A Grand Return to Silent Films

Air Date:
Heard On University Of The Air
Photo by Amanda Gilliland

Silent films were never silent! One or more musicians accompanied every frame with precise timing to match the tone of the scene and introduce the characters. Theater organists commanded an array of sounds and sound effects that brought the film to life. Of the 10,000 theater organs used in the 1920s, only a few remain in their original places. Among them is the newly restored Grand Barton organ in Madison, Wisconsin’s Capitol Theater. Organist Jelani Eddington will run the organ through its paces for us and demonstrate scene and character building for some classic films.

Episode Credits

  • Norman Gilliland Host
  • Norman Gilliland Producer
  • Tom Blain Technical Director
  • Norman Gilliland Interviewer
  • Professor Rania Huntington Guest
  • Jelani Eddington Guest

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