On Thursday, November 15, the legendary Steven Severin (read up on him here if you’re not familiar with the name) will visit the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art to perform a live score to the 1932 Carl Theodor Dreyer classic Vampyr. PhilaMOCA will host two performances: 7:30 PM (doors at 7:00) and 10:00 PM (doors at 9:30).
From the release:
Following on from his 30 date Blood of a Poet UK tour in the winter of 2010, Steven Severin returns to give audiences a rare opportunity to hear his new score for Vampyr, the third in Severin’s ongoing film accompaniment series – Music For Silents.
Live in person, Severin presents a mesmerizing synthesis of sound and image, heightening appreciation of the surreal and enigmatic nature of the original work. Vampyr, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s unsettling tale of fear and obsession finds its aural counterpart in Severin’s suitably textured score, a synthesized, highly atmospheric soundscape drawing the viewer rhythmically into the oneiric imagery on screen.
Since 2008, Severin has been performing live electronic accompaniment to silent films, startling audiences across the globe who have now come to expect the unexpected from the man who has crossed paths with such diverse luminaries as John Cale, Alan Moore, Lydia Lunch, Marc Almond, Merc Cunningham, Robert Smith and the Tiger Lillies.
Loosely based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s genre-defining, 1872 vampire tale, Carmilla (which preceded Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 25 years), Vampyr follows the fortunes of Allan Gray, a young student of the occult, who takes rooms at a village inn, little realizing that the region is cursed by vampires. In the dead of night, Gray receives a mysterious nocturnal visitor, who leaves behind a package labeled ‘To be opened after my death’ and from that moment on, events take ever darker, weirder turns. Shot with a silent film aesthetic despite being within the sound era (and a year after Lugosi starred in Universal’s Dracula), Vampyr is an alternative take on the cinematic vampire, creating an intense, nightmarish atmosphere that haunts the mind long after the lights go up.
Advance tickets $12, $15 at the door.