Re-scoring Dead Media

Is there a more worthwhile application of talent than re-interpreting the past? Its a rhetorical question I know, but after being asked if my 2003 remix/rescore of Metropolis is available (& so here is a link to an mp4 vid 420MB & it will stay there until someone tells me to take it down) I stopped to think & search as to what was the most re-scored public domain film… & my conclusion? Man with a Movie Camera by Dziga Vertov…. I own two copies of re-scores without even trying; the first a DVD with soundtrack by the Cinematic Orchestra and second, a somewhat redundant CD by Biosphere…. the former I still enjoy, as it fills my projector with flickery black & white footage while my speakers resonate to many of my favourite Cinematic Orchestra tunes…. but…. and here is the sucker punch: that film is in the public domain… I said; THE FILM is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN! Anyone can rescore it, remix it, even recut it if you really feel like having an internal debate with Eisenstein…. So here is a link to the source material: there is even a 2GB MPEG2 file if you feel like it (took me only two hours to download) and yes, I do find it more than a little inspiring to think that some kind of russian kindred spirit shot this film, cut it & released it in 1929, and here it is 2008 (which makes the footage 79 years old) and its there in the public domain for you, me or anyone to re-interpret! It reminds me to make a will & insure all my generated media become public domain when I kick off this mortal coil….. I mean if not, why not?

But back to Man with A Movie Camera, I am hereby invoking a leisurely collective re-score of the film – um, anyone else interested? Vote with your skills and 67 minutes worth of a new soundtrack…. and please email me when your score is ready – i’ll post a link here, and mine will either lead by example, i’ll happily be first (ah fourth, apparently Michael Nyman has done a rescore too) or hey, I’ll happily follow along whenever… Or if that duration is a bit daunting, how about George Melies 1902 film; A Trip to the Moon? Heres a link to the 12 minute short film….

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