Not So Silent Cinema

Live Music. Classic Silent Film.

Not So Silent Cinema composes and performs new, original scores for classic silent film.

Original Music to Classic Silents, Performed Live.

Not-So-Silent Cinema is the project of Philadelphia composer Brendan Cooney. Cooney pulls together different groups for each of his film projects, creating diverse mash-ups of musical personalities from different music scenes to create lively new platforms for interaction and creativity. His scores are tightly composed, time-coded and thematic but also have plenty of room for improvisation and interaction between players.

See our micro-documentary:

Some suffer from the delusion that the history of cinema is a straight-line of progress from primitive, clumsy beginnings to high-tech, modern perfection.

 Yet it would be hard to maintain such a position after having viewed a classic silent film of Eisenstein or Murnau. Many early silent films are more than just quaint historical artifacts of the development of film technique. They are masterpieces in their own right.


Silent films also offer the opportunity for reinterpretation through the creative use of film-scoring. Modern audiences can see these old classics in an entirely new light with daring live accompaniments that bring films to life and create a feeling of time, place, pacing, suspense and humor. Silent film-score projects also give audiences an opportunity to
hear and appreciate live music in a new setting, helping bridge the gap between concert music and audiences.

Nosferatu ascends the stairs...

Nosferatu ascends the stairs...

What better way to travel through the Transylvanian mountains of the world’s first vampire film, Nosferatu, than with a live avant-Klezmer ensemble to give the film that old-world, Eastern European feel? What could evoke the Spanish California of The Mark of Zorro better than a flamenco-latin-tango-mariachi ensemble?