Sunday, February 28, 2016

episode 17: choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ

episode 17: organs and orchestras - choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ

Welcome
Recent shows recap: William S. Hart, Bert Williams, Criterion release of "The Kid"
Boise Philharmonic - world premiere of new score for "Dog Shy" with Charley Chase
Recording: in performance at Wesleyan silent film course, Larry Semon in "The Bellhop"
Choosing music for a scene: Chaplin films
A minidisc miracle
Recording: in performance at Sedgwick Cultural Center (Philadelphia) in 2002, accompanying "The Cat and the Canary" on a Hammond theatre organ.
Keeping it fresh, trying new things - 2 months of William S. Hart
Accompanying "Steamboat Bill, Jr". on a Jaeckel pipe organ
Recording: in performance at the Sluberski Film Series at Concordia College, accompanying Buster Keaton's "Steamboat Bill, Jr."
RIP Harry Weiss, silent film accompanist
Upcoming performances at LoC, Cinema Arts Centre, Silent Clowns Film Series
Recording: in performance for 700 school kids at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise, ID, for Stan Laurel in "Oranges and Lemons"
Audience preservation
Thanks, and closing

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Harry Weiss, silent film accompanist (1917-2016)

RIP Harry Weiss (1917-2016), an inspiration and a friend. He passed away peacefully January 7, two months shy of his 99th birthday, active right up to the end…playing piano every day and working on another CD. Harry was the Cinema Arts Centre​'s first silent film accompanist, playing for silents there in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He played his first silent – "Intolerance" – for a film club at his college CCNY. The photo below was taken at the Bangor Opera House in July 2009 when I went up to Maine to meet and play a show with him. I will cherish the phone chats we had over the last 9 years; he was always full of energy and good cheer, and kept up with my goings-on on Facebook(!), Talking with him was always a shot in the arm for me.

If you ever have the opportunity to connect with someone one or two generations older than you who does what you do…do it.

Ben Model (L) and Harry Weiss (R) at the Bangor Opera House, July 2009.
(photo by Kathy Tenga-Gonzalez)
Here's a video profile on Harry from 2013 by the Bangor Daily News. The article that accompanies the video is full of info about Harry's life and work.



Here's the poster for the show Harry and I did in 2009:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights

episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights

Welcome
10th anual "Silent Film Days" festival in Tromsø, Norway
Shows for 6th grade school kids, childrens' show on Saturday
Recording: in performance at Verdensteatret cinema, Baby Peggy in "Carmen Jr."
October DVD release of Baby Peggy in "The Family Secret", restored by Library of Congress
Challenge of scoring workprint-rushes of "Too Much Johnson"
Recording: in performance at Verdensteatret cinema, accompanying Orson Welles' "Too Much Johnson"
Performing as part of Arctic Philharmonic accompanying Chaplin's "City Lights" conducted by Timonthy Brock
Recording: in performance at Verdensteatret cinema accompanying Roald Amundsen north pole expedition film
Upcoming performances at LoC, Cinema Arts Centre, Silent Clowns Film Series "Mark of Zorro"
Thanks, and closing

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

episode 15: Laurel & Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA

episode 15: Laurel and Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA

Welcome
Silent Film Sound and Music Archive
Recap of June shows: Clara Bow in "Mantrap" in Lake Placid, Mostly Lost 4 at Library of Congress, a special L&H program concept from Bruce Lawton at Silent Clowns
Recording: in performance at Silent Clowns Film Series, Laurel and Hardy in "Duck Soup"
Returning to Tromsø, Norway for "Silent Film Days", and special Chaplin accomp assignment
Recording: in performance at MoMI, accompanying Chaplin's "The Immigrant" for 5th graders
Upcoming shows: Silent Clowns' "Men In Trouble", Cinema Arts Centre shows of Ernie Kovacs plus restored Baby Peggy
Recording: in performance at MoMA for "Toll of the Sea" from Technicolor series
The importance of participating in audience preservation
Thanks, and closing

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ

episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ

Welcome
Silent Film Sound and Music Archive
Recap of May shows: Mary Astor in "Heart to Heart", Buster Keaton in "Battling Butler", plus "Docks of New York" and a faster fps
Recording: in performance at MoMA, from 2008, playing the audience into the beginning of Douglas Fairbanks in "A Modern Musketeer"
Rules of the Game: playing an audience into a film, keeping the show momentum going
Recording: in performance at MoMA, from 2009, accompanying, "Poil de Carotte, a French film with live translation of intertitles
Upcoming shows: Lake Placid Film Forum, Silent Clowns' Laurel & Hardy, Mostly Lost 4 at Library of Congress Packard Campus Theatre
Recording: in performance at Baptist Temple in Brooklyn NY, from 2010, on Steere & Sons orchestral organ, accompanying "The Ten Commandments"
The importance of participating in audience preservation
Thanks, and closing

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU

episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU

Welcome
Silent Film Sound and Music Archive
Recap of April shows, playing for 5th graders at the Museum of the Moving Image
playing and presenting at the Toronto Silent Film Festival
(correction: Toronto SFF shorts curator is Chris Seguin, not Paul)
Recording: in performance at Toronto Silent Film Festival, Stan and Ollie discuss rich people doing things "just the reverse" in WRONG AGAIN
Rules of the Game: staying inside a character's head, regardless of the physical action of the scene when it doesn't match
Recording: in performance at the Alden Theatre in McLean VA, Raymond Griffith takes in the end of the Civil War in "Hands Up!"
Upcoming shows: Silent Clowns' series season of Hal Roach comedies, Library of Congress Packard Campus Theatre, High School band in Connecticut, Mostly Lost 4
Returning to the scene of the crime: playing annually at a silent film class at NYU on the piano I picked out in 1983
Recording: in performance at NYU Cinema Studies, sequence from Mikio Naruse's "No Blood Relation"
Closing

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

episode 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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