Miller-Porfiris Duo presents Silent Film Classics-with Strings Attached

Miller-Porfiris Duo
Photo by Roger Castonguay

The East-Coast based Miller-Porfiris Duo presents a chicken-egg approach to silent film and the music accompanying it. Most people have grown up watching movies that have soundtracks specifically written or arranged to fit the scene. This ensures that all showings are exactly the same, to all audiences in different locations and times. Yet in the days of early silent film, music was not used in this way. Each theater had its own accompanist, who played live accompaniment, personally selected from big generic books of music that corresponded to different types of actions.

In this film showing, the Miller Porfiris Duo presents three short films produced between 1903 and 1924. One of the films would have been presented in the usual way with live generic music. Another was based on an actual opera, but when shown as a film, would have been accompanied with the same generic music. The third film, like modern films today, actually had music composed for it, but due to a falling out between composer and director, did not get premiered with its own music.

The music the Duo will play with the films comes from period-appropriate composers, enhancing and responding to the action on the screen, in real time.

Films: The Great Train Robbery, The Violinmaker of Cremona, and Ballet Mecanique. Music by: Villa Lobos, Copland, Grosz, Gliere, Berlin, and as an overture, a world premiere by Mario Diaz Gavier.

Event Details


1.17.17 | 7:00 pm


Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston (MATCH)
3400 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002


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