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David Sawer: Hollywood Extra

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


Work specifications


Publication Information

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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)


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (GB)
Matrix Ensemble
Robert Ziegler

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