The score has been commissioned by HippFest and the project is supported by Film Hub Scotland and Film Audience Network.
About the film
The great American actor Lon Chaney demonstrates his unparalleled flair for on-screen transformation with his macabre characterisation of ‘Blizzard’ – a tortured, criminal mastermind. A young boy has both his legs needlessly amputated by an inexperienced surgeon and grows up to become “master of the underworld”, driven to terrible deeds by his passion for sadistic revenge.
The film is considered Chaney’s break-out role, cementing his reputation as master of the gruesome and grotesque, ahead of his defining performance as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The actor famously refused the use of trick camera angles to simulate his ‘deformity’, forcing his legs into leather stumps in a tightly bent position that was so painful he could only wear them for ten minutes at a time. The effect is astounding, as is Chaney’s nimble manoeuvring across the set of ropes, ladders and poles showing a technical ability that makes his character utterly believable.
Dir. Wallace Worsley | | 1920 | N/C 12A | 1h 29m + short
With: Lon Chaney, Ethel Grey Terry, Claire Adams, Charles Clary
Graeme joins innovative singer, instrumentalist and composer Lizabett Russo for a collaborative silent film project. This newly-constructed work merges early 20th century film adaptations of classic fairy tales with a new score by Russo and Stephen.
Including passages from Alice in Wonderland, Hansel and Gretel and Snow White, Enchanted Tales pieces them together to form a new story, with some surprising twists.
"Freshly composed music motored and danced with confident locomotion and verve ... brilliantly realised melodic discovery, shrewdly applied electronica, and an exciting element of order from near-chaos marked an outstanding success" – The Herald
“I was conceived between the Dee and the Don / I was born in the city of crag and stone / I can say tomorrow is another day tomorrow / I come from the old world and the new / I live between laughter and sorrow / I live between the land and the sea” – Jackie Kay, Between the Dee and the Don
The River is an unstoppable force bringing life to the land and to those who live in and around it. As we rise and fall, the river endures, rolling on from source to sea and back again.
Aberdonian composer and jazz guitarist Graeme Stephen revisited childhood haunts with a walking and camping trip along The Dee with his father and brother as source material for this new work commissioned by the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival in 2017. But the piece relates to all rivers, runs, burns, becks, creeks, streams, estuaries and deltas wherever they may be in the world.
Rivers are part of the hydrological cycle that is essential to life on earth. In unsettled times focusing on man’s universal origins is a timely reminder of our basic equality, and indeed mortality.
Graeme Stephen’s The River unites the composer with one of Scottish folk music’s most electric talents. Aidan O’Rourke has been described as ‘a unique and extraordinary fiddler’ and is without doubt a most ambitious and accomplished player. It is an inspired pairing.
Joining Stephen and O’Rourke for this premiere performance are the composer’s long term collaborators: the exceptional Mario Caribé on double bass and the inimitable Tom Bancroft on drums.
Jointly led by Graeme and Scotland's most innovative jazz drummer Tom Bancroft, the Go Get It Trio (previously known as the Graeme Stephen Trio) also features the inventive and ingenious Mario Caribé on bass. The trio is "a beacon of original, ambitious and brilliantly realised music” (The Herald). Expect beautiful melodies, rhythms full of surprises, evocative soundscapes, hard edged grittiness and creative flights.
Fifield and Stephen are well known in folk and jazz circles in their native Scotland as musicians with a unique sound and approach. Both originate in the North East part of the country and have worked together since their early 20s, honing a unique mix of tradition and improvisation with live electronics and instrumental virtuosity. From Baku to Bilbao to Banchory, the duo have been fortunate to perform their music far and wide.
Award-winning Scottish composer and guitarist Graeme Stephen presents his score for the 1927 silent film Metropolis. Probably the most famous silent film of them all, Metropolis is a pioneering science-fiction classic by German auteur Fritz Lang.
Featuring live soundtrack performed by the composer, innovative Dutch string quartet Zapp4 and acclaimed drummer Tom Bancroft.
Graeme Stephen's Metropolis had its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 18, 19 and 20 August 2016 at Summerhall's Red Lecture Theatre.
When Graeme Stephen sat down to write the score for The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, he was inspired by the German expressionist masterpiece's unique jagged architecture, and the murderous intent of its eponymous character.
The film is described as 'dark and twisted' and was imagined by two writers who drew on their experiences in the German army in the first world war. Like Nosferatu it has proved to be a huge influence on the horror genre of Holywood film.
This is Graeme's third score for a F W Murnau film (the other two being Nosferatu and Sunrise). It is the last film the German auteur made in his home country before heading to Hollywood to make his Oscar-winning feature Sunrise.
Faust is based on the legendary folk tale of the devil attempting to corrupt a righteous man. Packed with elaborate special effects (for the 1920s) the film is a classic of early cinema. Performed live, Graeme Stephen's score adds an emotional contemporary dimension to this eerie and atmospheric motion picture.
Graeme Stephen's score for F W Murnau's classic film won him the innovation award at the Scottish Jazz Awards in 2012. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, to give it its full title, won the 'Unique and Artistic Picture Award' at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929.
Written for guitar, cello, tenor saxophone and drums, the piece was originally performed by Graeme (guitar), Ben Davis (cello), Phil Bancroft (tenor sax) and Chris Wallace (drums).
Directed and staring '20s comedy legend Buster Keaton, The Navigator is a humorous caper movie with a serious theme: man vs machine.
The Navigator was Keaton's most successful film: visually striking and innovative for its time (though not the most politically correct by today's standards). Graeme Stephen's original score enhances the dramatic tension and comic adventures, creating a lush aural dimension to the film.
Performed by the composer on guitar and Tom Bancroft on drums.
PLAYTIME is an exciting new music venture co-founded by two of the Scottish jazz scene’s most eminent and respected performers – guitarist Graeme Stephen and saxophonist Martin Kershaw. As highly accomplished and innovative instrumentalists and composers, they were keen to establish a weekly platform for new writing and playing, feeling that opportunities in this area for musicians and audiences alike have been in short supply in Edinburgh since the demise of jazz venues such as Henry’s Cellar Bar and its successor, The Lot. The Outhouse Bar on Broughton Street Lane presented the ideal venue, and with the enthusiastic involvement of fellow Scottish jazz luminaries Mario Caribé (bass) and Tom Bancroft (drums) – Playtime became a reality.