(...and pushed, too)
My friend Gary Lucas, one of the most dazzlingly inventive guitarists working today, will perform his original solo-guitar score for the 1931 Spanish-language mutation of Dracula this Saturday, October 9, at the Walter Reade Theater, as part of this year's New York Film Festival. If you are in the vicinity, you absolutely should go, and I say that as someone who will in fact there, and not even via the guest list, at that. (I suppose I could have asked, but it's the principle!) Much more information and a variety of scintillating links can be found on the Dracula page of Gary's own fantastic website, which deserves the bookmark of any self-respecting music lover.
UPDATE: The Saturday evening event was terrific, an intoxicating blend of music and imagery. NYFF programmer Scott Foundas introduced, and Gary talked a little about the 1931 film, produced in tandem with the Bela Lugosi classic, before getting down to business with two guitars, one electric, one acoustic. Like the Todd Browning picture, the Spanish-language Dracula has very little music, incidental or otherwise; a theme from Swan Lake at the outset (also used, some might argue even more memorably, in The Mummy) and not a whole lot after that. Gary's new score does some extrapolating off of the Tchaikovsky, and builds a nice, eerie mood; switching off from the reverb-and-delay laden electric, he waxed more lyrical on the acoustic guitar, although even there he would reach for the cosmic, or even kosmiche, with an effect or two. Gary's also known for playing out with his score for Paul Leni's Paul Wegener's and Curt Boese's silent The Golem, and that's a much different bit of business than this one. Replete with musical allusions from "Adon Olom" to "Ride of the Valkyries," the Golem score is more a piece of commentary on the film. What Gary goes for—and gets—with his Dracula score is more an immersion in an atmosphere of perdition and romantic longing. Helping him out immeasurably with respect to both is the film's luscious lead actress Lupita Tovar, whose costumes become more an more revealing the further she sinks under the title vampire's spell. There's talk of an enhanced CD, but there really should be a DVD of the film with this score. I'll keep you posted on future performances until that becomes the case (which doesn't seem immediately likely, alas).