Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.
For this event, Peter Richard Conte performs on Northrop’s recently restored Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ—one of the last remaining concert hall pipe organs in the United States. Conte is known as the master of the 111-year-old Wanamaker Organ—the world’s largest fully functioning musical instrument with 29,000 pipes— located in a Macy’s flagship department store in Philadelphia.
- How does an instrument's physical size affect an audience's experience?
- Do you believe automatic music transcription technology has the potential to replace music transcription? Why or why not?
- What may be the advantage or disadvantage of performing art in non-conventional spaces?
As part of Northrop’s new, silent film series, Conte accompanies Metropolis, a German silent film released in 1927, featuring director Fritz Lang’s vision of a grim futuristic society and containing some of the most impressive images in film history.
- Why do you think organs were introduced to accompany silent films?
- Are silent films still relevant today? What do you think explains the continuous revival of silent films with accompanied improvisations from skilled organists like Conte?
- What do you think are the qualities of a successful silent film accompaniment score and a great accompanist?
Metropolis is set in a dystopian future, the then-distant year of 2000. The movie depicts a deeply-divided world—where the rich overlords benefit from the blood, sweat, and tears of the workers—who service the machines that power the city.
- The film touches on some of the socio-economic disparities we still face today. Do you think we have improved as a society? In what areas do we still have a long way to go?
- Do you believe that art can be a tool to provide hope for a better future?
- Imagine it’s the distant year 3000, what art forms do you believe will be alive? How might artistic practices evolve?