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Access Contemporary Music Presents the 9th Annual Sound of Silent Film Festival in Chicago

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Apr 17, 2014 11:44 PM EDT

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra isn't the only arts organization presenting movies with live music in Chicago. Access Contemporary Music is getting ready to present its annual Sound of Silent Film Festival on April 29, which will be held at a new venue this year--the Music Box Theater, one of Chicago's top theaters for arthouse cinema.

"We were at the Chopin Theater for the past eight years," said Seth Boustead, director of Access Contemporary Music. "This is our most popular event, and we were selling out the festival every year. So we decided to take the plunge and move to a larger venue."

Every year, the Festival presents new silent films made by contemporary filmmakers, with new musical scores written by contemporary composers who are members of ACM.

Yes, silent films are still being made today. "A lot of directors choose to work in silence," Boustead said. "These are definitely new films, with a modern sensibility."

This year's festival includes short dramas, comedies and animated films made by filmmakers from around the world. Boustead said that he received a total of 110 film submissions, and ultimately selected 8 short films.

He spread the word among ACM's member composers, and quickly found more than enough composers who wanted to write music for the 8 silent films. Palomar, ACM's resident ensemble, with the addition of a couple of percussionists, will perform these film scores live during screenings of the films at the Music Box.

More information about the Sound of Silent Film is available at acmusic.org.

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TagsAccess Contemporary Music, Sound of Silent Film Festival, Chicago, Seth Boustead, Music Box Theater, Palomar Ensemble, Sound of Silent Film