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Silent Film Series

Live performances of original scores by the BQE Ensemble, Gary Lucas, and Cinematic Orchestra.

World Financial Center Winter Garden>
Sounds of the Surreal - Tuesday, February 10th at 7PM
The Golem -Wednesday, February 11th at 7PM
Man With A Movie Camera - Thursday, February 12th at 7PM

220 Vesey Street
Battery Park City Directions
Admission FREE

» New Sounds Live 2008-2009 Concert Season

The long-awaited annual winter film series returns to the World Financial Center featuring classic silent films set to innovative and energetic scores by Gary Lucas, the BQE Ensemble, and The Cinematic Orchestra. Each night, starting at 7PM, experience a different film and its inventive new music score. On Tuesday night, Feb. 10, Gary Lucas performs ghostly improvisational solo guitar for three surrealist films: "Entr’acte", "Ballet Mecanique", and "The Cameraman’s Revenge." Wednesday evening, Feb. 11, the BQE Project’s palette of exotic instruments from middle eastern drums to mandolin accompanies“The Golem.” And on Thursday night, Feb. 12, the Cinematic Orchestra’s moody, electronica-tinged jazz-funk follows "Man with a Movie Camera." And it's all FREE!
All performances will be taped for later broadcast on New Sounds.

revenge Sounds of the Surreal
3 shorts, Entr’acte, Ballet Mecanique, and The Cameraman’s Revenge

Rene Clair, France, 1924
A short work intended to be shown between live performances, "Entr'acte" stars some of the great Dada artists of the time - look sharp and you'll spot Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. The central event of the narrative is a funeral, but most of the participants, including the corpse, are dancers, and the hearse is drawn by a camel.

Ballet Mecanique
Fernand Leger, France, 1924
The famous experimental short in which everyday images form abstract patterns. The only film by the legendary Cubist painter, it is a key to all subsequent surrealist experiments in cinema.

The Camerman's Revenge
Ladislaw Starewicz, Russia, 1912
An outlandishly humorous morality play involving 4 insects, two clandestine trysts, and one hell-bent-for-revenge photographer. Starewicz was one of the earliest and most unique pioneers of stop-motion animation.

eagleDer Golem (The Golem)
Directed by Paul Wegener, 1920.
Original score composed by Tom Nazziola

In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck) observes the stars and concludes that trouble is brewing for his people. When the emperor issues a decree threatening the expulsion of Jews from the city, the rabbi, a master of magic, activates the Golem, a monstrous clay figure, to help save his congregation. The rabbi's daughter, Miriam (Lyda Salmonova, who also played this role in the 1914 film) is courted by two men, Famulus (Ernst Deutsch), the rabbi's assistant, and Knight Florian (Lathar Menthel), a messenger for the emperor. Famulus re-activates the Golem to vanquish his rival, and the monster goes berserk. (AllMovie Guide)

generalMan with a Movie Camera
Written and Directed by Dziga Vertov, 1929

Soviet director Dziga Vertov's experimental film grew out of his belief, shared by his editor, Elizaveta Svilova (who was also his wife), and his cinematographer, Mikhail Kaufman (also his brother), that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived. To that end, the filmmakers offer a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn until dusk, though they actually shot their footage in several cities, including Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. After an opening statement, there are no words in the film (neither voice-over nor titles), just dazzling imagery, kinetically edited - as a celebration of the modern city with a marked emphasis on its buildings and machinery. (AllMovie Guide)

a4 The BQE Project
The BQE Project is a five to eight-piece chamber ensemble that has quickly developed a loyal following for its original music scores and live performances to both silent and sound films. The ensemble was founded in 1998, when Nazziola and then partner John Florio re-orchestrated Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film score to City Lights—primarily by reconstructing thematic material from Chaplin’s handwritten notes (originally intended for copyright submission). Audiences have learned that they can expect to view a wide palette of films, from early silent cartoons to classic films (early talkies) including James Whale's "Frankenstein."

a4 Cinematic Orchestra
Cinematic Orchestra is led by composer/programmer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Swinscoe. Dating back to the days of his very first group, Crabladder and his DJing experiences in the 1990's, Swinscoe explored unlikely blends of genres and sampling, like jazz and hardcore punk elements with experimental rhythms; or melding '60s and '70s jazz, orchestral soundtracks, rhythm loops, and live instrumentation. The Cinematic Orchestra builds on this musical blueprint, letting a group of live musicians improvise over sampled percussion or basslines.

a4 Gary Lucas
Gary Lucas tours the world relentlessly both solo and with several different ensembles, including his longtime band Gods and Monsters, whose ranks once included the late great singer Jeff Buckley. Gary is also working intensively with the UK Indian vocalist Najma Akhtar in a new world music project, and the pair has just finished recording their debut album. Another of Gary’s projects is an electronica outfit called Wild Rumpus with the UK- based DJ Cosmo (Colleen Murphy). And Gary continues to co-lead and record with Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, a 7 piece ensemble devoted to the music of Gary’s original music mentor, avant- rock visionary Captain Beefheart, with whom Lucas played and toured with as a featured soloist for 5 years – and which first put Gary Lucas on the musical map as a force to be reckoned with.

» The BQE Project website
» Cinematic Orchestra’s website
» Gary Lucas’s website
» New Sounds Live 2008-2009 Concert Season
» World Financial Center