I’ve been fascinated by silent film accompanists ever since I saw an organist playing jaunty tunes for Charlie Chaplin shorts at a local pizza parlor as a kid.
Accompanist, composer and film historian Ben Model has accompanied silent films since his college years. His career has taken him around the world. In pandemic time, he’s found a new international audience from his living room, streaming comedy shorts and live accompaniment via The Silent Comedy Watch Party with his co-host, film historian Steve Massa.
We talked about Ben’s unusual career, creating the perfect score, and how to reach an audience whether they think they like silent movies or not.