Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra Presents Psycho
Posted: October 30, 2015
Mixed in with the applause at the Erie Chamber Orchestra's
performance on Saturday, October 31, expect to hear some screams of
terror. They won't come from the audience (well, maybe a few will),
nor will they be a commentary on the performance.
This screaming will be done by Janet Leigh on the screen behind
the orchestra, which will supply live music for Alfred Hitchcock's
1960 thriller "Psycho" the orchestra's first concert at the Warner
Theatre, on Halloween evening at 8 p.m. Like all Erie Chamber
Orchestra events, the concert is free. The audience is encouraged
to come in their favorite Halloween costume, and join the ECO for a
masquerade ball following the performance.
The notion of live orchestras accompanying classic films is
increasingly popular among classical music organizations looking to
attract younger listeners to concerts, and Matthew Kraemer, the
music director of the ECO acknowledges as much.
"By performing on a Saturday night, this may be the most visible
the orchestra has ever been," Kraemer said. He added, "In terms of
budget, this is one of the most expensive concerts we've done."
Part of that expense is the rental of the Warner, but a
significant amount of the investment is used for the technical
demands of synchronizing a live orchestra with the film.
In addition to securing a print of the film with Bernard
Herrmann's iconic soundtrack removed, the orchestra will also have
a technician operating a video monitor and clock that Kraemer will
use to time the music to the on-screen action.
It's not an easy thing to do, but Kraemer has a lot of
experience, including last year's ECO concert that provided live
accompaniment to Charlie Chaplain's "City Lights."
That was a silent film with continuous music. Herrmann's cues
are shorter and more scattered, but Kraemer says, "The music,
especially the slashing string figures in the shower scene, hasn't
lost its power to shock. This is a groundbreaking score, 55 years
old now, which set a precedent for how composers were to write
scores for thrillers or horror films to this day."
Kraemer hopes the audience will come in costume and stay for the
post-concert masquerade ball.