Oct 10 – “Cat and the Canary” in Brooklyn

Sat, Oct 10 — the first silent film program in this bi-monthly series sponsored by the Brooklyn chapter of the AGO was sparsely attended, unfortunately. The people who came, however, got to hear that magnificent instrument in action. The acoustics in the church are great, and I had fun using the Echo ranks — which included chimes — that are at the back of the sanctuary. Used the chimes for the moment when the old clock rings just before the will is read. We had a TV monitor on top of the console, since the screen was below and behind me.

At one point the screen went blank. I kept playing anyway and called out to Keith Bigger, who was running the equipment, and pointed at the screen. I continued to play, looking over my shoulder occasionally to see the screen from the back, as Keith scurried to the monitor and reset it, which didn’t take very long. When something like this, or a film break, etc happens, I keep playing. This was one of Lee’s things as well, and I’ve heard stories about Lee playing through a film break. The idea is that until the film is over the show isn’t either, and keeping the mood and momentum going is key.

The organ sounded great. Keith is also organ curator and has devoted a great deal of his time to maintaining this beautiful instrument and should get some sort of medal for this at some point. He was one of the few people who said ‘yes’ to me when I was looking for a place to practice the organ back when I started on the instrument 8 years ago – so was Jeff Barker and Nelson Page at the now-shuttered Galaxy in Gutenberg, NJ which had a wonderful Kimball theatre organ in it.

Next show at the Baptist Temple is in December, and we’ll be running Chaplin shorts. Hopefully we’ll get a bigger audience next time.

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