The Rapidian

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts to host Andrew Alden Ensemble

On July 26 and 27 The Andrew Alden Ensemble will play their original music in sequence with Night of the Living Dead and Vampyr, respectively.

Andrew Alden Ensemble at UICA:

July 26: Night of the Living Dead

July 27: Vampyr

8:00 p.m.

Members: $10 | Non-members: $12

2 Fulton West

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

/Courtesy of UICA

This Friday and Saturday evening at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) The Andrew Alden Ensemble will offer live original scores composed for both Night of the Living Dead (July 26) and Vampyr (July 27). The ensemble features four musicians performing with electric guitar, drum set, keyboard/synthesizer and violin/viola. Each of the films will be screened by the UICA with subtitles and no sound except for the live score.

“I enjoy composing to films like Vampyr and Night of the Living Dead because they are classic films and in a way it is like connecting the present with the past,” says Andrew Alden, founder of the ensemble. “They are two of my favorite movies so scoring for them is very appealing to me, and it also draws in an audience that loves these films and the genre itself.”

Alden says that composing to eerier films is more enjoyable because they offer more opportunity for the composer to experiment with particular sounds. Alden elaborates on some of the instruments he uses for that heightened sense of suspense, instruments he refers to as “extra auxiliary percussion.”

“What I like to call a PVC clarinet, which is a PVC pipe and a clarinet mouthpiece that adds to the suspense of the films,“ says Alden.

Other films in which the Andrew Alden Ensemble has composed for include the silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera, Battleship Potemkin and The Lost World.

The UICA is also excited to have Alden and his ensemble back in Grand Rapids. The group played their live score for Nosferatu at the UICA back in the spring.

"They sold out the theatre and everyone had a really fun night," says Brandon Belote, the audio/video technician for the UICA's theater. "Not only were people thrilled to see a live score to a film, but the Alden Ensemble composed and performed a solid show. It was a good mix of oddity and craft."


video credit Brandon Belote

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