The renowned musical ensemble Alloy Orchestra is returning to the Ozark Foothills FilmFest for the fourth time in a decade. They last appeared at the festival in 2011 when they performed their score for the restored German classic film Metropolis. Alloy Orchestra is a three man musical ensemble that composes and performs new scores for classic silent films. The group includes Terry Donahue (accordion, musical saw, vocals, junk percussion); Ken Winokur (director, junk percussion, clarinet); and Roger Miller (keyboards). Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources.
Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the U.S. and abroad, including the Telluride Film Festival, the Louvre, Lincoln Center, the Academy of Motion Pictures and the National Gallery of Art, Alloy has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era and introduced new generations of film enthusiasts to the nearly forgotten experience of watching silent films with live music accompaniment.
An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics enables the group to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous “rack of junk” and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. They can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the 20s. They can make the audience think it is being attacked by tigers, contacted by radio signals from Mars or swept up in the Russian Revolution. Alloy collaborates with some of the world’s best film archives and collectors to present audiences with the best available prints of some of history’s greatest films.
Alloy Orchestra will perform their score to accompany the 1927 film Underworld, directed by Josef von Sternberg and frequently cited by critics as the first American gangster film. Written by acclaimed screenwriter Ben Hecht, who received the first ever Academy Award for “Best Story” for his efforts, Underworld also solidified von Sternberg’s reputation as a director.
The Alloy Orchestra performance takes place on Friday, April 5, at 8:00 p.m. in Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Ticket prices are $12 for regular admission, $10 for students of all ages and adults 55 and over, and $8 for Foothills Film Society members. Advance tickets are available by calling 870-251-1189 or visiting www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org/buy_stuff.
Famed film critic Roger Ebert has proclaimed Alloy Orchestra “The best in the world at accompanying silent films.” Their return engagement in Batesville is a highlight of the 12th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest, which takes place April 3-7. The complete festival schedule is available online at www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.