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A podcast from renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model covering the techniques of creating and performing live scores to silent films, as well as a discussion of the language of silent cinema. Find what goes on in the mind of a silent film accompanist before, during and after playing for a show. Learn about the aesthetics of silent filmmaking and storytelling language.
 
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In this episode: Ben interviews composer, silent film pianist and television producer William Perry. Perry is probably best-remembered for his scores for the now-legendary television series “The Silent Years”, produced by Paul Killiam, that ran for two seasons on public television, in 1971 and 1975. For twelve years Perry was the music director and…
 
In this episode: Ben accompanies a bunch of shows of silent serials during June, and talks about the musical challenges of accompanying serials and in scoring an entire program of them; Kerr and Ben continue their conversation about Ernie Kovacs’s use of music, and discuss Kovacs’ “Street Scene” video of Bartok’s “Concerto For Orchestra”, and for m…
 
In this episode: Ben trusts his instincts and has a little magic happen during a show of “The Patsy”; makes a decision and tries something new when it comes to using a “characteristic” musical mode in scoring Keaton’s “The Cameraman” and “The General”; pays tribute to Gilbert Gottfried and talks about getting to do a comedy bit with him when Ben wa…
 
Ben talks about: being a guest accompanist at the 25th annual Kansas Silent Film Festival; playing for Edward Everett Horton in a Cathedral, and the use of a “Bowery waltz”; introducing Marcel Perez to fans at the KSFF; playing for William S. Hart in Brooklyn; being able to turn on a dime in underscoring and have it make sense musically; live-scori…
 
Ben talks about: the process of scoring “Zander the Great” and “Beverly of Graustark” for home video release; a recent Kickstarter that funded super-quick; Marion Davies’s talents as a silent film actor; teaching in-person and on-campus again after two years; accompanying Edward Everett Horton shorts and “The Fire Brigade” at the Museum of Modern A…
 
This is a re-posting “flashback” of episode 8, which originally posted on February 4, 2015. Welcome – News from January: composing and performing music for Parallel Exit’s “Everybody Gets Cake”, running off-Bway thru Feb 8, 2015 – Recording: instrumental from “Cake” show: “A Shakespearean Smoke Break” – the restoration of Georges Melies’ “A Trip to…
 
This is a re-posting “flashback” of episode 7, which originally posted on January 21, 2015. Welcome – News from the road – December 2014 recap: the Silent Clowns Film Series, Chaplin Mutuals, Library of Congress holiday party, the Powers kids in “The Skeleton” – Recording: live performance, accompaniment to “Peter Pan”, Peter saves Tinkerbell –Usin…
 
Ben relates the journey of playing piano as part of a full orchestra live accompanying Chaplin’s City Lights under the baton of the score’s restorer, Timothy Brock, during the Silent Film Days Festival in Tromsø, Norway. Ben also explores how he experienced Chaplin’s score “from the inside” and what he learned about making music to support silent f…
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of episode 6, which originally posted on January 7, 2015. Welcome — Mea culpa, and welcome to the podcast reboot — The Silent Film Sound and Music Archive — My new DVD label Undercrank Productions and the LoC — Live performance: "My Best Girl" at St. Francis College — Using pre-existing music in film accompaniment —…
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of episode 5, originally posted on March 18, 2013. Welcome – A whirlwind week of performances and travel - 7 shows in 8 days Live performance: "The Mark of Zorro" at Central Baptist Church – Preparing for a performance: music prep, bench height, piano light, etc – Live performance: "My Best Girl" at Port Washington …
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of episode 4, originally posted on January 14, 2013. Welcome – Playing the organ at the Library of Congress theater – My Kickstarter project to release rare/lost silents on DVD and YouTube – Live performance: Raymond Griffith in "You'd Be Surprised" at Silent Clowns – Listening to a film's spoken intro can give clue…
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of episode 3, originally posted on July 12, 2012. Welcome – Playing for "The Avenging Conscience" and "Paths to Paradise" – Live performance: "Paths to Paradise" at Silent Clowns – Thoughts on scoring "The Saphead" and "The Devil's Needle & Other Tales of Vice and Redemption" on DVD from Kino Lorber – Downloadable m…
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of episode 2, originally posted on June 29, 2012. Welcome – report on what was the first “Mostly Lost” film identification workshop – live performance recording "Ten Commandments" on Steere & Sons organ in Brooklyn – an ethical issue on uploading silents to YouTube from DVDs – on quoting popular songs of the day in …
 
This is a re-posting "flashback" of the very first episode of The Silent Film Music Podcast, originally posted on June 9, 2012. Welcome - score for "The Eagle" - new web series - Mabel Normand - Raymond Griffith at The Silent Clowns - score for "The Night Club" - playing for Ernie Kovacs - unidentified silents at Library of Congress - King Vidor's …
 
In the second half of this 2-parter, Ben Model recaps the past pandemic year: producing and releasing the Edward Everett Horton DVD set, a handful of DVD release projects in development, remembering MoMA's Eileen Bowser, and looking toward the future of silent film live-streaming in 2022.Episode 43 Show Notes: Announcement: Episodes 1 through 8 of …
 
"End of the Year 2021 Recap" – in the first half of this 2-parter, Ben Model recaps the past pandemic year of silent film live-streaming, rediscovering the meaning of providing entertainment for fans, the return to in-person accompaniments, and ponders the future of the silent movie virtual cinema.Episode 42 Show Notes: Live shows return in early s…
 
"Live-Scoring for the Virtual Cinema" – in part two of this conversation, Ben Model discusses what it's been like to accompany silent films throughout 2021 via live-streams he's produced and presented out of his home. Ben and co-host Kerr Lockhart discuss: the differences for Ben between the creative mindsets of scoring a silent film while performi…
 
"Live-Scoring for the Virtual Cinema" – in part one of this conversation, Ben Model discusses what it's been like to accompany silent films throughout 2021 via live-streams he's produced and presented out of his home. Ben and co-host Kerr Lockhart discuss: the differences for Ben between the creative mindsets of scoring a silent film while performi…
 
"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.TopicsBen discusses the “temporary” theme for the podcast, “Those Keystone Comedy Cops”Ben’s instrumental evolution Learning to play the organLee Erwin, the…
 
On this episode Ben talks about meeting an audience's expectations of a score when a certain piece of music or style is indicated onscreen, and in a rare case of a non-narrative film made after the silent era. Also covered are silent era mood cues and cue sheets, Marion Davies in "When Knighthood Was in Flower", techniques in performance to match m…
 
On this episode Ben talks about: the annual Mostly Lost film identification workshop at the Library of Congress, currently postponed until 2021; underscoring a key scene in Keaton's "The Cameraman" and noticing a parallel with "Singin' In The Rain", playing for "Spite Marriage", the challenge of introducing and presenting "The General" at a college…
 
On this episode Ben talks about: using music an audience may or may not expect to hear during a film in preparing scores for shows of Fairbanks' "Robin Hood" and Raoul Walsh's "Loves of Carmen"; using underscore to help smooth over missing footage; playing the theatre organ like it's an orchestra and sparingly using its "toy counter"; expanding his…
 
On this episode, Ben Model talks with co-host Kerr Lockhart talk about a cancelled gig at the Metropolitan Museum of Art turning into an online one, Gage County Nebraska and Hollywood, accompanying Russian silent films, scoring a French film for an audience with live-translated intertitles. Plus: using leitmotifs, finding a lost reel of a Baby Pegg…
 
On this episode of the podcast, Ben Model discusses the creation of the Silent Comedy Watch Party and the response so far; talks about teaching his silent film course at Wesleyan using Zoom; shares an excerpt from his score for Alfred Hitchcock’s Champagne for the Hitchcock British International Pictures Collection for Kino Lorber; talks about the …
 
On this episode of the podcast -- I use a song-title-pun during Mostly Lost, play for the same Chaplin shorts three days in a row to work on an orchestral score, play a Möller in Rome like it's an orchestra, bring silent comedies to the Adirondacks, score two Marion Davies films in a recording session and at the Library of Congress, and make the su…
 
On this episode of the podcast, I discuss meeting an audience's expectations while staying true to the film's original culture, choosing a comedy short to show newbies, and playing for a show where someone else's music credit is onscreen; also, Arthur Kleiner accompanies a Harold Lloyd short with an iPhone, 700 kids in Boise laugh at Buster Keaton,…
 
On this episode, Ben Model talks about creating and performing a live score on theatre organ for the 1931 "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi, shares some insights about programming the "Silent Comedy International" series at MoMA, and discusses why playing at a suburban library is just as important as playing a big film festival. Performance recordings on …
 
On this mini-episode, Ben Model gives you some tips and some do's & don't's on how to accompany a silent movie if you're doing one this Halloween...or any time of the year. Plus, there's news about Ben's upcoming silent film shows and DVD projects.Be sure you're on Ben's email list!Subscribe to the podcast via the platforms listed below, or on Over…
 
On this episode, Ben Model recaps his summer silent film shows, discusses musically wrapping up a scene to match the film, talks about what to do musically when the film breaks, traces a 14-year trajectory in a "how'd you get that gig?" story, shares some info on Lee Erwin's synthesizer-based theatre organ and his novelty song "Tootsie Oodles", and…
 
I've recorded and posted a new episode of The Silent Film Music Podcast with Ben Model. It's the podcast that takes you inside the mind of someone as they prepare for, perform and reflect on performances of live musical accompaniments to silent movies.In episode 28 I discuss scoring a Laurel & Hardy silent comedy utilizing a tune many fans of their…
 
On this episode, Ben Model takes you above the Arctic Circle to hear a pipe organ accompanying a Swedish silent, to Boise ID to its historic 1927 Egyptian Theatre, and to Hollywood for the TCM Classic Film Festival. Ben discusses choosing a main theme for his score "Show People", the importance of John Morris's music for Mel Brooks films, plus some…
 
Welcome and intro - reports on recent shows and recordings, and October DVD releases - starting a score at a performance: playing the audience into the film - performance clip: "The Temptress" with Garbo & Moreno, on organ at the LoC - explanation of the podcast's theme - anticipating mood shifts and when to make the change - performance clip: "Met…
 
Welcome and intro - "Silent Film Days" in Tromsø, Norway - demonstrating musical moods for 5th graders - the universality of silent comedy - recording of score for One Week for students - making underscoring fit physical actions in an unobtrusive way - performance recording ofexcerpt from score for L&H in From Soup To Nuts - waiting for just the ri…
 
Welcome and intro - Stuart Oderman - DVD/Blu ray release of "When Knighthood Was In Flower" - holding back in playing in order to get audience inside a character's head - performance excerpt from "Show People" - underscoring a moment that extends into a scene with different energy - performance excerpt from "The Crowd" - Silent Film Days in Tromsø …
 
Welcome and intro - "Silent Film Days" festival Tromsø (Verdensteatret 100 År!) - performance clip "Madame de Thebes" - scoring "Why Change Your Wife" and hunting for "Hindustan" for the Kansas Silent Film Festival - performance clip "Why Change Your Wife?" - more about scoring WFYW and about seeing William DeMille's films - show prep is more than …
 
00:00 Welcome, and intro to Cruel and Unusual Comedy -- 04:02 More Plots and Plotters -- 11:21 Ethnic Profiling: Stereotypically Speaking -- 19:47 Loco Motives: On the Wrong Track -- 27:52 Scared Silent -- 36:27 Hits of the Past -- 45:29 Working Girls.This episode contains chapter stops. (Your podcast player may or may not recognize these.)click he…
 
00:00 Welcome, and intro to Cruel and Unusual Comedy -- 04:31 Westward Whoa -- 14:36 Love and War: Romantic Skirmishes -- 26:16 Family Jewels: Child Progeny -- 34:29 Wage Slaves and Working Stiffs -- 40:00 Slapstick HashThis episode contains chapter stops. (Your podcast player may or may not recognize these.)click here to download or subscribe to p…
 
00:00 welcome; intro to special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" series and podcasts - 05:40 Plots and Plotters - 14:07 Chaplinitis - 26:15 Sports Injuries - 36:11 Arts Deprectiation. This episode contains chapter stops. (Your podcast player may or may not recognize these.)click here to download or subscribe to podcast on iTunesClick here to stream podca…
 
coming in January 2017: 3 special episodes of the podcast This mini-episode is more of a trailer of sorts for three special podcast episodes that I will post simultaneously in the first half of January 2017.In this 10-minute mini-podcast – first off, I recap some fall DVD releases and a couple that are on tap for spring of 2017. Then you'll hear ab…
 
episode 19: a trip to Egypt?, Keaton and Lloyd in South Korea, prepping for a 1915 Swedish silentWelcome. I get lost en route to a gig whilst dealing with a snafu in overseas travel. Next, I talk about explaining the onscreen music credit (attributed to someone who is not me) to 3,000 people in Jecheon, South Korea.Performance recording: accompanyi…
 
episode 18: scoring The Bride's Play, explaining the 1920s jokes, travel to South Korea and NorwayWelcome (back)! Long time no podcast, so I recap a few highlights from March-July. Such as: finishing a year of being Professor Model, releasing the "Found at Mostly Lost" DVD, et al.Performance recording: accompanying "The Moth" starring Norma Talmadg…
 
episode 17: organs and orchestras - choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organWelcomeRecent shows recap: William S. Hart, Bert Williams, Criterion release of "The Kid"Boise Philharmonic - world premiere of new score for "Dog Shy" with Charley ChaseRecording: in performance at Wesleyan silent film cour…
 
episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City LightsWelcome10th anual "Silent Film Days" festival in Tromsø, NorwayShows for 6th grade school kids, childrens' show on SaturdayRecording: in performance at Verdensteatret cinema, Baby Peggy in "Carmen Jr." October DVD release of Baby Peggy in "The Family Secret", res…
 
episode 15: Laurel and Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMAWelcomeSilent Film Sound and Music ArchiveRecap of June shows: Clara Bow in "Mantrap" in Lake Placid, Mostly Lost 4 at Library of Congress, a special L&H program concept from Bruce Lawton at Silent ClownsRecording: in performance at Silent Clowns Film Series, Laurel an…
 
episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organWelcomeSilent Film Sound and Music ArchiveRecap of May shows: Mary Astor in "Heart to Heart", Buster Keaton in "Battling Butler", plus "Docks of New York" and a faster fpsRecording: in performance at MoMA, from 2008, playing the audience into the beginning of…
 
episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYUWelcomeSilent Film Sound and Music ArchiveRecap of April shows, playing for 5th graders at the Museum of the Moving Image playing and presenting at the Toronto Silent Film Festival(correction: Toronto SFF shorts curator is Chris Seguin, not Pa…
 
episode 12: cineconventions, music from out-of-print DVDS, being easy to work with, Marcel Perez reviewWelcomeSilent Film Sound and Music Archive35th annual/final Cinefest, the future of cineconventionssilent film in a church and at Columbia U. film schoolRecording: from out-of-print DVD from Unknown Video "Flaming Flappers", performed on Miditzer …
 
episode 11: song cues gone wrong, scoring One Week, Lee Erwin, silents in schoolsWelcomeSilent Film Sound and Music ArchiveLibrary of Congress shows: Leap Year, The Patent Leather KidCinema Arts Centre show: Linda, dir Dorothy DavenportRecording: Patent Leather Kid, live in performance at the LoC Packard Campus Theatre, on their Walker digital thea…
 
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