Three Classic Silents with Live Music by Relâche

Philadelphia's new music octet!

Support cutting-edge film programs

become a member

In collaboration with Relâche, Philly's internationally known new music ensemble, Lightbox will screen three silent films, Max Linder's Max fait de la photo, a short comedy from 1913; At Land, the 1944 short film by celebrated experimental film-maker Maya Deren; and Léonce Perret's Freud-inspired mystery from 1912, Le Mystère des roches de Kador. Relâche will perform music by two composers, Philadelphia's Chuck Holdeman who wrote music for At Land and Max fait de la photo, and the French composer and jazz violinist Regis Huby whom Relâche commissioned in 2011 to compose music for Le Mystère. The program opens with Chuck Holdeman's music, his Entrance of the Sumerians.

The brilliant Max Linder, inspiration to Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and many others made  hundreds of short silent comedies between 1907 and 1914, and came to be considered the first international film star. In Max fait de la photo we learn what happens to an overly determined photographer pursuing a bathing beauty. The charismatic Maya Deren made experimental films in the mid 20th century, inspired by surrealism, Haitian Vodou and by Marcel Duchamp and his circle. At Land even includes a cameo by composer John Cage. While Deren designated At Land as silent, by now several composers have written music to accompany the film: Chuck Holdeman's 2008 score may have been the first.

Le Mystère des roches de Kador features director Léonce Perret himself as the scheming Count Fernand de Kéranic. Set on the Brittany coast it features a Freudian theory about recovered memory, and could also be cinema's first example of a film within a film. Regis Huby's pulsing and moody score is a perfect match for this strange and dramatic film.

Relâche has been commissioning and performing new music in Philadelphia and around the world since 1978. It's current roster of musicians includes Michele Kelly, flute; Lloyd Shorter, oboe and English horn; Sean Bailey, clarinet and sax; Chuck Holdeman, bassoon; Amy Leonard, viola; Chris Coyle, bass; Ron Stabinsky, keyboards; and Gene Koshinski, percussion.

Max fait de la foto (Max takes a Photo)

(Max Linder, 1913, France, 13 min.)

At Land

(Maya Deren, US, 1944, 15 min.)

Le Mystère des roches de Kador (The Mystery of the Rocks of Kador)

(Léonce Perret, France, 45 min.)