Universal Edition - David Sawer – Hollywood Extra

David Sawer


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David Sawer
Hollywood Extra

Work Details

Year of composition: 1996
Subtitle: Music to accompany the silent film 'Life & Death of 9413 – A Hollywood Extra (1928)'
Scored for: for clarinet, basson, trumpet, trombone, piano, percussion, violin and double bass
Composer: David Sawer
Instrumentation: cl (+ b cl), bsn, tpt, tb, pno, perc, vl, cb
Commissioned by: Commissioned by the Matrix Ensemble
Duration: 15′
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Audio Excerpt

Hollywood Extra

World Première

Location: Queen Elizabeth Hall London / Great Britain
Date: 22.03.1996
Orchestra: Matrix Ensemble
Conductor: Robert Ziegler

Work Introduction

“This score was written to accompany the silent film The Life and Death of 9413 – a Hollywood Extra, made in 1928 by the director Robert Florey and designer Slavko Vorkapich and considered to be one of the first American independent films.

The film is a mixture of live action, graphic set design special effects, and animated cut-outs and is clearly influenced by German expressionistic cinema. A satire on and critique of the Hollywood star system, the film is a tragicomic tale of an actor (with 9413 stamped on his forehead) dreaming of becoming a movie star only to die of starvation.

I wrote the piece with constant reference to the film and time-coded the score so that the conductor can precisely synchronize the music with specific visual cues.” (David Sawer)