P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
June 13, 2000
Live Music to Accompany Classic Silent Film Metropolis
(June 13, 2000 -- North Adams, MA) On Saturday, July 1, at 8:30 pm, MASS MoCA will present the 1926 silent classic Metropolis on a 50' outdoor screen accompanied live with original music by the Alloy Orchestra. This is the first film in MASS MoCA's Mad Science on Film Festival which will feature seven films, three of them silents with live accompaniment on weekends throughout the summer.
"The Alloy Orchestra was at MASS MoCA last summer for a sold-out show where they accompanied Sergei Eisenstein's Strike. Since we had to turn people away for Strike, we knew we wanted to bring Alloy back for an encore this summer," commented Jonathan Secor, Director of Performing Arts at MASS MoCA.
The Alloy Orchestra's career accompanying silent films was launched in 1992 with Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a futuristic vision of a modern city. The group's exotic combination of drums, gongs, chimes and passionate melody prompted the Boston Phoenix to write, "...the Alloy Orchestra lashed, banged and bonged Lang's masterpiece into a delicious froth."
Metropolis, considered the most important German Expressionist film ever made, features spectacular sets and a wildly imaginative plot. An oppressive underground factory of workers toils around the clock, with grinding gears and exploding pistons, while the ruling class frolics in luxury. Through the machinations of a mad scientist, Rotwang, the rulers attempt to stifle a workers' rebellion by turning their saintly leader, Maria, into a robot. After a cataclysmic ride through decadent discotheques and the exploding city, the workers are united in the end.
Working with an ensemble of peculiar objects, The Alloy Orchestra can conjure up an entire symphony or a simple German bar band of the 1920s. While their unusual instrumentation attracts attention, it is their unique sensitivity to the films themselves that makes Alloy performances so emotionally satisfying.
The Alloy Orchestra is a three-man musical group, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films with Terry Donahue playing percussion, accordion, and vocals; Ken Winokur on percussion and clarinet; and Roger C. Miller on synthesizer. An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics gives the Orchestra the ability to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. Michael Sragow of the Seattle Weekly called the Alloy Orchestra "amazing... the sold-out house handed it a five-minute standing O that would have gone on if the staff hadn't had to clear the theater."
Tickets to Metropolis are $12 for adults and $6 for kids. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 6 pm daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org. Doors will open at 7:30 for dinner before the show. In the unlikely event of inclement weather, the film will be moved indoors.
The Mad Science on Film Festival is sponsored by Holiday Inn Berkshires and co-sponsored by First Massachusetts Bank. Future silent films with live accompaniment include The Golem with Gary Lucas and When the Clouds Roll By with Ben Model.
For Immediate Release