Roulette: Bill Ware’s Live Score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed
Event by Roulette.
The composer and acclaimed vibraphonist Bill Ware presents his score for the 1926 film The Adventures of Prince Achmed by Carlette “Lotte” Reiniger. Performed by the Prince Achmed Band—Ware on vibraphone, Steve Bernstein on slide trumpet, Sam Bardfeld on violin, Philip Mayer on percussion, and John Murchison on gimbri and bass—Ware’s score is built upon the haunting pulse of the gimbri, also known as the sinter: a three-stringed, skin-covered, bass plucked lute played by the Gnawa people of Northern Africa. Middle eastern percussion instruments and jazz vibraphone create a unique and captivating groove, with violin and slide trumpet completing the ensemble to explore melodic motifs that match the various characters in the film.
Thought to be one of the oldest surviving feature-length animated films, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is a visually compelling 1926 silent film/fairy tale based on the timeless stories of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Pioneering filmmaker Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (1899–1981) used an innovative silhouette animation technique with manipulated cardboard cutouts and thin sheets of lead under her camera.