BrianG wrote:If Flicker Alley adds the Alloy score to future purchases only, this will be the last dvd or blu-ray I ever pre-order from Flicker Alley. Lost World is one of my favorite silent films. The blu-ray picture quality is great, but I preferred the old Image Alloy score.
It's too early to cast aspersions on Flicker Alley. I'd prefer to remain neutral and supportive of everyone's personal tastes and interests here, being respectful of Flicker Alley's choices while not impugning any decisions made without knowing all the facts. And allow me to state up-front that Alloy Orchestra is an excellent ensemble and Ken Winokur's work on silent films deserves the highest praise.
In fairness though, most silent films tend to benefit form traditional musical accompaniment reflecting the period in which films were originally screened. This viewpoint comes from something I recall as a film student many years ago regarding the suspension of disbelief. Our minds recognize authenticity based on stimuli from historical connections; anything that interferes with that is a distraction. For instance, we'd find someone in a 1920 era film using a cell phone just as illogical as a film with 90's era rave kids at a grunge concert doing the Charleston.
In silent cinema, the movie is half the experience; the other half isn't "silent". While modern film music may only reflect a portion of the sound spectrum, the rest made up of many natural sounds, effects (noise) and dialogue. But in a silent feature ...even late silents with recorded soundtracks..., music is a significant portion of the filmgoing experience, providing emotional cues and dynamic support for intense scenes.
There are avante garde silent films ...such as the Soviet masterpiece Man With a Camera... which greatly benefit from a more abstract, modern effects driven score in ways that traditional scoring can never achieve, but films of this nature tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Note: One should also take into account differences in visceral impact between musicians performing before a live audience and recordings on a disc medium. IOW, take into account how effects driven scores compare to full orchestral recordings on home entertainment medium.
The simplest solution is not
the easiest for distributors trying to eke out profits from a niche market, but it is the most obvious one, so bear with me on this:
We live in a amazing time when a remarkable amount of data can be stored on 5" media (DVD, BD, UHD-BD). There's room for all manner of commentaries, extras and most importantly, alternate soundtracks if desired. The question then becomes one of whether it's worth risking lost sales from an otherwise outstanding restoration ...lessening the impact of the laborious work involved... through failure to take into account the inclusion of music reflecting the wide range of tastes of the audience demographic?
Sorry 'bout the length (m'thinks too much caffeine again), but hopefully I've conveyed these thoughts reasonably and in an inoffensive manner.