Fall Cinesation in Ohio, Sept 27-30

Much, much to report. Have been meaning to post a videoblog, but there still hasn’t been enough time to deal with that. Still trying to get the dust from Sept to settle (24 performances)…

Played for 5 Sessue Hayakawa films at MoMA the week after I returned from Norway. One on piano and the others on Miditzer. MoMA, over the summer, purchased all the equipment (except for laptop) to use Miditzer there, so I can accompany something on organ when I choose to, and not just when I think I can schlep all my equipment down. The theatre organ sound really seems to be effective, especially with slightly weaker pictures. The applause the films (and I) get at the end seems a little stronger when I use the organ. People really enjoy that sound, and I’m really appreciative of the MoMA film dept for going ahead with this. Don’t worry…I’ll still use piano for silents there.

Also did a few Immigrant shows in late Sept at the Museum of the Moving Image; daytime, school shows. These are starting to feel like going in to a day-job, because they’ve become routine in a way…even my talk about silent film music is something I can almost do by rote. Just did three this past week.

Got to play for Leaves of Satan’s Book dir by Carl Th. Dreyer at Scandinavia House in NYC. Ironically, their head programmer was in Tromsø the day before, at a screening at the Verdensteatret where I’d been in early Sept! Live translation (Danish intertitles, y’know) was done by Tana Ross, a documentary filmmaker who I knew from before, as she had done the live translation at MoMA for the Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöstrom retros there. She also taught me the correct way to pronouce Sjöstrom.

Then I had to pack up my suitcase – and Miditzer pedals – and I was off to the Fall Cinesation in Massillon, OH. Festival was held in the town’s original 1915 movie theater, the Lincoln, which was originally a Triangle Theater. It was run as part of the Schine chain of cinemas at one point (see also the Hamilton Theater in upstate NY), and was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1980’s by the Lions. Saw some great silents, and skipped some of the sound films (I was tired). I used the Miditzer for most of what I played, and Phil Carli used the piano. But I think I’ve won him over as far as using the Miditzer is concerned. Phil’s a great theatre organist, BTW.

Below are some pics from the fest.

News briefs:

  • Have begun taking a look at the Nell Shipman short The Light on Lookout and have begun working out ideas for the orchestral score for it I need to get done.
  • The Unknown Video release of What Happened to Rosa with Mabel Normand was just released.
  • The 3rd volume of Our Gang silents is now out, from ReelclassicDVD.
  • The Houdini set from Kino has been put off, and will not be out this fall, perhaps not even until early 2008
  • realized I have three Chaney pictures during the last week of October (check my performance sched if you want to see all of them)
  • plus a few projects I’m not at liberty to discuss right now, so stay tuned…!

That’s all for now. See you at the silents!

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