Land beyond the Sunset has recently been chosen for restoration by the Library of Congress for its historical and cultural significance. VCS Radio Symphony gives the film a musical voice!
It was probably one of the most poignant films of (1912). Produced by Thomas Edison (credited with inventing the movie projector); this 14-minute beautiful masterpiece tells a story of Joe, the newsboy – who is very poor and is given a chance to see the world beyond the slums of the city for the first time. The ending is unexpected and remarkable for a 102-year-old film.
A movie of this importance needs a great musical score, but in 1912 most films didn’t have them. Theaters back then often used pieced-together music that didn’t match the film well, performed by piano and sometimes a singer with the purpose of drowning out the sound of the loud projector that operated in the same room as the audience in the primitive movie venues of the time.
The task of the VCS Radio Symphony was to present a complete score using music that was in existence when the film was released over a century ago. The students set out to create a work edited and arranged to fit the mood and action of the film. This would serve to heighten the storytelling in ways that only music can --- for a film made back when the importance of cinematic music was just being discovered.
The score is now finished and it is astonishing!! The VCS Radio Symphony is rehearsing the music and will perform it live with the film February 25th at 7:30pm as part of the “Lands Beyond” concert along with VCS Radio Jazz at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater.