SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20TH AT 9PM
@ THE URBAN-15 STUDIO
Inspired by numerous requests from fans over the years and popular Halloween tour last October, Austin’s Invincible Czars bring their new score for the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau) this winter to the mountain states and the Southwest. The band has recorded a CD EP featuring selections from their score which includes Bartok’s Roumanian Folk Dances.
Nosferatu is one of the most revered films in the history of cinema. As the world’s first vampire movie, it is regarded as the first important horror film–but it was almost erased from the history books when the estate of Bram Stoker sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement and most of the prints of the movie were destroyed.
Nosferatu tells the story of Hutter and Ellen, a couple from the village of Wisborg. After traveling to Transylvania to sell a piece of property in Wisborg to Count Orlok, Hutter stays in Orlok’s castle only to learn that the Count is a vampire. Orlok purchases a house next to Hutter’s, locks Hutter in the castle and travels to Wisborg. On the way, he manages to possess Hutter’s employer and Ellen and strike the village with an outbreak of the plague. Hutter rushes home to stop him before it’s too late.
This project marks the 7th effort for a band that’s increasingly becoming known for its well-crafted original silent film scores. The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, known for hosting acclaimed silent film accompanists from around the nation, called the Czars’ soundtrack for the 1929 Lillian Gish silent classic The Wind “as good as any we’ve seen.” In March 2015, the band were artists-in-residence at Texas A&M University, where they gave three lecture-recitals on music for film and silent film that culminated in a live performance of their score for The Wind. They’ve also performed silent film scores at the Kimball Museum, Sam Houston State University, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, University of Houston, and several outdoor music and film events.
The Invincible Czars’ Nosferatu score incorporates violin, glockenspiel, organ, flute, bass clarinet, vocals, music box, loops, electric guitar, bass, singing bowl, tambourine and other hand percussion–all of which is a sight to behold when performed live by only four players!
The band always incorporates music from the classical realm into their scores, and this time they’ve chosen Bela Bartok’s Roumanian Folk Dances in a nod to the fictional Count Orlock’s home turf. The highlight of their arrangements is a haunting version of Roumanian Dance IV featuring an otherworldly vocal performance by the band’s wind mistress Leila Henley.
VIEW THE TRAILER HERE!
This performance is part of URBAN-15’s Sonic Provocations series, which provides a setting for sound artists to showcase original material, taking it out of the laboratory and into the ears of the public. Tickets are $10 at the door or presale at http://urban-15.ticketleap.com/sonic-provocations/
For more information about the event, contact Marisol Cortez, Events Coordinator at URBAN-15, at 210-736-1500 or email@example.com.
MORE ABOUT THE INVINCIBLE CZARS
The Invincible Czars draw as much influence from film and classical composers like Bernard Hermann, Danny Elfman, and Ennio Morricone as they do from rock bands like Mr. Bungle, Ween, Sonic Youth and The Dead Kennedys. They’ve created several albums worth of original music, scored seven silent films and re-made works by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker Suite, 1812 Overture), Mussorgsky (A Night on Bald Mountain, Pictures at an Exhibition), Satie and Debussy. They even czar-ified Iron Maiden’s album The Number of the Beast.
The band began in 2002 and has come to operate more like an arts ensemble than a rock group with its rotating cast of instrumentalists, seasonal material/series and even printed sheet music. They are Austin’s Emperors of Eclecticism.