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The Silent Comedian: Andy Quin (piano)

The Silent Comedian: Andy Quin (piano)

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  • Date 15 Oct 2019
  • Time 8.00pm - 9.30pm
  • Category Music and performance

Concert Series 2019-20

Joseph Frank ‘Buster’ Keaton (1895-1966) is widely regarded by many as the finest physical comedy or ‘slapstick’ actor in silent movies. His diminutive appearance and ‘deadpan’ face endeared him to millions. The sheer physical danger and audacity of some of his stunts have become legendary, and even if you are new to his films you will very likely have seen him in scenes that have become some of the best-known footage from the silent era.

Andy Quin is an improvising concert pianist and organist whose composing career will, in a few months, span six decades. His first professional engagement was accompanying silent movies back in the early 1970s. Now with over 1200 published compositions and thousands of broadcasts throughout the globe each year, he is probably one of the most prolific and successful production music composers in the world.

At the start of the 20th Century, there was no such thing as film music, silent film presentations were usually accompanied by selections of existing classical and popular music performed live. Meyer de Wolfe edited and arranged the selections for appropriate ensembles and licensed these arrangements. He worked at theatres such as the Regent St. Cinema in London, (now recognised as the birthplace of British Cinema where the Lumiere brothers first showed moving pictures in the UK, and where Andy Quin is now resident organist). When sound recording was established, De Wolfe worked with the finest musicians and composers of the era (for example Leon Goossens, Sidney Torch, Stephane Grappelli and Gustav Holst) to create a library of recorded music categorised by suitability for a particular scene or emotion; this was the first ‘Mood music’ or ‘Library music’. This ‘Production music’ is now ubiquitous in the media but largely anonymous. You may not have heard of Andy’s name but you will almost certainly heard a lot of his music! A small selection of his recent film and tv work includes Widows, Ab Fab The Movie, Victoria and Abdul, Trumbo, To The Wonder, Mute, Boardwalk Empire, Supernatural, Travellers and you can currently hear his incidental music in the BBC2 programme The Children’s Hospital. Andy’s music is also a staple of the advertising industry ranging from classics such as the ‘Oxo’ family with the late Linda Bellingham to the exclusive use of his music over the last few years by the perfume house Guerlain to accompany all its ads featuring Angelina Jolie.

With nearly 40 years in recording studios working with the world’s finest musicians and orchestras, Andy is currently using AI technology to record what will be his 90th album for his publisher De Wolfe Music. However, he is also now enjoying a renaissance in live performance and is delighted to bring a lifetime of experience and the joy of improvising music to hopefully introduce a new audience to the appreciation and enjoyment of the silent comic genius of Buster Keaton.

Buster Keaton

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