Vampyr: Live! is a live music and film experience that pairs music and arrangements from Blix Byrd and myself with Carl Theodor Dreyer’s groundbreaking 1932 film, “Vampyr”.
The concept involves integrating dark, edgy songwriting with my human/machine collaborative works for piano and computer. The aim is to develop an evening of adventurous and theatrical musical performances that tightly synchronizes with the natural drama of the film.
How It Started
We were first introduced to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s films in early 2019 and immediately went on the hunt for more. Before we had even finished our first screening of Vampyr (1932), we knew we had discovered our next musical project…
Although Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr is one of the earliest films to include recorded sound, it contains minimal dialog and relies heavily on the rich imagery and extended mood-setting techniques common to silent films of the era.
After becoming more familiar with Vampyr and its historical context, we got our hands on Dreyer’s original screenplay (excerpted above) and sketched out our interpretation of the dramatic form:
Since then we’ve been extremely busy in our respective studios developing a wide range of sound concepts and show ideas. After months of testing, the range of options has narrowed and the shape (and sound!) of the show is coming into focus.
Before the pandemic we had tracked and mixed ~35 minutes of music along with an additional 20 minutes of demo tracks. We’ve now picked things up once again and are working toward our first “test” shows during the summer of 2022. Check out the journal entries below to track the continued progress…