Schenectady, NY - August 27, 2012 - Cinema fans should be prepared to witness the epic struggle between good and evil in the silent masterpiece FAUST in a theater environment that is up to the challenge.
Director F.W. Murnau’s bizarre, surreal, sensual tale of Faust’s barter with Mephisto is a mind-and-sensory expanding silent film, featuring two astonishing musicians coaxing sounds from Proctors Mighty WurliTzer Theatre Pipe Organ Goldie, a classic Hollywood theremin and Buchla Lightning Wands - reflecting the forces of the divine and the damned — all performed live under one of the largest screens in the northeast in Proctors Mainstage theatre.
This special edition contains the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation’s meticulous restoration of the original German version of the film (with unique hand-painted inter-titles), as well as a lengthier alternate cut prepared by the Ufa Studios in 1930.
Fresh from the triumphant releases of Nosferatu and The Last Laugh, F. W. Murnau was given carte blanche to direct this epic fable of the supernatural. Freed from the burden of plausibility by the story’s fantastic premise, Murnau summoned forth a tempest of cinematic brimstone so that every scene ripples with reckless ingenuity.
Utilizing the production studio’s full resources, including elaborate miniature models and a range of experimental special effects, Faust captures the intensity of a medieval universe steeped in religious fanaticism and pagan alchemy. Black-hooded pallbearers lead a torchlit procession through a plague-stricken village literally cloaked by the wings of Satan.
Crowded landscapes materialize and vanish in wisps of smoke, demonic creatures soar through the heavens and earthly beings are tormented by the vaporous spirits that permeate the dungeon-like homes and Caligari-esque rooftops of this shadow world.
In the eye of this infernal maelstrom is the great Academy Award winner Emil Jannings (The Blue Angel, Othello), who sets off the film’s sound and fury with a diabolically engaging performance, making Faust “A RADIANT JEWEL…A MASTERPIECE.” - The New York Times.
RIVETING NEW SCORE
The new musical score by Dennis James and Mark Goldstein provides a modern tribute to the historically authentic film scoring practice of all real-time live performance using a compilation of period music from a variety of sources along with newly composed elements and improvisations brought into vivid clarity by three, unique instruments: the theremin, Buchia Lightning Wands and Proctors mighty WurliTzer, Goldie.
Invented in 1920 by Professor Lev Sergeyevich Termen (anglicized later to Leon Theremin) of the Institute Physico-Technique in Leningrad, the theremin was the first truly practical and mass-marketed electronic musical instrument. Originally called the aetherphone or thereminvox (literally ‘voice of theremin’), it is played by the motion of the musician’s hands in the space surrounding the instrument’s antennae. Dennis James plays a concert theremin constructed by noted electronic instrument designer Robert Moog.
Film aficiondos may recall the spacey sounds of the theremin from the soundtracks of the movies The Day the Earth Stood Still, THE THING, DeMille’s Ten Commandments, Hellboy and even on episodes of Big Bang Theory and Yo Gaba Gaba. The mysterious sound has also been employed by CAKE, THE WHITE STRIPES, PINK FLOYD, PORTISHEAD and most memorably by THE BEACH BOYS, who, in fact, used a Tennerin (that later became known as a “Ribbon Controller”) for their GOOD VIBRATIONS track.
Buchla Lightning Wands are a much more modern invention using infrared light and midi interface technology to control a wide variety of sound through, like the theremin, human gesture. LIGHTNING is a specialized MIDI controller, developed in 1990 by California-based electronic instrument inventor Don Buchla, that senses position and movement of handheld wands and transforms this information to MIDI signals for expressive control of electronic musical instrumentation.
Based on the principles of optical triangulation, LIGHTNING gathers its information by tracking tiny infrared transmitters that are built into baton-like wands. From this information, LIGHTNING’s digital signal processor computes instantaneous velocity and acceleration, and performs detailed analysis of gesture.
Goldie, Proctors magnificent and mighty WurliTzer organ is an 18 voice, three-keyboard instrument that includes a full set of percussion instruments and a grand piano that can be played from the organ console. With 250 stops and buttons, 32 foot pedals, 1,400 pipes, a grand piano, percussion instruments and multiple sound effects - Goldie has thrilled and fascinated thousands of theatergoers. Goldie, in concert with the theremin and Buchla Lightning, will create an unforgettable experience for the senses as they bring this once-in-a-lifetime presentation of FAUST to life!
The first Filmharmonia ensemble was formed in 1990 for The Aelita Project, the recreation of the original film music for the Soviet futurist-fantasy silent film Aelita, Queen of Mars. The score incorporates both surviving original score fragments and period Soviet generic silent film music publications. The Aelita Project was designed especially to include use of the pioneering 1920 Soviet musical instrument invention, the theremin, in tribute to its most famous later role as a sound effect in science-fiction film music scoring.
Quickly expanding their range of unusual instruments and historic generic source music, Filmharmonia accepted a commission in early 1996 for a new score to the Soviet comedy The House on Trubnaya Square in celebration of U. C. Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive 25th anniversary. The critical acclaim for that score has led to various commissions, including an accurate realization of director Dziga Vertov’s own musical scoring notes for his The Man with a Movie Camera, (premiered at Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive in 1996) plus organ & electronics duo scores for Metropolis (premiered at the San Francisco Int’l Film Festival in 2001) and Woman in the Moon (premiered at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 2002).
The Filmharmonia bridges the worlds of film appreciation, musical imagination and historical preservation to craft works of art, timeless creations that transcend any era.
DENNIS JAMES (Organ & Theremin)
Musica Curiosa founder Dennis James is an exotic instrument revitalizer and professional silent-film musician. He has played a pivotal role in the global revival of silent films presented with live music and tours his musical score restorations, recreations and/or new compositions internationally for solo and small ensemble presentations plus performances with major symphony orchestras.
Dennis James appears regularly at, or on tour under the auspices of, the National Gallery of Art Cineconcert Series, Pacific Film Archive, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the Moving Image, Library of Congress, Cinematheque Francais, Louvre Museum film series, British Film Institute, National Film Theatre, Pordenone Cinema Muto Festival, Mozarteum in Salzburg, and the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni in Rome for presentations of film archive silent film restorations.
James also has been a featured solo performer at such annual film festivals as the San Francisco International Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Washington D.C. International Film Festival and Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, plus he appears frequently at the High Museum in Atlanta, Walker Film Center in Minneapolis, Cleveland Cinematheque, George Eastman House in Rochester, and for the Chicago Art Institute’s Film Series. James has served as American tour musician for the Munich Filmmuseum.
MARK GOLDSTEIN (Lightning)
Mark Goldstein is a free-lance percussionist and music technology consultant from the San Francisco Bay area. He holds a percussion degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and computer science degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University.
Goldstein performs in a wide variety of idioms in both the analog and digital domains. He has also worked for the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (U.C. Berkeley), the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (Stanford), Gibson Guitar G-WIZ Labs, and Studer Editech/Integrated Media Systems.
Goldstein collaborates with composers and instrument builders and explores the relationship between sound, movement and gesture, creating software, hardware and repertoire for electronic and computer music instruments in live performance.
Faust is Not Rated, Running Time: Approximately 120 minutes.
TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!
Tickets for Faust at Proctors on Sunday, Oct. 28 are $12 for adults and are available at Proctors Box Office, 432 State Street, Schenectady, NY (518-346-6204) or online at proctors.org. Ten dollar ($10) tickets for those 17-years-old-and under are available through the Box Officer, but not online.
Free parking for Faust at Proctors on Oct. 28 is available in the Broadway Garage.
Faust at Proctors is sponsored by B95.5 fm.
Faust at Proctors is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties.
Proctors in Downtown Schenectady, NY, offers more than 1,700 events a year to nearly 600,000 visitors and residents of New York State’s Capital Region.
As a charitable, cultural and educational non-profit organization, Proctors depends on membership, donations and grants to bring exciting shows and excellent educational and community events to the Capital Region. Income from ticket sales pays for only 67 percent of the cost of running Proctors.
PHONE: 518-382-3884 X166