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Symposium closes with silent film score

Veronica Hodur

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Professor David Dvorin, artistic director of the New Music Symposium, composed and performed a live score for the film “The Golem” to close the symposium Saturday night. Photo courtesy of Chico State.

The silent era of film was revolutionary, and the New Music Symposium revived the tradition.

David Dvorin, the artistic director of the New Music Symposium, composed the new score behind the silent film “The Golem.” He had a specific idea to get across during the final event of Saturday night’s symposium in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall.

“A live score is very exciting, and was very popular in the film era,” Dvorin said.

The music was played live with guitar and violin. Dvorin played the guitar and Matej Seda played the violin.

They also had synthetic sounds, made from objects like broken music boxes and clocks, in addition to the live music.

“Does it sound like drums? It didn’t start out as drums, it started out as clocks and other recordings,” Dvorin said.

The film was a piece from the 1920s that was, in essence, an early version of the Frankenstein story.

Even though the German film focuses on a rabbi using black magic to bring a clay being, which eventually begins killing townspeople, to life, it is not based on political propaganda, Dvorin said.

His score was a brilliant mixture of traditional guitar and violin composition with an undertone of synthetic voices to add to the film.

Though the score was brilliant in the way it showed mood, tone and climactic events, the film itself contained more than an hour of silent film tropes, which is hardfor most audiences to swallow.

Dvorin created a piece that was interesting and evocative, even to the untrained ear, which helped to balance the absurdity of the silent film.

Veronica Hodur can be reached at [email protected] or @VeronicaHodur on Twitter.

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Symposium closes with silent film score