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ALLOY ORCHESTRA

Contact: Ken Winokur
613 Cambridge St
Cambridge MA 02141
617 497-6508
alloyo@verizon.net

 

"Alloy has brought fresh air to a world thought left to nostalgics. They've done more than anyone lately to bring an audience to silent films. They give voice to the soul of their machines, and by doing that, they've given voice to no less than the sound of cinema" Paolo Cherchi Usai - co director of Pordenone Silent Film Festival

ALLOY ORCHESTRA is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources.

Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the US and abroad (The Telluride Film Festival, The Louvre, Lincoln Center, The Academy of Motion Pictures, the National Gallery of Art and others), Alloy has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era.

An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics gives the Orchestra the ability to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. They can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the 20's. The group can make the audience think it is being attacked by tigers, contacted by radio signals from Mars or swept up in the Russian Revolution.

Alloy collaborates with some of the worlds best archives and collectors (such as the George Eastman House, The British Film Institute, Paramount pictures, Film Preservation Associates and The Douris Corporation) to present audiences with the very best available prints of some of history's greatest film.

The members of the group include (left to right) :

TERRY DONAHUE (junk, accordion, musical saw, vocals)

KEN WINOKUR (director, junk percussion and clarinet)

ROGER MILLER (keyboards)

 

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Almost 22 Years! NEW MUSIC FOR SILENT FILMS

On a snow-swept pedestle in the middle of Boston Commons, three musicians gathered together tons of junk metal, found objects, and homemade instruments.  The plan was to create some unusual music and to have some fun.  Now almost 22 years later, Alloy has showcased their musical magic in more than a thousand performances, visited a dozen countries, and in the process has helped revitalize the medium of live performance for silent film. the beginning of a year long schedule of performances, they are calling "The Best of Alloy Orchestra.

The Alloy Orchestra began their love affair with silent films with an original score for Metropolis in 1991. In the intervening years, the group has written scores for 28 feature length film presentations, typically premiering their new scores at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, the San Francisco Silent film Festival or the New York Film Festival

This year Alloy is working on two new programs:  SHINEL (The Overcoat, 1926, USSR, directed by Kozintsev and Trauberg), and SHORT FILMS BY BUSTER KEATON AND FATTY ARBUCKLE.he group has performed more than a thousand shows around the world, and has traveled to a dozen foreign countries.

 

Alloy has composed new scores for:

 

TFrom Morning to Midnight - dir. Kark Heinz Martin (Germany, 1920)

Underworld - directed by Josef von Sternberg (US, 1927)

Phantom of the Opera - staring Lon Chaney (US, 1925/29)

The Eagle - staring Rudolph Valentino (US, 1927)

The General - (staring Buster Keaton)

Chang – A Drama of the Wilderness (directed by Cooper & Schoedsack)

Blackmail (Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

Earth (directed by Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930)

Speedy by Harold Lloyd (US, 1928),

The Black Pirate by Douglas Fairbanks (U.S. 1926),

The Lost World (U.S. 1925),

Manslaughter directed by Cecil B. Demille n(U.S. 1922),

The Wind with Lilian Gish (American, l927),

Nosferatu directed by F.W. Murnau (German, l922),

Lonesome directed by Paul Fejos (U.S. 1928-9).

A Man With a Movie Camera directed by Dziga Vertov (USSR 1929),

The Unknown directed by Tod Browning (US, 1927),

Steamboat Bill Jr. by Buster Keaton (US, 1927),

Strike directed by Sergei Eisenstein (USSR, 1924).

Sylvester – Directed by Lupu Pick (Germany)

Aelita – Queen of Mars (USSR)

South - (England, 1919)

Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang (Germany, l926)

 

 

Shorts

Not Just for Kids - a collection of some of Alloy's favorite shorts 

Wild and Weird - short films by various directors

Dada Shorts and Early American Surrealism: Films by Duchamp, Richter, Porter and Keaton

A Trip to the Moon directed by George Melies (1904, France)

Plane Crazy (Mikey Mouse’s first appearance) 1926

Pass the Gravy - directed by Hal Roach

One Week – Buster Keaton

Easy Street – Charlie Chaplin

Big Business – Laurel and Hardy

Chasing Choo Choos – Monte Bell

Backstage – Rosco “Fatty” Arbuckle

The Bell Boy - Arbuckle

The Butcher Boy - Arbuckle

The Hayseed - Arbuckle

Moonshine - Arbuckle

The Garage - Arbuckle

Goodnight Nurse - Arbuckle

The Rough House - Arbuckle

Coney Island – Arbuckle

Out West – Arbuckle

 

CONTEMPORARY FILM AND VIDEO SCORES:

In addition to their work with silents, the Orchestra has contributed soundtracks to contemporary films and videos by directors Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap and Out of Control), Jane Gillooly (Dragonflies, the Baby Cries), Ben Meade (Vakvagny), Shandor Garrison (Freebox) and others.

 

In the last 18 years, the ALLOY ORCHESTRA HAS PERFORMED AT:

Telluride Film Festival

Lincoln Center, NY

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

The National Gallery of Art, Wash. DC

Roger Eberts Film Festival, Champaign Il

The Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Italy

Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London

The Louvre, Paris

Slovenian Cinematheque

L'Auditorium, Barcelona Spain

Midnight Sun Film Festival, Finland

Gothenberg Film Festival, Sweeden

The New Zealand Int. Arts Festival, New Zealand

Celebrate Brooklyn NY

BAM NYC

Detroit Institute of Art

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival, CA

The Chicago Cultural Center

World Music at Somerville Theater, MA

The Oriental Theater, Milwaukee WI

Cleveland Museum of Art

The Music Hall, Portsmouth NH

Maui Film Festival, Hawaii

Seattle Film Festival, WA

North Carolina Museum of Art, NC

Northhampton Film Fest, MA

Cornell Cinema, Ithica NY

Three Rivers Film Festival, Pittsburg PA

Oak St. Cinema Minneapolis MN

The Philadelphia Film Festival

George Eastman House, Rochester NY

The High Museum, Alanta

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

The Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College NH

Museum of Fine Art, Boston

New York University NY

The Walt Disney Institute

The Olympia WA Film Festival

The Wolfsonian Museum, Miami

Williams College

Brown University

The St. Louis Film Festival

The Vancouver Film Festival, Canada

The NuArt Theater, L.A.

The Portland Oregon Museum of Art

The Cinema Village, N.Y.C.

The Art Institute of Chicago

Webster University, St. Louis

Taos Talking Pictures, NM

The Joslyn Museum, Omaha

The Rose Theatre, Port Townsend WA

The Colonial Theater, Bethlehem NH

And many others....

 

 


Roger C. Miller
(synthesizer)

Ken Winokur
(junk percussion and clarinet)

Terry Donahue
(junk percussion, accordion, saw, banjo)

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