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Music & Silent Film: The Old and The New


The Department of Humanities at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is pleased to present The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari alongside a live performance of an original orchestrated soundtrack composed by Andrew Downing. The performance is part of the World Rhythms Concert Series and will take place on October 27, 2011 at 8:00PM at the intimate Leigha Lee Browne Theatre.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari tells the story of Dr. Caligari and his sleepwalking sidekick Cesare. After arriving in a sleepy German town, mysterious murders befall the townspeople and it’s not long before Cesare and Dr. Caligari are suspected of committing the crimes. The film stars Werner Krauss as Dr. Caligari, Conrad Veidt as Cesare , Lil Dagover as Jane and Friedrich Feher as Francis. Directed by Robert Weine and produced by Erich Pommer, the film is considered to be a cult classic in the horror genre and a masterpiece of the German expressionist cinema tradition that developed in the 1920s.

While the film itself is silent, Andrew Downing, a double bass player, composer and bandleader from London, Ontario has composed an original music score to the eerie horror film. His score will be performed live as the film is shown. Alongside Mr. Downing on cello will be Aleksandar Gajic (violin), Joe Phillips (double bass), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), William Carn (trombone), Peter Lutek (bassoon and clarinet) and David Occhipinti (guitar).

Earlier in the day, as part of the World Rhythms Performance Lecture Series, Mr. Downing and his ensemble chamber group will demonstrate and discuss the challenges and advantages of performing music with a set medium, such as a silent film. The music is a combination of composed and improvised material. This free lecture will take place in the Arts & Administration Building in Room 303 from 2 – 3PM.

Admission to both events is free and seating is limited. RSVPs are required. For reservations and more information, please call 416 208 4769 or email

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