Silent film, live music and contemporary composition

Hughes, Ed (2016) Silent film, live music and contemporary composition. In: Donnelly, K J and Wallengren, Ann-Kristin (eds.) Today's sounds for yesterday's films. Palgrave studies in audio-visual culture . Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 175-191. ISBN 9781137466358

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Silent film and live music together force you to think differently about both phenomena. The visible distinction between screen and music aligns more with certain qualities of opera than with film music practices found in synchronised sound cinema. In this chapter, I outline my previous compositions for live performance with silent films by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein and contemporary British visual artist Sophy Rickett, amongst others, and conclude with a case study of a recent collaborative project, Night Music (2015) in which musical layers periodically connect to a beat or accent in the screen visuals in an echo of Eisenstein's theory of audiovisual counterpoint. Finally, I argue that silent film with live music can permit a form of working-through of complex historical images.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Silent film, Music, Composition, Aesthetics
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > ML Literature on music > ML0159 History and criticism > ML0430 Composition and performance
Depositing User: Ed Hughes
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2016 09:06
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 15:29
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