle. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was a comic genius. He mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Buster Keaton and later Bob Hope. Despite his immense size, he was quite agile and was able to perform acrobatic feats.
It's a unique experience watching a silent film with live musical accompaniment.
Most silent films had live music produced by the local piano teacher, or later an organist hired to play the
Mighty Wurlitzer that could produce orchestral sounds along with other sound effects.
Some movies arrived with their own musical scores, but others had to rely on the accompanist's improvisational skills. At the height of the silent era, movies were the single largest source of employment for instrumental musicians. All that changed with the introduction of talking motion pictures and pre-recorded soundtracks. By 1929, most instrumental musicians who were paid to provide live music were unemployed.
Our live performance featured the music of the period performed on an electronic keyboard (no Mighty Wurlitzers around), and a cacophony of sound created by a full range of strange instruments. There were bird whistles and wind up sirens; an xylophone and a chinese gong.
What an attentive audience. There was no talking or cell phone snafus to mar the feeling of being a theater patron in 1918, enjoying the sights and sounds of the golden age of silent films.
Even the popcorn tasted better!
Causes Annette Talbert Supports
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, RIF (Reading is Fundamental),
Hands On Foundation, Dignity U Wear, Girls, Inc.