Alloy Orchestra - Metropolis

"The best in the world at accompanying silent films." - Roger Ebert

The Alloy Orchestra (from left to right): Terry Donahue, Ken Winokur, Roger Miller

ALLOY ORCHESTRA is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources. The members of the group include Terry Donahue (accordion, musical saw, junk, vocals), Ken Winokur (director, junk percussion and clarinet), and Roger Miller (keyboards).

Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the US and abroad (The Louvre, Lincoln Center, The Academy of Motion Pictures, the National Gallery of Art and twice at the Indie Memphis Film Festival), Alloy has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era.

An unusual combination of found percussion and state-of-the-art electronics gives the Orchestra the ability to create any sound imaginable. Utilizing their famous "rack of junk" and electronic synthesizers, the group generates beautiful music in a spectacular variety of styles. They can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the 20's. The group can make the audience think it is being attacked by tigers, contacted by radio signals from Mars or swept up in the Russian Revolution.

Just two weeks before the 15th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival is set to open, Indie Memphis is bringing the acclaimed Alloy Orchestra back to Memphis for a one-night-only performance of Fritz Lang's complete Metropolis, made possible through the support of Dorothy Kirsch.

When: 8 pm Wednesday, October 17
Where: Malco Paradiso
Tickets: $15 each / $12 for Indie Memphis members

A silent film masterpiece, Metropolis was destined for fame from the moment it was released. But shortly after its 1927 premiere, a huge chunk of it was removed and  thought to be lost forever. Then, in an incredible stroke of luck, a print with the missing footage was found in Buenos Aires 81 years later. The digitally restored version  is a revelation; seeing it with the Alloy Orchestra's live accompaniment is an unforgettable experience.

Alloy began their career with their score for Metropolis in 1991.  The group has worked with 4 different versions of the film, including the newest "complete" version, released in 2010.  Alloy was invited in that year to perform their newest reworking of their score, at the TCM Classic Film Festival's American premiere of the new restoration.  The packed house at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, gave the musicians an enthusiastic standing ovation - a response that has been repeated many times as the group has toured with the magnificent film.