Also in this section:
Music Consumption: Alloy Orchestra
10/31/2001 Alloy Orchestra: live Nosferatu soundtrack

We just got back from the Alloy Orchestra (a trio, actually; one of the members is ex-Mission of Burma/ex-Birdsongs of the Mesozoic renaissance man Roger Miller) doing a live soundtrack to Murnau's Nosferatu. Deeply creepy and amazing. You can't watch this film silent, as the acting is that particular flavor of '20s-era overblownness. It needs an intense soundtrack that occasionally hits even more intense peaks, and that's what we got. Flowing piano, simulated strings, musical saw, chimes, and sheet metal scraping, along with more conventional drums and percussion toys. Highly recommended--they're on tour right now.

It was mighty. Very intense, gorgeous playing, perfect for the film. Two percussionists also, one of whom also did musical saw and sheet metal scraping for the super-creepy parts. I thought that a static soundtrack would not have been nearly as good, and that something historically was lost when pit bands stopped playing live soundtracks.

Roger, btw, is in fine form. I remember thinking at one point, This is definitely the same guy who wrote "Waterwheel." Well done. And it turns out that the CDs are very good indeed.