Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alloy Orchestra, James Bernard|
Silents: Contemporary Scores for Classic Silent Films
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soundtracks
Of all the bands playing that accompany silent films (and there are more than a few out there), none are better than the Alloy Orchestra. Simply put, the Boston-based band has an incredible sense of humor, cinematic timing... more »
Of all the bands playing that accompany silent films (and there are more than a few out there), none are better than the Alloy Orchestra. Simply put, the Boston-based band has an incredible sense of humor, cinematic timing, and a great sound. Perhaps it's the instrumentation: Alloy utilize oddball percussion (fire extinguishers, old pipe) and the occasional sampler sound effects. The group's music never sounds dated, and yet, somehow, it never dates the movie it accompanies. Silents is some of the ensemble's best work, a compilation featuring music written for five different classic silent films. The group's scores for Plain Crazy (noteworthy as being Mickey Mouse's first film appearance) and a funky accompaniment to Metropolis are the clear highlights, but there really are no duds here. --Jason Verlinde
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Quirky, unpredictable and beautiful scores
bjorn-toby-wilde | 09/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seeing the Alloy Orchestra in person playing one of their original scores while the film is playing on the screen is an experience I always enjoy. Whenever they're in town, I round up friends and relatives to watch METROPOLIS, NOSFERATU, or some other silent classic. It's not easy. Today's audiences aren't very keen on silents and the people in my group protest having to "read dialogue" and watch an old movie that's not in color. But when the films over, they can't stop talking about what a great time they had.Unfortunately, the talented Alloy Orchestra isn't playing in my city 365 days a year, so I can't see them as often as I like. But they do sell recordings of their work. Sure, these compositions from LOST WORLD, NOSFERATU, METROPOLIS, and the bizarre THE UNKNOWN can stand on their own as terrific music. But I get further enjoyment by popping any of those films in my VCR or DVD and playing the proper selections on my CD player. It's a pain to keep switching tracks back & forth, but it helps me relive the mood I first got when I saw it performed live.I probably love NOSFERATU the best. I own the film on video with a droning, heavy organ score in the background, which is a soundtrack you'd expect from an old silent vampire film. The Alloy Orchestra did an atypical score with a spooky waltz for the main title. The other selections for the film are also haunting, yet quirky -- not like anything you'd expect for a typical score for NOSFERATU. And that describes their scores perfectly -- they're quirky, beautiful, and very appropriate.If you've already seen them, you will want to own this (as well as their CD "New Music For Silent Films). If you haven't and you have a taste for the unusual, give this CD a try. And go out of your way to see them perform in person."
Lisa Mitchell | Boston, MA USA | 09/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would like to correct the previous reviewer. The Alloy Orchestra writes and performs their own *original* compositions to accompany silent films. The tracks on this CD will have nothing to do with the original scores for these films. I have had the pleasure of seeing the Alloy Orchestra perform their music for several different films, and their live performances are truly extraordinary and provide an opportunity to appreciate how closely the music is tied to the films. However, I find most of their music stands up well on its own, and I enjoy the scores for the films I haven't seen just as much."
E.J. Crackerhorn | California | 07/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this album, the performances are vibrant, lively, original, and breath life into the old scores. The instrumentation has a great "organic" feel. I would highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in old film scores particularly silents. (The Amazon review sites "Plane Crazy" as Mickey Mouse's first film appearance, this is incorrect: Mickey Mouse first appeared in "Steamboat Willie" on November 18, 1928, "Plane Crazy" was released later that same year. While "Plane Crazy" was actually produced before "Steamboat Willie" it was in "Steamboat Willie" that Mickey made his debut.)"