Music elevates the power of silent film

donald sosinViolinist Alicia Svigals and pianist/composer Donald Sosin were scheduled to accompany “The Ancient Law” at the Ashland Independent Film Festival. The 1923 German silent film is based on a true story, in which the son of an orthodox rabbi breaks with tradition and becomes an actor.

With luscious production values and great acting, “The Ancient Law” relates the experience of great theater (Shakespeare) to religious devotion. We chatted one morning about live music and silent film.

DS: It’s an amazing story that people go nuts over, in a way that I’ve not seen before. I’ve played for about 4,000 films. This film produces a reaction that’s over the top.

EH: How does music relate to the structure of storytelling in film?

DS: In classical and pop music, there are different musical forms that are at the composer’s disposal. When you’re working with a film, everything has to be based on what’s going on emotionally and pictorially. Continue reading Music elevates the power of silent film