Monday, September 25, 2017

Rounding up a few loose ends prior
to the Buster Keaton Celebration in Iola, Kansas

Just back from Utica, N.Y., where I did music on Saturday night for Harold Lloyd's 'Speedy' (1928) at The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, a really nifty museum.

Harold killed, as usual. And what a pleasure to be present as yet another audience discovered this film!

Next up: heading out to Iola, Kansas this weekend for the annual Buster Keaton Celebration, held not far from Buster's birthplace in Piqua, Kansas.

While there, I'll get to hear accompanists Ben Model and Marvin Falwell do music for several Keaton features and short comedies. Looking forward to it!

And me—I'll accompany Keaton's 'The Cameraman' (1928) and my share of short comedies, too.

But I also get to introduce a new documentary, 'To Be Funny,' a contemporary look at Buster's enduring popularity.

Why me? Because I'm actually in it, and the filmmakers couldn't be on hand, so they asked me to do the honors.

It's the first time the film will be shown publicly. But to see a bit in advance, the trailer is posted online.

Also online is a new feature article on silent film music and my approach to it.

Published by the Boston Arts Fuse, it was written by Ken Bader, who did a very thorough job interviewing me and pulling this piece together. Thanks, Ken!

Also while I'm out in Kansas, I hope to hop across the border for a long run in Oklahoma. If I'm successful, this will make Oklahoma No. 34 in my quest to run a minimum of 10K in all 50 states.

If you'd like details, check out a page on my Running the 234 blog.

When I get back from Kansas, we'll be entering the busiest time of the year for a silent film accompanist—the weeks leading up to Halloween.

And yes, I have something like 12 shows in the two weeks prior to Oct. 31. Scary!

To keep the Halloween season from becoming a 'Nosferatu' marathon, each year I try to pull a worthy thriller from the shadows and give it a chance at some screen time.

This year, it's the original silent film version of 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' (1922), starring John Barrymore and a surprisingly scary piece of vintage cinema.

But things worked out where I'm also accompanying a couple of screenings of 'The Man Who Laughs' (1928), the terrific Paul Leni film starring Conrad Veidt.

So it make for a spooky good time.

And remember: in silent film, no one can hear you scream.

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