Andrew Simpson (from DC)

Today got to hear and hang out with Andrew Simpson, a film accompanist from Washington DC. I'd met Andrew, who's been playing for silents for a few years, at Slapsticon last year. Andrew and his "Snark Ensemble" recorded scores for many of the films on the new Harry Langdon DVD set, and has played for silents at the National Gallery and the AFI Silver Theater in DC, as well as a number of other theaters. When Joe Yransky told me several months ago he was looking for out-of-town, non-NYC accompanists to play for his annual "Meet the Music Makers" series at the Donnell Library, I recommended Andrew as well as Jeff Rapsis from New Hampshire, who played at the Donnell last week (I missed the show bec of my Boise gigs). Andrew played for Little Orphant Annie (with Colleen Moore, and yes...that's the correct spelling of the title) plus The Fairy and the Waif with Mary Miles Minter. Films were shown in 16mm prints.

Seen below are, from L to R: me, Andrew Simpson, and Joe Yransky (the first "Y" is silent, BTW):
Coming up next at the MTMM series (Weds'es at 2:30pm in Feb) are Frederick Hodges (CA) and David Drazin (Chicago).

Have booked two showing in May (5/1 and 5/2 at 1:30) of a repeat of the Bert Williams program. It will include Fish, Natural Born Gambler, plus the first 10 mins of the work-in-progress assembly of the unreleased BW film that was shown in raw unedited takes at the Feb 2 show. Anyone who missed the Feb 2 show and is available for the repeats should come. The prints are incredibly sharp and, seen on a big screen at the right speed, really show Williams's talents.

Sunday's Silent Clowns show was a big hit...especially considering it was Chaplin. We've often had lite turnouts for Chaplin programs, but we had a pretty full house. Hopefully we'll do well with our next, a program of Langdon comedies.

Am looking forward to some downtime...have been performing almost daily for two weeks, and the Langdon show is Feb 24. Week of 2/24 finds me with 7 shows in 6 days: Langdon, Wings, and Ben Hur, plus 4 Immigrant shows at AMMI. Have some recording to do in the next week or so (more about that when I can talk about it).

See you at the silents!

Ben

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