Silent films soar with vintage music scores at Kiggins

first_imgThe way Rodney Sauer hammers musical scores together is not unlike the way Buster Keaton hammers a house together in the silent movie “One Week.”With one crucial difference: Keaton’s project is a comedic disaster, while Sauer’s artistic projects have built him a fascinating niche career.Sauer is one of the world’s premiere silent-film musicians and score arrangers. He’s also a composer and improviser, but his real renown has come from weaving together prefabricated “scene scores” from a century ago, and leading his own small orchestra through live accompaniments of silent film screenings.Next Sunday, you can see Sauer make that magic live at the Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver — with one important difference: Instead of his own group, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, based in Boulder, Colo., he’ll be working with musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.The connection arose because Igor Shakhman, the VSO’s manager and lead clarinetist, used to live in Boulder, where he crossed paths with Sauer. “One time when our clarinetist couldn’t do a tour, Igor subbed with us and had a ball,” Sauer said. “When he joined the Vancouver Symphony, he asked if I could come up there and do the same thing, but with Vancouver musicians.”Not a problem. A couple of rehearsals is all it takes — when you’ve got talented musicians who sight read well and “recover well” when they must, Sauer said. “It’s fun to watch them work. They’re professionals, and they do a great job.”last_img read more