The General with soundtrack by Viola Dana EPK

Please find images and text below for screenings of The General with Viola Dana's new soundtrack. For more information or materials, please contact Kathy Corecig at k.corecig@gmail.com

Images

The following images are available for download. Please left click on the image then save the high resolution image that loads.

 Nik Babic Photography.
The General image courtesy of Chapel Distribution
 Nik Babic Photography.
The General image courtesy of Chapel Distribution
Still from The General featuring Buster Keaton
courtesy of 
Jerry Murbach
 
 Nik Babic Photography  Nik Babic Photography  Nik Babic Photography


About Viola Dana and their new soundtrack for The General

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 master works 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 were winners of the 2015 Fringe World Film and Multimedia Award for their soundtrack performance to a screening of The General at the City of Stirling's Summerset Arts Festival. 


About The General

The General  (1926, silent black & white, 77 mins, rated G)

Accompanied with LIVE performance by Viola Dana of Kathy Corecig's new soundtrack
  
A classic silent comedy, Buster Keaton/Clyde Bruckman's The General is set during the American Civil War. Buster's character Johnnie Gray is unable to become a Confederate soldier as he is deemed more helpful in the war effort as the engineer of the train, The General. However, his bravery doesn't go unnoticed as he single-handedly takes on the Union side in a plight to rescue both his engine and his girl. The General is often listed as one of the finest comedic films of all time, featuring beautifully crafted cinematic photography, a thrilling plot and Keaton's trademark dead-pan, perfectly timed comic stunts.
 
Perth band Viola Dana's live performance to The General takes the audience back to the 1920s film viewing experience. Kathy Corecig's new soundtrack for the film is infused with American folk tunes, Steve Reich-inspired train evocations and the spontaneity of jazz improvisation to help illuminate Keaton's masterful performance for a contemporary audience. At its premiere at the 2009 Revelation Perth International Film Festival, the new soundtrack was received as such by the Rev team on their website:
 
"One of the faves though would have to be the live performance by Viola Dana to Keaton's The General. Standing ovation and all, their work was nothing short of brilliant...it brought the house down."

Review

From the article: Nightmares & Wonders: The Necessity of Revelation: The 12th Revelation Perth International Film Festival in Senses of Cinema, issue 52.

by Damien Spiccia

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 on screen 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.