Sunday, June 1, 2014: Hitchcock’s The Lodger


At Relâche New Music Ensemble Concerts Sunday, June 1, 2014

TWO SHOWS! at 1:30 PM and 4 PM

(replacing the originally announced single performance at 3)


Tickets are available here.

Joby Talbott’s great 1999 score will be performed live to accompany Hitchcock’s 1926 silent film, The Lodger, a Story of the London Fog, his first big cinematic success and the most enduring example of Hitchcock’s work in the silent genre. Talbott is perhaps best known for his score to the Disney film, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005). The composer sets out his Lodger score in nine movements so that, more that just being a soundtrack, the music has its own formal and expressive identity. Another interesting choice Talbott made is to let the murder victims’ screams occur in absolute silence, the better for the audience to hear them in imagination. An exception is the very last murder, which becomes Talbott’s musical climax. The score exists in several orchestrations; Philadelphia musician Darin Kelly made an octet arrangement especially for Relâche, with the composer’s gratitude and approval. A critic once pointed out that at this early stage of Hitchcock’s career, he still had some things to learn about editing, i.e. some sequences do go on. This same commentator noted that Talbott deftly solved Hitchcock’s problem by including driving percussion through some longer scenes. Talbott’s score could therefore provide the best possible option for viewing this early Hitchcock masterpiece!

As an offbeat overture to the film, Relâche’s octet of woodwinds, strings, keyboard, and percussion will perform The Penguin by 20th century composer and jazzman, Raymond Scott. Scott used to drive his musicians crazy by insisting that he compose by dictating each musician’s part in rehearsal without the convenience of paper and pencil. Luckily for Relâche, our intrepid arranger Darin Kelly was able to provide us with printed scores, though in some cases Kelly could only ascertain the right notes to put down by listening to Scott’s own recordings. The Penguin is part of Relâche’s new CD release Comix Trips, which will be available for purchase at the performances.

These performances conclude this season’s popular three-concert series, “New Sounds and Cinema,” featuring both commissioned music and live accompaniment to old silent films, at the Penn Museum.

The series is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Year of Sound.
Relâche concert tickets are just $10 for Penn Museum members; $15 for the general public, in advance or at the door, while supplies last. $10 for Penn students with PennCard at the door. Your ticket includes admission to the museum collections one hour prior to the performance time.

About Relâche

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Relâche is a new music ensemble that for over thirty years has maintained an international reputation as a leader in commissioning and performing the innovative music of our time. Relâche has a unique sound—flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, viola, piano, bass and percussion, and performs works that are neither classical, nor popular, but somewhere in between—a melding of Western classical traditions with jazz, rock, electronica, world music, and more.

Among the oldest continuously operating, non-profit organizations and chamber ensembles dedicated to contemporary music in the United States, Relâche has consistently offered world-class performances and presentations of music by leading American and international composers and artists. To date, Relâche has performed more than 600 concerts in the Greater Philadelphia area, around the country and the globe, including residency, festival and touring appearances in South America, Japan, and Eastern and Western Europe. The Ensemble boasts a touring-ready repertoire of over 50 pieces and a repertory library of over 400 works. Relâche commissions include works by Robert Ashley, Kitty Brazelton, John Cage, Uri Caine, Fred Frith, Kyle Gann, Philip Glass, Fred Ho, Michael Nyman, Pauline Oliveros, Bobby Previte, George Russell, Somei Satoh, and Lois V Vierk. Relâche has released seven CD’s to date, from Relâche on Edge (1991), to Comix Trips (2014).

Contact Relâche via emailing Chuck Holdeman, or calling (215) 574-8248.

About the Penn Museum

The Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind’s collective heritage.

The Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn’s campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA’s Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with extended hours the first Wednesday of each month (to 8:00 pm). Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $15 for adults; $13 for senior citizens (65 and above); free for U.S. Military; $10 for children and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. The Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000.
 photo of the Relâche Ensemble by Christine Hanning