Sound and Shadow


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

For those of you who have followed what we do here at String Shift you may notice a sort of pattern emerging - that we end up performing at most only a few times a year, at least for our own projects.

There are a few reasons for that, but the main one being is the projects we take on tend to be huge undertakings. When you build a program from the ground up it takes months of planning and dozens if not hundreds of hours devoted to putting something new and unique together. This next weekend's concerts have proven to be no exception when we perform an original score by local Fort Wayne composer Dalen Wuest set to the 1920 silent film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." 

I am filing this particular event under the "anything goes" genre of String Shift's oeuvre. Dalen's music is a perfect fit for the German Expressionistic style of Caligari. Learning the score alone has been a mind-bending experiment of mixed meters, poly-rhythms and extended harmonies. If you don't know what any of those terms mean, its musical talk for "its really f'ing hard."

In fact, one of the reasons this has proven to be such an undertaking is in order to keep everything straight and in sync with the music, I've taken the time to create a visual "click track" to help keep the music and the movie together. So tag on another 20+ hours of video editing to an already difficult process of executing the music in front of me. This sort of graphic overlay is standard when syncing music with video/film but without the resources of a big film production studio it ends up falling on yours truly's ability to "Ctrl +V" with the best of them.

What does this all mean for the audience? Well, it means that we aim to create an atmosphere fitting of classic silent horror films, intensified by Dalen's dark and modern style of composing. You probably won't walk away with the cheap scares you expect from more recent horror films, instead you will leave with something far more insidious. A visual and aural experience that will stay with you well past the Halloween holiday.

There are two chances to catch this screening, Oct. 20, 2017 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. However, a word to the wise: previous "Sound and Shadow" screenings at Cinema Center have sold out so don't wait until the last minute.

Tickets available here.