Drama, Created on the Spot
Even before sound came to motion pictures, music was part of the movie-going experience. It was a pragmatic matter in the early days. Projectors were loud machines, and the noise they made could distract from what was unfolding onscreen, so a piano became a theater mainstay. Music drowned out the racket. The gifted musicians that played these instruments (usually piano or organ) were dramatists who used their improvisational skills to help interpret celluloid tales and draw an audience into a film’s embrace. In their own way, they were forerunners of the composers whose scores began to be heard on film soundtracks not long after soundtracks became a staple part of films and the silent era receded into the past. Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe give silent film accompaniment a new spin, performing their arrangements of favorite classical and pop/rock works in the service of three masterpieces of horror. Happy Halloween!