Silent movies with piano accompaniment: Adam Fairhall on piano accompanies classic Buster Keaton silent movies – “In one Week” and “The Boat”
A feature on silent movies with piano accompaniment. Music has always been present in film event when we can’t hear it. We’ve all seen pictures form the early 20th century with organists or pianists accompanying silent films. Music – be It improvised or scored- can add such a lot to early films. Adam Fairhall is a master at providing a contemporary take on the traditional approach to music for silent films, and he will be heard accompanying two Buster Keaton shorts – “In one Week” and “The Boat”. Adam will also be giving a short talk about the history of musicians accompanying films
Joseph “Buster” Keaton was a born performer – almost literally. His parents were in a touring vaudeville show with Harry Houdini when he came into the world in 1895, and he joined the family’s act at the age of three. When he made the leap to the movies as a 21-year-old veteran, he could have stuck with the acrobatic pratfalls and deadpan glances he’d already mastered, and would still have been remembered as one of silent cinema’s supreme talents.
But what marks him out from his two great rivals, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, is what he did instead. Refusing to rely on his rubber body and stony face to conquer Hollywood, Keaton pushed back the boundaries of film-making itself. As Kevin Brownlow writes in his history of the silent era, The Parade’s Gone By, “Buster Keaton was probably the best comedy director in the business. Chaplin’s use of film was pedestrian by comparison.”
At Seven Arts – doors 7pm, music and talk from 7.30-9pm. Tickets £10
This event is part of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival 2022.
Tickets in advance : here