“Adventures In Sound!” – Ben tracks his own journey to find the digital devices that best re-create or at least evoke the classic theater pipe organ experience under modern screening conditions.
Ben discusses the “temporary” theme for the podcast, “Those Keystone Comedy Cops”
Ben’s instrumental evolution
- Learning to play the organ
- Lee Erwin, theater organist, as a mentor
- Difference in technique between piano and organ
- Expanding colors and instrumentation
- Developing the Synth-Org (Sample sounds included)
- Synth(esized) sounds vs. Digital samples
- Limited availability of real theater organs
- Deploying the Kurzweil PC-2 system with a MIDI pedal unit
- Examples from two scores for Edison: Invention of the Movies
Underwriting announcement: The Alice Howell Collection on DVD from Undercrank Productions
Ben’s musical journey continued
- Jim Henry introduces Ben to the Miditzer
- An excerpt from a Miditzer score Ben created for The Penalty
- The difficulty of recording and reproducing a real theater organ for home video
- Introducing the sound of the theater organ to the modern audience, the authentic sound of silent film
- Orchestration is fun in theory, but…
- Graduating to Hauptwerk, courtesy Paramount Organ Works, and adapting it to a single 88-note keyboard
- Please rename the system! And suggest how to talk about silent film without using the word “silent”!
- Scoring for home video as contrasted with a live appearance
- The piano is more suitable for the intimacy of The Silent Comedy Watch Party
- The Eye Film Museum
- The National Film Preservation Board
Links from the episode:
- The Silent Comedy Watch Party, Sundays on YouTube
- “Those Keystone Comedy Cops” by Charles McCarron. Download a copy, learn the words, sing it with your friends
- Appreciation: Silent Cinema Organist Lee Erwin – A four-minute radio story about Lee Erwin featuring some of his music.
- Watch Man Without A World directed by Eleanor Antrim at Vimeo
- Edison: The Invention of the Movies distributed by Kino Lorber – With scores by Ben and many others
- Learn about Ray Kurzweil, inventor of the music system and many other things
- The Alice Howell Collection from Undercrank Productions, 12 rare silent comedies with a female star who foreshadows Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and the great women physical comedians.
- A review of the Alice Howell Collection which highlights the major contribution Ben’s scores make to the set.
- What is a “sound font”?
- The legendary Hauptwerk Digital Virtual Theater Pipe Organ
- The Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam. Explore the online offerings here.
- The National Film Preservation Foundation. More free fun here.
- Sign up for Ben’s e-mails here.