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The Silent Film Music Podcast with Ben Model

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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.

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.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

ep. 31: Scoring Dracula, Playing for Pat & Patachon, Reaching Younger Fans

12/19/2018
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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 this episode are from "Dracula" at the Library of Congress, "Vester Vov Vov" with Danish comedy duo Pat & Patachon ("Fy og Bi"), and Harold...

Duration:01:12:17

ep. 30: How To Play the Piano or Organ for a Halloween Silent Movie

10/8/2018
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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 – and if you want to say "thanks!", buy him a cup of coffee here at Ko-Fi.com Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify and Overcast; please consider supporting the podcast at...

Duration:00:32:35

ep. 29: playing for scene breaks & film breaks, Lee Erwin's Tootsie Oodles, how'd you get that gig? and more

9/10/2018
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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 more. All this plus news about upcoming silent film shows and DVD info. Here are links to Kino Lorber's new release of Pioneers: First Women...

Duration:01:26:42

ep. 28: scoring Laurel & Hardy, Mostly Lost 7, Lois Weber on organ and more

7/11/2018
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On this episode, Ben Model gives a brief report on Mostly Lost 7, accompanies the rarely-shown Marie Doro silent "Lost and Won", does his darnedest to score the Lois Weber film "Hypocrites" on a church organ for a new Kino DVD, discusses the paradox of using somewhat recognizable music from a talkie Laurel and Hardy film as a theme for one of their silents, talks up silent film comedienne Alice Howell, talks about how "I loved your score" may not necessarily be a compliment after a show,...

Duration:01:02:00

ep. 27: organ sounds from Norway and Idaho, a trip to Hollywood, and using main themes

5/23/2018
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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 insight on the use and usefulness of a silent film score's main theme. All this plus news about Mostly Lost, upcoming silent film shows and DVD...

Duration:01:01:52

ep. 26: reinterpreting 1929 Buster Keaton, playing into a film, anticipating mood transitions

10/12/2017
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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: "Metropolis" in Brooklyn - finding a way to make the most of "Spite Marriage" with Buster Keaton - score clip: original 1929 score recording -...

Duration:01:17:51

ep. 25: performances in Tromsø, mood demos, universality of laughs, fitting hits to music (or not), "Diane" in reel 5

9/22/2017
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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 right moment for the first instance of a love theme - excerpt from performance of Borzage's Seventh Heaven - upcoming DVD release and project info...

Duration:01:16:31

ep 24: Stuart Oderman, playing the numbers in Detroit, Show People, The Crowd, DVD news

8/18/2017
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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 again next month - score recording of Lee Erwin accompanying "The Thief of Bagdad" - upcoming DVD release and project info - signoff and thank...

Duration:01:15:25

ep 23: Tromsø, Kansas and Toronto Silent Film Festivals, Hindustan, W.C. Fields, being a 360 creator, Knighthood news

4/20/2017
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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 just musician prep - performance clip "It's The Old Army Game" - being in an oil painting and on a book cover - premiere of my restoration of...

Duration:00:59:11

ep 22: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #3

1/7/2017
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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 here to download or subscribe to podcast on iTunes Click here to stream podcast:

Duration:00:59:35

ep 21: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #2

1/7/2017
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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 Hash This episode contains chapter stops. (Your podcast player may or may not recognize these.) click here to download or subscribe to podcast on iTunes Click here to stream podcast:

Duration:00:49:00

ep 20: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #1

1/7/2017
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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 iTunes Click here to stream podcast:

Duration:00:45:25

coming in January 2017: 3 special episodes of the podcast

12/28/2016
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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 about some orchestral score performances coming in February, as well as a "Director's Speed" screening of "Sunrise". Finally, the piece de...

Duration:00:11:11

episode 19: a trip to Egypt?, Keaton and Lloyd in South Korea, prepping for a 1915 Swedish silent

8/27/2016
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episode 19: a trip to Egypt?, Keaton and Lloyd in South Korea, prepping for a 1915 Swedish silent Welcome. 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: accompanying "Steamboat Bill, Jr." starring Buster Keaton at the 12th Jecheon International Music and Film Festival. I talk about preparing for and...

Duration:00:45:49

episode 18: scoring The Bride's Play, explaining the 1920s jokes, travel to South Korea and Norway

8/1/2016
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episode 18: scoring The Bride's Play, explaining the 1920s jokes, travel to South Korea and Norway Welcome (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 Talmadge at Mostly Lost 4 in 2015 on the Walker Digital Theatre Organ, at the Library of Congress. A discussion of the unique situation of being...

Duration:00:50:52

episode 17: choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ

2/28/2016
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episode 17: organs and orchestras - choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ Welcome Recent shows recap: William S. Hart, Bert Williams, Criterion release of "The Kid" Boise Philharmonic - world premiere of new score for "Dog Shy" with Charley Chase Recording: in performance at Wesleyan silent film course, Larry Semon in "The Bellhop" Choosing music for a scene: Chaplin films A minidisc miracle Recording: in performance at Sedgwick...

episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights

9/15/2015
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episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights Welcome 10th anual "Silent Film Days" festival in Tromsø, Norway Shows for 6th grade school kids, childrens' show on Saturday Recording: in performance at Verdensteatret cinema, Baby Peggy in "Carmen Jr." October DVD release of Baby Peggy in "The Family Secret", restored by Library of Congress Challenge of scoring workprint-rushes of "Too Much Johnson" Recording: in performance at Verdensteatret...

Duration:00:40:35

episode 15: Laurel & Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA

7/22/2015
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episode 15: Laurel and Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap 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 Clowns Recording: in performance at Silent Clowns Film Series, Laurel and Hardy in "Duck Soup" Returning to Tromsø, Norway for "Silent Film Days", and special Chaplin accomp assignment Recording: in...

Duration:00:45:22

episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ

5/27/2015
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episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap of May shows: Mary Astor in "Heart to Heart", Buster Keaton in "Battling Butler", plus "Docks of New York" and a faster fps Recording: in performance at MoMA, from 2008, playing the audience into the beginning of Douglas Fairbanks in "A Modern Musketeer" Rules of the Game: playing an audience into a film, keeping the show momentum...

Duration:00:38:58

episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU

5/13/2015
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episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap 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 Paul) Recording: in performance at Toronto Silent Film Festival, Stan and Ollie discuss rich people doing things "just the reverse" in...

Duration:00:47:16