WoW! Silent Film Festival


By Craig Thornton


I love silent film and I am excited about this event!!


Silent film festival to feature lost art of live organ accompaniment

Award-winning organist to perform original works for four classic films
CHAUMONT – Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 7:00pm, the Lyme Community Foundation is hosting The Lost Art of Silent Film Accompaniment, a silent film festival featuring award-winning North Country organist Jason Comet.
The presentation will be held at the historic Chaumont Presbyterian Church on State Route 12e in the Village of Chaumont. Four classic silent shorts will be featured on the big screen: Felix in Hollywood (1923), Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1912), Dr. Pyckyll and Mr. Pryde (1925), and The Goat (1921) starring Buster Keaton. Mr. Comet will introduce each film and accompany the films with his originally compiled scores.  The organ is provided by L. A. Carlson Organ Co., East Greenbush, NY - Full-Service Pipe Organs, Digital Organs, Combination Organs and Organ Maintenance.
Mr. Comet, a 2000 graduate of Watertown High School, received his Bachelors of Music degree in Sacred Music and Organ at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ.  Classically-trained in both organ and piano, Jason Comet is equally at home playing theatre-style music on theatre organs, Pop music on modern digital pianos and organs, and classical music on the mighty pipe (and digital) organs. His classical organ training was with Mr. Ken Cowan and Dr. Matthew Lewis of Westminster Choir College.
In May 2010, he won first place in the Roland Atelier Organ Fest competition in the Professional Division in Los Angeles. He has had the opportunity to work with many of the world's finest musicians and conductors and has performed with the New York Philharmonic under the batons of Sir Charles Dutoit, Sir Colin Davis, Ricardo Muti, Joseph Flummerfelt, and many others.  
He has traveled throughout the world as a featured performer, playing on many of the magnificent organs including St. Peter’s Bascillica (Vatican in Rome, Italy), the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ in Macy’s in Philadelphia, many churches in New York City, and the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs, CO. Jason has also performed with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as Carnegie Hall.
He has musically directed and conducted numerous theatrical productions, several times being the only musician to play the whole show score as a one-man-orchestra.  He is the founder and Head Instructor of Comet Music Studio in Watertown, specifically teaching group piano lessons for kids ages 5 and up.  He also presents workshops for churches without an organist.
Suggested admission for the event is a $10 donation.
Felix in Hollywood - Pat Sullivan Studio - 1923 - 8 minutes
Felix in Hollywood is a 1923 short featuring Felix the Cat. In the episode, Felix goes to Hollywood and meets Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Will Hays, Snub Pollard & Ben Turpin, in the first animated cartoon to feature caricatures of Hollywood celebrities. It was named #50 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time in a 1994 survey of animators and cartoon historians by Jerry Beck, making it the only Felix the Cat cartoon on the list.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Thanhouser Company starring James Cruze - 1912 - 12 minutes
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1912 horror film based on both Robert Louis Stevenson's novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and on the play version (1887) of Thomas Russell Sullivan. Directed by Lucius Henderson, the film stars actor (later noted film director) James Cruze as the dual role of Jekyll/Hyde.

Dr. Pykyll and Mr. Pryde - Joe Rock Comedies starring Stan Laurel - 1925 - 21 minutes
Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde is a 1925 silent, black-and-white comedy film, directed by Scott Pembroke and Joe Rock (also the producer). The film itself is both a spoof of the previous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde films (e.g. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920 film) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912 film)) and the well-famed novel by Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The film stars Stan Laurel as the title characters.

The Goat - starring Buster Keaton - 1921 - 27 minutes
The Goat is a 1921 short comedy film written, directed by and starring comedian Buster Keaton.

You have indicated this comment should be removed.


The comment has been submitted for review. Thank you .

Dennis James said on Saturday, Feb 22 at 10:21 AM

Nice to see organ-equipped sites such as this recognizing silent film as a important alternative choice for organ presentation use. Since they might eventually express interest in high quality period-sourced historical originality of visual element sourcing brings one to consider what will be involved to encourage considering featuring the equally important other historically critical component- the high quality period-sourced originality of the simultaneous live performance musical element, too. Live in-performance scoring to silent films has often slipped these days into the hands of the historical revisionists who deny such historical silent film industry participant created original period scores ever existed, do not survive, or are not worthy of consideration for modern day performance using dismissive qualitative judgements mandating outright replacement with anachronistic performer display scorings that prevent audiences from experiencing historical works of referential merit.

Inappropriate? Alert Us!

Dennis James said on Saturday, Feb 22 at 10:22 AM

Original scores are the genuine music accompaniment scores prepared in the period of initial release by professional industry participant musicians that were actually performed together with these films, intact both in content and style as the filmmakers intended and the audiences expected. One hopes that emerging enthusiastic presenters of silent films will also schedule professional performances of the actual scores written for these films for their period original releases or historically-informed period-sensitive scorings incorporating the actual published film scoring materials utilized by the musicians of the day, whatever the choice carefully performed in stylistic authentic manner to match attention to such equivalent historical visual details. - Dennis James, SILENT FILM CONCERTS

Inappropriate? Alert Us!

Add a comment


Comment: 1000 Characters Left

WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for and its affiliated companies are not responsible for the content of comments posted or for anything arising out of use of the above comments or other interaction among the users. We reserve the right to screen, refuse to post, remove or edit user-generated content at any time and for any or no reason in our absolute and sole discretion without prior notice, although we have no duty to do so or to monitor any Public Forum.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

On Demand

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

What's On TonightFull Schedule