The horseshoes, springs, sheet metal, and other eclectic finds lining Alloy Orchestra’s “rack of junk” look more like props Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin might collide with during their wacky antics than instruments used to score them. But perhaps this is how the experimental trio has come to be so precise and versatile when composing music for otherwise silent films. For the past 20 years, the virtuosos have created custom soundscapes to accompany early classics of cinema, and tonight they conquer the up-tempo and effect-rich challenge of comedy in the Masters of Slapstick series. Finally, you can hear the wedding bells in Buster Keaton’s One Week, the theater music in Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle’s Back Stage, and the police sirens in Charlie Chaplin’s Easy Street. Ever wonder what the peril of the speeding train gag sounds like? Wonder no more.
Wed., Feb. 2, 7 p.m., 2011
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 19, 2011