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Warning Shadows at MoMA, plus Immigrant x3

In the last week I’ve played three Immigrant shows for school groups at AMMI out in Astoria. Shows went well, and I got a refresher in how to play for this film at 21fps; hadn’t played for it there in a while, as I usually request it at 24fps. It depends on who’s in the booth. I’ve done it so many times I’ve found a way to play for it at the slower speed so it works a little better. The Immigrant, because Charlie (and just about everyone else in the film) is either standing or sitting throughout the film, plays better at 24; this isn’t just my taste or being fussy, but my listening to the audience and hearing the laughs and how strong they are or not, 4 or 5 times a month for the last 3 years.

This afternoon (4:30) I played for Schatten (or Warning Shadows) at MoMA. Gorgeous 35mm print, this was the recent restoration. They have really only had one or two silents a month for a while now (I’ll be playing for Jubilo with Will Rogers there in April), but this will pick up in May when their annual film preservation fest happens. Schatten was a nice change of pace; German expressionist films often are, and you can really go places musically that you don’t usually get to. There are chords, transitions and harmonies you can’t get away with in a more straight-ahead type of drama, and so it’s fun to be able to use these.

Have been contacted by Kino about more scoring for DVD, a release set for sometime this year. More info when it’s all signed off on and recorded. Reel Baseball from Kino comes out in April and has scores by me on Miditzer theatre organ on Felix Saves the Day (cartoon), Happy Days (Weiss Bros. kids short), and 17 mins of the Edison feature One Touch of Nature (1917) and on piano for Hearts and Diamonds with John Bunny, How the Office Boy Saw the Ball Game and Casey at the Bat (both early Edison short shorts).

ReelclassicDVD‘s second Our Gang disc is ready for release, 5 shorts with Miditzer scores. This should be released sometime next week. I’ve gotten a copy of the disc and it looks and sounds pretty good.

Have now booked a show for April at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, NY — will be doing Lloyd’s Safety Last (1923) in 35mm there, after doing Pandora’s Box for them on 3/21.

March is a busy month, with about a dozen shows, plus this DVD scoring I have to turn around. Best of all, the Silent Clowns series starts this Sunday. We should have a good crowd. See you there!

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