Wednesday, April 08, 2015

ep 12: cineconventions, music from out-of-print DVDS, being easy to work with, Marcel Perez review

episode 12: cineconventions, music from out-of-print DVDS, being easy to work with, Marcel Perez review

Welcome
Silent Film Sound and Music Archive
35th annual/final Cinefest, the future of cineconventions
silent film in a church and at Columbia U. film school
Recording: from out-of-print DVD from Unknown Video "Flaming Flappers", performed on Miditzer organ
Jim Henry, creator of Miditzer virtual organ program; the TCM Film Festival
Rules of the Game: show prep that goes beyond the music; plus being versatile and being easy to work with
Recording: review of Musty Suffer and Marcel Perez DVDs from Sergio Mims of WHPK Chicago
upcoming shows: Marcel Perez show at NYPL, Clara Bow in "It", Raymond Griffith in 35mm
the birth and demise of altscore.com, a great idea that didn't take off
Recording: excerpt from formerly-downloadable alternate score for "Heart O' the Hills" with Mary Pickford
Audience preservation tips.
Closing

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

episode 11: song cues gone wrong, scoring One Week, Lee Erwin, silents in schools

episode 11: song cues gone wrong, scoring One Week, Lee Erwin, silents in schools

Welcome
Silent Film Sound and Music Archive
Library of Congress shows: Leap Year, The Patent Leather Kid
Cinema Arts Centre show: Linda, dir Dorothy Davenport
Recording: Patent Leather Kid, live in performance at the LoC Packard Campus Theatre, on their Walker digital theatre organ
Rules of the Game: when existing music must be used…but no longer works
Recording: excerpt of Lee Erwin playing his score for America, dir DWG, on a Wurlitzer Theatre Organ
On scoring One Week, borrowing a leitmotif device from Mussorgsky, and squelching inadvertent audience reaction
Recording: audience of 4-5 year olds watching Oranges and Lemons with Stan Laurel, on a Yamaha upright
Upcoming performances: 35th annual Cinefest, Toronto Silent Film Festival, cinema studies classes at Columbia and NYU, and more.
Closing

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

episode 10: presenting silent films to kids and to seniors, interview with Harry Weiss pt 2, listening to the audience

episode 10: presenting silent films to kids and to seniors, interview with Harry Weiss pt 2, listening to the audience

Welcome
Silent Film Sound & Music Archive
The Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island - "Within Our Gates", virtual theatre organ
Palace Theatre family programming, Stamford CT
Recording: Charlie Chaplin in "The Adventurer", live in performance at the Palace Theatre in Stamford CT, on a Yamaha upright
Yes, I was a piano tuner
Listening to the audience when playing for a comedy, and not always being able to hear the reaction
Interview with 98-year-old silent film pianist Harry Weiss, part 2
Why I bring a tuning lever to shows
Audience building: this means YOU
Recording: Harold Lloyd in Grandma's Boy, live in performance at the Osborn in Rye NY, on a Steinway L; Feb 2015
Upcoming performances: Arbuckle in "Leap Year" and Barthelmess in "Patent Leather Kid" at Library of Congress, 35th annual Cinefest, The Marcel Perez Collection DVD, and more.
Closing

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

episode 9: Boise Philharmonic, musical cross-cutting, interview with Harry Weiss pt 1, inspiration for main themes

episode 9: Boise Philharmonic, musical cross-cutting, interview with Harry Weiss pt 1, inspiration for main themes

Welcome
Silent Film Sound & Music Archive
Boise, ID: working with Boise Philharmonic, playing at the historic Egyptian Theater, showing One Week to 700 5th-graders
Recording: Charley Chase in "Dog Shy", live in performance on the Robert-Morton theatre organ at the Egyptian in Feb 2014
Rules of the Game: musical cross-cutting to help underscore scenes in early dramatic shorts
Recording: Alice Guy-Blaché's "A Fool and His Money", on Steinway piano at MoMA in Feb 2015
Interview with nonagenarian silent film pianist Harry Weiss, part 1
A trick to come up with main themes for all those comedy shorts
Recording: Max Davidson in "Don't Tell Everything", on Steinway D piano at Bruno Walter Auditorium, Silent Clowns Film Series Feb 14, 2015
Upcoming performances: comedy shorts at the Palace in Stamford CT, Harold Lloyd in Westchester, Keaton at Wesleyan, The Marcel Perez Collection DVD, and more.
Next episode: Harry Weiss, part 2.
Closing

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

episode 8: Everybody Gets Cake, Trip to the Moon in Tromsø, OsloOrgan, Marcel Perez

episode 8: "Everybody Gets Cake", Trip to the Moon in Tromsø, Oslo Organ, Marcel Perez

Welcome
News from January: composing and performing music for Parallel Exit's "Everybody Gets Cake", running off-Bway thru Feb 8.
Recording: instrumental from "Cake" show: "A Shakespearean Smoke Break"
The restoration of Georges Melies' "A Trip to the Moon" with narration
Recording: live performance piano and narration for "A Trip to the Moon" in Tromsø, Norway
Funeral organists workshop in Oslo
Recording:
Upcoming performances, Egyptian Theatre in Boise, with Boise Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, release of Marcel Perez DVD, Hal Roach at Silent Clowns, Zorro in Bklyn, Keaton at Wesleyan, and more.
Closing

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

new DVD release: "The Marcel Perez Collection"

http://amzn.com/B00SLWHGJC

I'm very excited announce the release today of my new DVD, The Marcel Perez Collection!

The DVD contains 10 rare short silent comedies in new digital transfers from prints preserved by the Library of Congress and by the EYE Filmmuseum (Netherlands), and each has a brand new piano score by yours truly. The films on the disc were curated by me and Steve Massa, who refers to Marcel Perez as "the greatest silent film comedian no one's ever heard of".

The DVD project was funded by a Kickstarter held last summer, which was so successful that additional funds were used to create and publish a companion book that Steve has written. The book is Marcel Perez: The International Mirth-Maker and contains a detailed biography, career overview, filmography and more than 50 rare photographs from Perez's films made in Italy and in the US.

This is the second DVD that I have produced and release that is co-branded with the Library of Congress. Cover art for both the DVD and the book was done by the amazing Marlene Weisman-Abadi.

Marcel Perez entered films in 1900 in France, after working in circus and the music hall, then had a starring series of comedies in Italy which he also directed from 1911-1914. The following year he came to the US where he worked steadily starring in and directing comedy shorts until an illness forced him into the director's chair in 1924. He made hundreds of films in Europe and in the US between 1900 and 1928, and yet his films are extremely rare, especially the American titles. We are very proud to be able to make this prime selection of Perez silent comedies available.

I think you'll enjoy watching the 5 of his Italian "Robinet" comedies and the 5 American "Tweedy" shorts on the DVD, and will agree that Marcel Perez is ripe for rediscovery.

The DVD sells for $19.95 and the 104-page book is $11.95. To order the DVD click here, and for the book click here! Enjoy!

Thanks!

Ben

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

episode 7: news from the road, Peter Pan, Blackmail, using ragtime

episode 7: news from the road, Peter Pan, Blackmail, "Everybody Gets Cake"

Welcome
News from the road: December 2014 recap: the Silent Clowns Film Series, Chaplin Mutuals, Library of Congress holiday party, the Powers kids in "The Skeleton"
Recording: live performance, accompaniment to "Peter Pan", Peter saves Tinkerbell
Using ragtime to accompany silent films, then and now, pros and cons
On accompanying the murder scene in "Blackmail"
Recording: live performance, from Hitchcock's "Blackmail" at Alden Theater
Silent film series at the Alden Theatre in McLean, VA
Upcoming performances, Egyptian Theatre in Boise, with Boise Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble, release of Marcel Perez DVD, off-Broadway show "Everybody Gets Cake".
Closing