Caspervek are three musicians established in Vigo, northwest Spain. Brais González (piano), Blas Castañer (drums) and Eduards Vecbaštiks (violin) are involved in different projects aimed to blending music and image together, waking the audience’s empathy the way it used to be at the dawn of artistic representation. Their music is based on classic roots, but elements from jazz, electronic and folk music are also part of their musical landscape. They ultimately intend to present the audience with a complete multimedia experience, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their work ranges anywhere from Heritage Film recovery to contemporary multimedia creation.
In this post we will focus on silent films. Caspervek composes their own scores to be played along the most representative films from the silent film era. They have chosen very well-known pioneers, such as Edwin S. Porter, or D.W. Griffith, to develop their work, although Spanish directors are reclaimed too. Xosé Gil ‘s Miss Ledyia and some of Segundo de Chomón’s short films have found a new voice through this trio’s compositions.
A silent film music renaissance has been developing for two decades now and certain musicians have devoted their work to composing these scores. Some names to look up for those interested in knowing more are Timothy Brock, Matti Bye, Stephen Horne, Serge Bromberg, Günter A. Buchwald, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Donald Sosin, and Ben Model.
This renaissance has found support in film festivals like the San Francisco Silent Film Festival or the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen GmbH. The San Francisco event provides an explanation on why this type of art should be supported and spread: ‘Silent-era filmmakers produced masterpieces that can seem breathtakingly modern. In a remarkably short time after the birth of movies, filmmakers developed all the techniques that would make cinema its own art form. The only technique that eluded them was the ability to marry sound to the film print, but these films were never meant to be viewed in silence and it is often obvious that music was a part of the production as well as the exhibition. The absence of recording on the set, though, meant that the camera was free to move with a grace and elegance that allowed visual storytelling to flourish and made film more than just an adjunct to the stage.
It is through these films that the world first came to love movies and learned how to appreciate them as art. They have influenced every generation of filmmakers and continue to inspire audiences nearly a century after they were made’
Caspervek are currently touring around Europe and it would be a great opportunity to go to one of their concerts and enjoy their talented contribution to the international silent film scene. This is a video of their score for Chomon’s short film La Grenouille:
Caspervek Trio. Retrieved February 24 2015, from http://www.caspervek.com/
San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Retrieved February 25 2015, from http://www.silentfilm.org/
Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen GmbH. Retrieved February 24 2015, from https://www.haendel-festspiele.de/
PUIG, J.(2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/raigverd/6310256203/ (picture). Retrieved February 24 2015, from