Thursday, February 26, 2015

Catch ChamberLab's Orchestral Performance of 'The General' Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM



Last year, Tucson favorite ChamberLab set a live orchestra to Buster Keaton's classic Civil War silent film "The General." This weekend, the show is getting a rare second run.

Chris Black, who got ChamberLab started, says this was the show everyone was devastated to have missed.

"We did it right on Easter weekend, or around then, so a lot of people were out of town. People didn't know how awesome it was going to be," Black said, adding that this is the show he's been asked to repeat above all the others.

"If you haven't seen Buster Keaton before, he's just incredible. I don't know how he does what he does. This no special effects, no anything, just pure deranged athleticism as he leaps around and takes all kinds of chances with his life," Black explains. "It's about 78 minutes and all but about 15 minutes of it is train chases—so it's action packed."

This time, ChamberLab will be filming the event for DVD and digital download. They're running an IndieGoGo, from which proceeds are being split up between production costs for the filming and paying the musicians. 

"It's just to make sure that we stay healthy and that we pay the musicians for the really ridiculous amount of rehearsal we'll be putting them through for the next week," Black said, noting that while his shows usually just split up the profits from ticket sales, that's just not enough for the amount of work people are putting into this. "Everyone is really amazing that they're giving us their time in the way that they have been I'm trying to get a little bit more into their pockets."

The show takes place this Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m., at the Fox Theater, 17 W. Congress St. You can get tickets and preorder a DVD/digital copy of the screening through their IndieGoGo—which will remain open for a week after the event, just in case you feel like sending a little more money their way after the performance.

"It's an amazing accomplishment. I mean, when you're right in the middle of it with the music playing and the movie's going and you can't stop and say 'Oops, lets take that again,' and theres 11 people just going at it—it's a tremendous feeling," Black said. "I have never surfed, but I imagine kinda like surfing a gigantic wave. I'm not sure how else to describe it, but thats a pretty good feeling."

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