Oct. 08--Before "Phantom of the Opera" became a hit on the Broadway stage, Phantom was thrilling audiences in the 1920s as a silent horror film starring Lon Chaney.
In the spirit of all things spooky, Hillsboro's STAGES Performing Arts Youth Academy will be screening the silent Phantom flick as part of a fundraiser on Oct. 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hillsboro.
But the event won't be without sound. Portland-based electric cellist Gideon Freudmann, 51, will be creating his own score to accompany the movie.
Freudmann's performances normally consist of solo concerts, quartets and duos, but when he was starting his career in his twenties, musical accompaniment to silent films was a regular part of his routine.
In fact, the first film that he ever created a live soundtrack for was "Phantom of the Opera."
"The cello is the perfect instrument to capture the emotions in the film, all of the excitement and fear," Freudmann said.
With his electric cello, he can create sound effects, like distortion, as well as loop sounds using a pedal. Without prerecorded music, looping allows Freudmann to create layers of sound when he's playing live.
In order to prepare for the Phantom film performance, Freudmann said he has watched the movie in its entirety several times.
"I have to be familiar enough with the film to get whole arc," Freudmann said. "There's no dialogue and sound other than what I'm creating. I need to be able to pace it, to know the scenes, when the tension is building, how long a scene lasts and what follows it."
Freudmann said a lot of his playing has improved since he started doing silent film shows in the 90s. Instead of scripting every song, now, most of his playing is spontaneous, allowing him to play off of the audience's emotions.
In addition to his Phantom performance, on Oct. 20, Freudmann will also be providing musical accompaniment for Alfred Hitchcock's silent film "Downhill," part of a series by the Northwest Film Center.
In Freudmann's opinion, horror films are a perfect medium for playing the electric cello.
"Horror films tap into our DNA or something," he said. "It's all part of our wild imagination."
-- Taylor Smith
The "Phantom of the Opera" screening and fundraiser for STAGES Performing Arts Youth Academy will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church at 2194 S.E. Minter Bridge Rd. in Hillsboro. Tickets are $10.
(c)2013 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at www.oregonian.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- 2014 Will Be 'Breakthrough Year' for U.S., Obama Says
- Target Overwhelmed by Worried Customers
- Congress Ends Turbulent Year with Approving IRS Chief
- First Family Arrives for Hawaiian Island Holiday
- Covered California Lags on Hispanic Enrollment
- Renewable Energy Group to Acquire Syntroleum
- Ally Financial Settles Auto Loan Suit
- Climate Change Isn't an Equal Opportunity Destroyer
- Kanye, Kardashians and Other Kooks: A Wacky, Tacky, Entertaining Year
- Luis Suarez Re-ups With Liverpool F.C.