Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

February 21, 2013

Rebirth of an era: Silent films on the big screen

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With the release of Lloyd’s films on DVD, audiences are rediscovering his work. The reissue sparked a demand for screenings in theaters, where the Lloyd films continue to cast their spell on audiences, according to a Rogers Center release.

“Times have changed, but people haven’t,” Rapsis said. “The Lloyd films were designed to be shown in a theater with an audience, and to appeal to a worldwide audience, and their universal themes haven’t lost any power.”

Using original themes created beforehand, Rapsis improvises the music live as the films are shown. He has performed music for silent films in venues ranging the Donnell Library in New York City to the Kansas Silent Film Festival.

“When the score gets made up on the spot, it creates a special energy that’s an important part of the silent film experience,” said Rapsis, who uses a digital synthesizer to recreate the texture of a full orchestra for the accompaniment.

The Rogers Center for the Arts is located on Walsh Way on the campus of Merrimack College, 315 Turnpike St., North Andover. For more information on this free event, call the Rogers box office at 978-837-5355.

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