Metropolis Elektro Talk
photo by: Victor Mosqueda
Merging Historical Film and Modern Music: The Creative Process Behind Metropolis Elektro
Composers Amy and Scott Faris give a behind-the-scenes look at the launch of Metropolis Elektro, a new original soundtrack for the 1927 silent film Metropolis. The critically acclaimed cinematic and musical experience debuted in 2013 to sold-out audiences and featured twenty-four musicians synced live with the film.
In their multimedia presentation Merging Historical Film and Modern Music: The Creative Process Behind Metropolis Elektro, the Farises share intimate moments in their artistic process and discuss the convergence of research and creativity that led to this exciting new work.
About the composers: Scott & Amy Faris
Amy Faris As a teen, Amy studied composition with world- renowned composer David Kneupper. She received a BFA in Music Composition from Texas Tech University. Amy has toured as a keyboardist for numerous regional bands, played in Lubbock's famed Cactus Theatre as part of the Texas Rhythm Machine and performed alongside musicians such as Todd Caldwell (Burlap to Cashmere), Joe Ely, Mac Davis, Richie McDonald, Tom Braxton and Terry Allen.
Amy's keyboard and piano work, along with her string and horn arrangements, grace numerous CDs, and she has composed and arranged for everything from chamber orchestras and choirs to metal bands and classical guitar. Besides doing session work, Amy maintains a full teaching roster in Lubbock, Texas.
Scott Faris Producer, guitarist, and visual artist Scott Faris has spent the last 20 years doing what he loves: creating. The proprietor of FarisWheel Productions, a graphic and web design firm, and the owner of the Amusement Park Recording Studio in Lubbock, Texas, Scott is a veteran of the independent music and art scene. He has toured as the guitarist for 100 Love Sonnets, Meltdown Morning and The Reagan Administration and has played on, recorded and produced hundreds of songs with over 50 albums to his credit.
Scott began his career as a guitar teacher for the world-renowned classical guitarist David Brandon. He later became the Director of Guitar Studies and founder and co- director of the Entertainment Business program at South Plains College (Levelland, Texas), alma mater of Natalie Maines (The Dixie Chicks), Lee Ann Womack and Jedd Hughes. During his tenure at SPC, Scott was instrumental in developing its guitar program and was the founder of AlternaTV, an audition-only, student-led rock band that filmed a live televised concert monthly.
Scott and Amy currently perform with their original rock band Strawberry Crush. They live in Lubbock, Texas with their daughter, Rachel.
About Metropolis Elektro
A visually stunning and historically important film. A diverse group of musicians performing a soundtrack that spans decades and genres to create an exciting cinematic experience. Metropolis Elektro is a new work by composers Scott and Amy Faris, a score which is performed live, in sync with the 1927 silent film Metropolis.
Fritz Lang's Metropolis was a groundbreaking movie, featuring special effects that influenced filmmakers from Alfred Hitchcock to George Lucas. Its array of traditions - Art Deco, futuristic, biblical, and Gothic imagery - has greatly informed the visual art and fashion communities. And its portrayal of the dangers of a dystopian, classist society give it fresh urgency in a world where such movements as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring demand our attention. The Farises' score accompanies the 2010 Kino Lorber re-release of the film, which is visually much clearer than earlier prints. The 25 minutes of original footage in this release, found and restored only recently, make the plot much clearer as well.
Blending both classically trained and street musicians, Metropolis Elektro is designed to bring together divergent cultures. The score seamlessly weaves together a variety of music: 1920's swing, modern rock, classical, dub step, choral pieces, hip hop, acoustic, industrial, and almost every genre in between.
As the audience enjoys a thought-provoking and beautiful piece of cinematic history, the live soundtrack adds even greater emotional power to the experience. To achieve its broad spectrum of musical styles, Metropolis Elektro uses a rock band, a string quartet, a small choir, a rap artist, and a DJ. Additionally, the score calls for bassoon, flute, trumpet, two guitarists, and two pianists/keyboardists. The composers enjoy being part of the performance, Scott on acoustic and electric guitars and Amy on piano, Fender Rhodes, and keyboard.
The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock, Texas, was the catalyst for the project. LHUCA asked the Farises to compose a new soundtrack for a silent film to kick off its 2013 Flatland Film Festival series; the composers chose Metropolis and started to work. In March 2013, Metropolis Elektro debuted at LHUCA's Firehouse Theater and was the first production in LHUCA's history to sell out both nights. The community was extremely supportive in underwriting the debut performances.