School of music
Thinking Aloud
Organist Mike Ohman Enlivens Silent Movies
Mike Ohman, theater-organ wizard extraordinaire, is our guest today. Mike belongs to a vanishing breed of musical masters who know the art of accompanying a silent movie with all the aplomb afforded by theater organs. If you've watched "Ben Hur" with Charlton Heston, you might remember the thundering of the Roman horse hooves and the roaring of Roman chariot wheels--sound effects from the 1959 version. Thirty years earlier, "Ben Hur" was a silent film. But the term "silent movie" is deceptive, since going to a movie theater before talkies was always a noisy, musical experience.—Original airdate: 3/20/2008

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