The hilltop medieval town of Montepulciano, Tuscany, comes alive each July when it hosts an annual international arts festival, the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte.
Arts-loving visitors move smoothly from exploring the town's narrow streets and alleys, and tasting the local Vino Nobile, to attending the festival's indoor and outdoor performances.
The theme of the 44th festival — 'Love, Passion, Madness' (Amore, Passione, Follia) — lent itself well to an exploration of silent film photoplay (library) music. In an event held in the courtyard of the town fortress, Professor Julie Brown spoke about the historical context of early cinema library music, as part of a series of short lectures co-organised by fellow silent film music scholar Dr Francesco Finnochiaro (University of Vienna). Musical illustration was provided by an 11-piece ensemble, performing pieces of silent film library music featuring the mood themes of the festival.
Destinations for an invited talk about one’s research are seldom as beautiful!