Ben Model's silent film blog
By Ben Model
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Find out what goes on inside the mind of Ben Model before, during and after playing for a silent movie. Hear insider info, live performance recordings, reflections on gigs and films, learn about how a film accompanist prepares…and more, from one of the USA's leading silent film accompanists.
||Cleanep. 26: reinterpreting 1929 Buster Keaton, playing into a film, anticipating mood transitions||Welcome and intro - reports on recent shows and recordings, and October DVD releases - starting a score at a performance: playing the audience into the film - performance clip: "The Temptress" with Garbo & Moreno, on organ at the LoC - explanation of||10/12/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep. 25: performances in Tromsø, mood demos, universality of laughs, fitting hits to music (or not), "Diane" in reel 5||Welcome and intro - "Silent Film Days" in Tromsø, Norway - demonstrating musical moods for 5th graders - the universality of silent comedy - recording of score for One Week for students - making underscoring fit physical actions in an unobtrusive way -||9/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep 24: Stuart Oderman, playing the numbers in Detroit, Show People, The Crowd, DVD news||Welcome and intro - Stuart Oderman - DVD/Blu ray release of "When Knighthood Was In Flower" - holding back in playing in order to get audience inside a character's head - performance excerpt from "Show People" - underscoring a moment that extends into a||8/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep 23: Tromsø, Kansas and Toronto Silent Film Festivals, Hindustan, W.C. Fields, being a 360 creator, Knighthood news||Welcome and intro - "Silent Film Days" festival Tromsø (Verdensteatret 100 År!) - performance clip "Madame de Thebes" - scoring "Why Change Your Wife" and hunting for "Hindustan" for the Kansas Silent Film Festival - performance clip "Why Change Your||4/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep 22: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #3||00:00 Welcome, and intro to Cruel and Unusual Comedy -- 04:02 More Plots and Plotters -- 11:21 Ethnic Profiling: Stereotypically Speaking -- 19:47 Loco Motives: On the Wrong Track -- 27:52 Scared Silent -- 36:27 Hits of the Past -- 45:29 Working Girls.||1/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep 21: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #2||00:00 Welcome, and intro to Cruel and Unusual Comedy -- 04:31 Westward Whoa -- 14:36 Love and War: Romantic Skirmishes -- 26:16 Family Jewels: Child Progeny -- 34:29 Wage Slaves and Working Stiffs -- 40:00 Slapstick Hash This episode contains chapter st||1/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanep 20: special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" podcast episode #1||00:00 welcome; intro to special "Cruel and Unusual Comedy" series and podcasts - 05:40 Plots and Plotters - 14:07 Chaplinitis - 26:15 Sports Injuries - 36:11 Arts Deprectiation. This episode contains chapter stops. (Your podcast player may or may not re||1/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleancoming in January 2017: 3 special episodes of the podcast||coming in January 2017: 3 special episodes of the podcast This mini-episode is more of a trailer of sorts for three special podcast episodes that I will post simultaneously in the first half of January 2017. In this 10-minute mini-podcast – first off,||12/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 19: a trip to Egypt?, Keaton and Lloyd in South Korea, prepping for a 1915 Swedish silent||episode 19: a trip to Egypt?, Keaton and Lloyd in South Korea, prepping for a 1915 Swedish silent Welcome. I get lost en route to a gig whilst dealing with a snafu in overseas travel. Next, I talk about explaining the onscreen music credit (attributed t||8/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 18: scoring The Bride's Play, explaining the 1920s jokes, travel to South Korea and Norway||episode 18: scoring The Bride's Play, explaining the 1920s jokes, travel to South Korea and Norway Welcome (back)! Long time no podcast, so I recap a few highlights from March-July. Such as: finishing a year of being Professor Model, releasing the "Foun||8/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 17: choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ||episode 17: organs and orchestras - choosing music for a scene, Boise world premiere, Steamboat Bill Jr, Hammond theatre organ Welcome Recent shows recap: William S. Hart, Bert Williams, Criterion release of "The Kid" Boise Philharmonic - world premiere||2/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights||episode 16: Norwegian edition - Too Much Johnson, Roald Amundsen, Chaplin's City Lights Welcome 10th anual "Silent Film Days" festival in Tromsø, Norway Shows for 6th grade school kids, childrens' show on Saturday Recording: in performance at Verdenste||9/15/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 15: Laurel & Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA||episode 15: Laurel and Hardy, orchestral Chaplin gig, scoring Technicolor at MoMA Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap of June shows: Clara Bow in "Mantrap" in Lake Placid, Mostly Lost 4 at Library of Congress, a special L&H program conce||7/22/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ||episode 14: silence in the theater, Docks of NY, playing into the film, an orchestral organ Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap of May shows: Mary Astor in "Heart to Heart", Buster Keaton in "Battling Butler", plus "Docks of New York" and||5/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU||episode 13: programming vs. what I like to play for, staying inside a character's head, legacy piano at NYU Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Recap of April shows, playing for 5th graders at the Museum of the Moving Image playing and presentin||5/13/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 12: cineconventions, music from out-of-print DVDS, being easy to work with, Marcel Perez review||episode 12: cineconventions, music from out-of-print DVDS, being easy to work with, Marcel Perez review Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive 35th annual/final Cinefest, the future of cineconventions silent film in a church and at Columbia U. film||4/8/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 11: song cues gone wrong, scoring One Week, Lee Erwin, silents in schools||episode 11: song cues gone wrong, scoring One Week, Lee Erwin, silents in schools Welcome Silent Film Sound and Music Archive Library of Congress shows: Leap Year, The Patent Leather Kid Cinema Arts Centre show: Linda, dir Dorothy Davenport Recording: P||3/18/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 10: presenting silent films to kids and to seniors, interview with Harry Weiss pt 2, listening to the audience||episode 10: presenting silent films to kids and to seniors, interview with Harry Weiss pt 2, listening to the audience Welcome Silent Film Sound & Music Archive The Cinema Arts Centre on Long Island - "Within Our Gates", virtual theatre organ Palace T||3/4/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 9: Boise Philharmonic, musical cross-cutting, interview with Harry Weiss pt 1, inspiration for main themes||episode 9: Boise Philharmonic, musical cross-cutting, interview with Harry Weiss pt 1, inspiration for main themes Welcome Silent Film Sound & Music Archive Boise, ID: working with Boise Philharmonic, playing at the historic Egyptian Theater, showing||2/17/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||Cleanepisode 8: Everybody Gets Cake, Trip to the Moon in Tromsø, OsloOrgan, Marcel Perez||episode 8: "Everybody Gets Cake", Trip to the Moon in Tromsø, Oslo Organ, Marcel Perez Welcome News from January: composing and performing music for Parallel Exit's "Everybody Gets Cake", running off-Bway thru Feb 8. Recording: instrumental from "Cake"||2/4/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
fascinating insight on a niche music genre
So glad I found this podcast. Silent movies are a passion of mine and learning about how live music is created for them today is fascinating. Love the live recordings included in each episode, and the inside info about what it takes to prepare for a show.
Entertaining and enlightening
My only complaint about this fine podcast is that it doesn't come out often enough. In addition to being an excellent musician, Ben Model is thoughtful and analytical about what makes a good silent film score. It's great fun to listen to and I learn a little something new every time. Highly recommended.
We need more
Most enjoyable podcast on discussion of the subject of musical accomaniment to SIlent FIlm. Ben knows his stuff and it shows.