02 febbraio 2010

Già una dozzina di anni fa, ben prima di acquisire parentela in casa Gong, Dave Sturt e Theo Travis avevano allacciato legami progettando insieme la sonorizzazione in studio e dal vivo di pellicole dell'epoca del muto: il sodalizio, Cipher, ha prodotto nel tempo concerti, album e installazioni multimediali cui talvolta ha preso parte lo stesso Daevid Allen. In questi giorni, confermando una certa preferenza per l'horror ed il noir, il duo si è rimesso in pista con proprie musiche per Il gabinetto del dottor Caligari, in occasione del novantesimo compleanno del capolavoro di Robert Wiene: "It's the most influential of German Expressionist films. Now, to mark the 90th anniversary of the making of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, the electro-jazz duo Cipher have composed a new soundtrack to accompany its nightmarish scenes. Updating the tradition of live pianists in cinemas, the duo are performing the new score live as the silent film is screened in its original hand-tinted version across the country this month. Cipher's Theo Travis plays haunting soprano saxophone, flute and keys, and Dave Sturt plays fretless bass while using pedals to produce the sounds that create their layered, dark, atmospheric music. Director Robert Wiene's 1920 film tells the tale of Dr Caligari, a hypnotist who travels the carnival circuit with somnambulist Cesare. When a series of murders coincides with the pair's visit, it appears the hypnotist has been ordering Cesare to commit the murders. But is all as it seems? Cipher have a history of writing scores for sinister films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger and Blackmail, FW Murnau's The Last Laugh, and GW Pabst's Pandora's Box in their repertoire. Travis explains: "We tend to pick films that are dark to write new music for. It's about capturing the mood of the film with a mixture of improvisation and composition. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari is one of the most moody and dramatic films ever made, one that continues to exert a huge influence on film-makers".