Home > Around Town > Royal Score
Hope Arthur and Kurt Roembke soundtrack Prince Achmed for Sound & Shadow series
By Eddie Torres
Fort Wayne Reader
Cinema Center’s final Sound & Shadow screening of the season highlights the first animated feature film — The Adventures of Prince Achmed — on Friday, January 27.
Released more than a decade before Disney unleashed Snow White, the silent The Adventures of Prince Achmed was directed by German director Lotte Reinger and based on the Arabian Nights legends. The dashing Prince Achmed saves a lovely damsel from evil witches and mythical beasts, and discovers Aladdin's lamp, all in the beautiful silhouette style of animation developed by Reiniger herself.
For those that missed previous installments of the Sound & Shadow screenings, the series offers silent film classics and obscurities scored live by local artists. Providing the live soundtrack to Prince Achmed is Silbo Gomero, featuring Hope Arthur and Kurt Roembke.
Both Arthur and Roembke have done similar work before. The two composers and musicians first met at the Fort Wayne Fringe Festival, where Arthur was playing her debut album with the Hope Arthur Orchestra and Roembke was performing a multimedia piece entitled Hunting for Mushrooms. They started composing together for live dance productions, film scores, and other mediums, eventually taking on the name Silbo Gomero.
Despite Silbo Gomero’s experience in composing for dance and other live performances, providing an entire soundtrack presents a unique set of challenges for the group. “There is a magic to the animation techniques in Prince Achmed that I hope to bring out in our score,” Roembke says. “We’re experimenting with instrumentation by mixing acoustic instruments like the bowed saw, kalimba, and xylophone with electronic instruments like synthesizers (analog/digital), and even radio signals and white noise from a television."
"It has been an effort to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, one that should result in an interesting, and diverse sound experience for the audience,” he adds.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed is family-friendly; all students may attend at member prices.
At 6 pm, prior to the screening, there will be a discussion on the film and animation style led by Huntington University faculty Steve Leeper in Cinema Center’s Spectator Lounge.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed
437 East Berry Street
Friday, January 27
6pm: Animation Discussion led by Steve Leeper
7pm: Film Screening - Adventures of Prince Achmed w/ Live Score by Silbo Gomero.
Tickets: $15 for general admission; $10 for members/students. All proceeds benefit the musicians and Cinema Center.
Tickets are available through Cinema Center’s site (cinemacenter.org).