"One of the faves though would have to be the live performance by Viola Dana to Buster Keaton's The General. Standing ovation and all, their work was nothing short of brilliant...it brought the house down."
(Revelation Perth International Film Festival, 2009)
Welcome to Viola Dana's Electronic Press/Media Kit.
Viola Dana can be contacted through Kathy Corecig, a member of the band, at k.corecig[at]gmail.com or on
+61 405 106 171.
The information below may also be downloaded in pdf here, complete with links to videos and audio clips.
About Viola Dana
Viola Dana is the name of an ensemble of musicians based in Perth, Western Australia, who create and perform soundtracks for silent films. The result is a dynamic and unique hybrid arts experience, illuminating masterworks of the silent film era for a contemporary audience. Viola Dana’s sound can best be described as a mixture of folk, jazz and contemporary classical music rendered in warm, rich sonic hues of cello, guitar, banjo (on occasion), drums, tuned percussion and, of course, viola, the violin’s deeper-voiced older sister.
Viola Dana was invited to premiere Kathy Corecig’s soundtrack for the feature-length silent film The General at the 2009 Revelation Perth International Film Festival and was subsequently invited to be a part of several more performances throughout Western Australia, most notably in Broome, Esperance and Albany as part of the Revelation International Film Festival’s inaugural ‘Rev on the Road’ festival in 2012.
In April 2013, Viola Dana embarked on a six-show tour of North America which saw them perform as part of the Toronto Silent Film Festival, at the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City amongst other venues. With great reviews, packed audiences and standing ovations in Toronto, Ottawa and New York City, this tour has quickly established a reputation of note for Viola Dana internationally. Viola Dana looks forward to maintaining and developing a performance circuit in this continent. Acclaim for Viola Dana’s performances abroad includes:
‘...judging by the standing ovation received by the Australian quartet Viola Dana after the final credits rolled, no-one went home disappointed by the band’s rousing performance...In its North American premiere, this viola-drum-banjo-cello score beautifully captured so many of the disparate elements that make The General one of the most celebrated films of the 1920s. The musical players worked together brilliantly...Viola Dana also captured the pathos that lies beneath the practically non-stop action, using folk melodies of the mid-19th century to peer into the heart and mind of Keaton’s heartsick but dedicated engineer.’ (David Fiore, Sound on Sight)
Viola Dana has scored the following films:
Soundtracks composed by Kathy Corecig: The General (1926, silent black & white, 77 mins, rated G, comedy) and Sherlock, Jr (1924, silent black & white, 45 mins, rated G, comedy); by Pete Guazzelli: The High Sign (1921, silent black & white, 21 mins, rated G, comedy); by both Pete Guazzelli and Kathy Corecig: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922, silent tinted black & white, 93 mins, rated PG, horror).
From the article: Nightmares & Wonders: The Necessity of Revelation: The 12th Revelation Perth International Film Festival in Senses of Cinema, issue 52.
This year featured two events featuring alternate silent film compositions; the first, for The General (Buster Keaton, 1926), was composed by Kathy Corecig and performed by local musicians Viola Dana. The gorgeous new transfer flickered onscreen and soon after, Viola Dana’s driving mix of bluegrass and country folk transported the audience to The General’s civil war setting, always complementing – but never attempting to overbear – Keaton’s remarkable physical storytelling. A large number of children were present at the session, drawn into the film by the busy, rich score provided by the chamber ensemble. The film’s title character, the locomotive, provided a reoccurring musical motif that packed momentum until the film’s final frames. Viola Dana’s members remained humble during the rousing standing ovation, and as the end titles rolled, they each extended an arm toward the giant screen in acknowledgement of their conductor, Buster himself.
To view the following photos in more detail (and download if you choose), left click on the image. More images are available on request by emailing Kathy Corecig at k.corecig[at]gmail.com. Please credit images with the appropriate photographer/citation.
Photos of Viola Dana by Nik Babic Photography.
Please include a caption of: 'The General images courtesy of Chapel Distribution' for the images that feature the projection of the film.