South Whidbey cinephiles won’t want to miss the chance to see a bygone era revived.
Cellist Gideon Freudmann, a relative newcomer to Whidbey Island, has been pairing musical accompaniment with silent films for the past three decades.
His original scores combine classical, jazz, folk and world music elements set to black-and-white movies of the 1920s, which are known for their lack of sound.
“While the movies are old and the settings are in the past, a lot of what you see and the relationships between the characters feels as pertinent today as ever,” Freudmann said. “With a modern soundtrack, the movie feels more current.”
His first show on Whidbey is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the historic Clyde Theatre in Langley. The film he will be playing along with is the 1924 comedy “Sherlock Jr.,” which was directed by Buster Keaton, who also happens to play the main character in the motion picture.
“This particular film is a really interesting one in a lot of ways,” Freudmann said. “It’s technically full of really great gags, stunts and camera effects. It’s a film within a film. It’s one of the earliest films to use that particular effect.”
Freudmann has been playing cello since the age of eight.
Playing alongside silent films was originally a request, which he honored.
“It worked out surprisingly well. It was exhausting,” he said. “It’s quite a challenge to play a silent film as opposed to other concerts, because there’s no break.”
For his show at the Clyde, Freudmann will be putting on a mini-concert before the movie, which runs only 45 minutes. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids.
“This is definitely an all-ages show,” he said. “This film, ‘Sherlock Jr.,’ is very light-hearted and he just tells the story with the pictures and the action. Keaton is brilliant that way.”
Freudmann has traveled around the nation playing in a variety of different movie houses.
“My career already is well off the beaten path, and doing silent films is even farther off the beaten path,” he said. “It seems to be something of a niche market but at the same time, it seems to have attracted a lot of people.”
Keaton’s motion picture is a perennial favorite, and one he has performed alongside many times before.
“I’m really excited to revisit this film again and share this with Whidbey, my new home,” he said.