Make some noise for Not-So-Silent

Brendan Cooney created Not-So-Silent Cinema.
Credit: Nikolai Fox

 

The advent of sound in film killed silent cinema just as it was coming into its own as a distinct and expressive art form. The same could be said for the art of improvising live music to accompany those silent films, before composed scores came along.

Boston composer/pianist Brendan Cooney created Not-So-Silent Cinema to revive that lost musical art, creating new scores for an ever-changing ensemble to accompany classic films. “Live film scoring was a really short-lived performance tradition that only lasted for a couple of decades in history and was forgotten once sound films came out,” Cooney says. “But it’s a really cool mixed-media way of doing music and visual art that has its own unique parameters. I like the challenge.”

Not-So-Silent Cinema began life in Philadelphia while Cooney lived here and played a collage of music: tango, klezmer, jazz, the Balkan brass of the West Philadelphia Orchestra. He drafted several of his bandmates from that ensemble for his first silent film project, a score to the Soviet classic “Battleship Potemkin,” and followed that with soundtracks for “Nosferatu” and “The Mark of Zorro” before leaving for Boston in 2011.

Cooney’s latest project, being performed in Philly this week, is a score for three Buster Keaton shorts. The pianist will be joined by clarinetist Andy Bergman and banjo player Kyle Tuttle. “Buster Keaton’s short films are set in early 1920s American landscapes,” Cooney says, “so I wanted to capture an urban Americana feel reminiscent of early 20th-century American music. I wanted New Orleans jazz, hot jazz, swing, blues, ragtime, bluegrass, blues, klezmer — so I was looking for instrumentation that was able to capture all those vibes.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…