Lectures and Demonstrations on Historic Film Accompaniment Practice

Dr. Carli is familiar with the various historical film accompaniment styles (improvisatory, cue sheet pastiche and original orchestral composition) both through extensive historical research and through his own work accompanying films using all three styles. He is an experienced and charismatic guest lecturer, with a gift for discovering and imparting the interesting details that bring history to vivid life.

Different schools and departments will have very different curricula and requirements, for which the broad range of Dr. Carli’s own interests, literary as well as musical, provide adaptability and a wide array of topics to excite student enthusiasm.

When Uncle Tom’s Cabin is condensed to fit into a one-reel (12-15 minutes) format, the result shows clearly what filmmakers at the turn of the century considered to be the most crucial features of the work – and also shows that they expected an audience familiar with the work and sophisticated enough to fill in the elisions. Can we do the same today?

Some early films provide our best – and sometimes our only – glimpses of earlier traditions, including stage settings, vaudeville routines and acting styles.

Early films demonstrate the common stock of social norms and stereotypes surrounding race and gender (including both heterosexual and homosexual images) with excruciating clarity and sometimes with disturbing resonances for today’s audiences.

How did Edison’s obsession with his inventions contribute to the demise of his recording company? What do you do when you’ve made a film adaptation of an opera and the composer won’t let you license his music?

We can still hear how film was accompanied at the Roxy in New York in 1928 – and they played like they had their hair on fire! What can we learn from the performances, and what can we learn about how to listen to them?

In order to have music melt seamlessly into the background while heightening the drama of a film, you don’t accompany the action. You accompany the director’s cut. Illustrations of how music can significantly enhance or impede the perception of a film can be both hilarious and thought-provoking.

Contact Dr. Carli for further information regarding guest lectures.

Dr. Carli’s Resume

Return to Home