THE MUSICAL ORPHANAGE
A two-parts programme of British “Silent” Films with their original synchronized music,
curated by Tony Fletcher with John Sweeney at the Piano.
I. Sound film before 1930
In this programme presented by Tony Fletcher, British films predating the widespread adoption of sound-on-film are exceptionnally presented with synchronized and related disc/cylinder recordings, and mute films with their titular popular songs performed by John Sweeney at the Piano. The screening, introduced by Bryony Dixon, was filmed at Barbican Cinema by David Williams at the 12th Silent British Film Festival in June 2009, published online (on the “Celluloid Tapestry” Youtube channel) on November 25, 2018. It features:
- Torres Straits (1898) (with original cylinder recordings)
- The Old Chorister (Williamson 1904) (Williamson catalogue describes how the film should be accompanied)
- Seymour Hicks and Ellaline Terris in a Selection of their Dances and Sketches
- Merry Moments in France (disc missing)
- Are We Downhearted? – No! (Hepworth Vivaphone Disc)
- Sweet Genevieve (Music sheet accompaniment)
- The One and Only Marie Lloyd
- Radio and Radiance (live performance at 2 LO)
- The Tin Can Fusiliers (Music sheet accompaniment)
- Barcelona (Syncopated Melodies) (Music sheet accompaniment)
- Gwen Farrar and Billy Mayerl in ‘I’ve Got A Sweetie on the Radio’ (De Forest Phonofilm)
- J.H. Squire and His Celeste Octet in a ‘Cook’s Tour of Europe‘ (De Forest Phonofilm)
- Teddy Brown and His Xylophone – ‘I Want To Be Alone with Mary Brown’ (1928) (British Phototone disc)
- Jack Hulbert and Cecily Courtneidge in ‘Hang It!’ (1929) (Silent Film with synchronised music track)
- Lifeboat Appeal (1930) (Silent Film with synchronised music track)
II. In Sound and Silence – Opera, Dance and Popular Classical Music
This presentation by Tony Fletcher and John Sweeney displays a programme of popular classical music, opera and dance in the 1920’s and the various experiments in synchronous sound that recorded these performances. Filmed by David Williams at the Barbican Centre on April 10th 2011, as part of the 14th British Silent Film Festival, published online on March 13, 2019. It features:
- Yes, We Have No... (1923) Piano accompaniment by Phil Carli
- Dance of the Moods (c.1922) (with Margaret Morris) Accompaniment by John Sweeney
- Johann Strauss (c.1927) Accompaniment by John Sweeney (piano) and Gunther Buchwald (violin)
- The Mikado (1925) (Gilbert & Sullivan) Accompaniment by John Sweeney
- Songs of France (c.1927) Accompaniment By John Sweeney (piano) Gunther Buchwald (violin) with Peggy Shaw and Wheeler Dryden
- Boheme Blue (1927) (Puccini) DeForest Phonofilm, projected at 22 fps. Orchestra and singers – details not known
- Drink To Me Only (1926) DeForest Phonofilm, projected at 22 fps. with Gwen Farrar (cello) and Billy Mayerl (piano).
- Le Reve Passe (1927) DeForest Phonofilm, projected at 22fps. (Dir. Widgey Newman) Singer: Camille Gillard.
- Memories of Tchaikovsky (1928) DeForest Phonofilm, projected at 22fps. J.H. Squires and his Celeste Octet.
- The Swan (1928) DeForest Phonofilm, projected at 22fps. Music: Saint-Saens from ‘Carnival of the Animals’ performed by two members of the Femina Quartet (Dir. Bertram Phillips)
- Laban Dance Film (c.1927) with Rudolf Laban. Accompaniment Robert Coleridge (piano)
- Four Indian Love Lyrics (c.1927) Music by Amy Woodforde-Finden (Dir. James Fitzpatrick) with Peggy Shaw and Wheeler Dryden. Accompaniment by John Sweeney (piano)
- Czardas (1928)(Composer: Monti) British Phototone Disc courtesy of The British Library, synchronised by Glenn Mitchell. Albert Sandler (violin)
- In A Japanese Garden (1928) British Phototone Disc, courtesy of The British Library, Singers: Thorpe Bates and Desiree Ellinger.
- L’après-midi d’un Faune (1931) (Composer: Claude Debussy) Ballet Rambert. Accompaniment by John Sweeney (piano)