The General (1926). Written and directed by Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman with new soundtrack performed live by Viola Dana.
A classic silent comedy, Buster Keaton’s The General is set during the time of the American Civil War. Buster’s character Johnnie Gray is unable to become a Confederate soldier as he is deemed more helpful in the war effort as the engineer of the train ‘The General’. However, his bravery doesn’t go unnoticed as he single-handedly takes on the Union side in a plight to rescue both his engine and his girl. In a live performance world-premiere at this year’s Revelation Perth International Film Festival, Perth band Viola Dana’s original soundtrack for The General is infused with American folk-tunes, Steve Reich-inspired train evocations and the spontaneity of jazz improvisation to help illuminate Keaton’s masterful performance for a contemporary audience.
Viola Dana was the name of a starlet of the silent silver screen and is also the name of an ensemble of musicians based in Perth, Western Australia, who create and perform soundtracks for film.
Led by violist/composer Kathy Corecig (nee Potter), this new ensemble has in its ranks some familiar faces in WA music: cellist Tristen Parr (Schvendes, Fall Electric), drummer Pete Guazzelli (Fall Electric) and Mace Francis (MFO, Hounds of Jazz, Soul Limbo). The band's sound is infused with many different influences ranging from The Dirty Three and Tom Waits through to contemporary classical music composers such as Steve Reich and Arvo Pärt, American folk music and early jazz.
For more information about Viola Dana, visit www.violadana.com