I bet you’re all wondering what I look like when I’m playing the flute! Here’s your chance.
This is also your chance to hear me introduce music using my hoitiest-toitiest voice, which is very important when introducing highbrow cultural activities in Australia.
Ha! Just kidding! This isn’t the 1950s!
Of course not.
It’s the 1920s! An era of silent film, live musical accompaniment, foley sound effects and sheet music without nearly enough key signatures or bar numbers for my liking.
This was a performance I did with a group of students from my university. I feel I should credit them by name, but I don’t have permission to type their identities all over the internet. It might be enough to suggest that quite a number of them are named ‘Ben’, that you can hear their names on the video, and they would all willingly play for remuneration, and leave it at that.
The footage starts a little early, so if you are up for a hoity-toity introduction but don’t want to watch us fuss over our instruments, start watching at the one-minute mark.
Or you can skip the spoken introduction read the it below and begin the silent movie experience at the three-minute mark.
The act is actually kinda cute in parts. I’m quite proud of what we achieved.
Now, on with the show…
Ladies and Gentlemen, today we will be showing an excerpt from The Goat, an American short comedy film from 1921 written, directed by and starring Buster Keaton:
An innocent man is on the run from the law after a case of mistaken identity. After providing assistance to a young woman in distress he is invited to supper, only to discover that her father is the chief of police.
Starring Buster Keaton, Joe Roberts, Virginia Fox and Malcolm St Clair.
We will be accompanying the visuals with Don’t Bring Lulu, a circa 1925 song by Rose, Brown and Henderson, along with a touch of My Melancholy Baby, by Ernie Burnett, written circa 1916.
Our second offering will be an excerpt from Safety Last!, a 1923 romantic comedy silent film starring Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother and Noah Young:
Harold is a store clerk who arranges for his construction-worker housemate, Limpy Bill, to climb the outside of a department store in a bid to attract more customers. Before that can happen, Limpy Bill finds himself in trouble with the law. Harold must take his place on the climb as Limpy Bill tries to evade the cops.
Harold Lloyd lost a thumb and forefinger four years before Safety Last! was filmed, making his climbing feat all the more impressive.
We will be playing Somebody Stole my Gal, by Leo Wood written around 1922, and a Spud Murphy arrangement of Walter Donaldson’s My Blue Heaven from circa 1922.