WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts PRESENTS: “The Son of the Sheik”

(c) Courtesy of World Music/CRASHarts

(c) Courtesy of World Music/CRASHarts


Performing the Boston premiere of its live score for the silent film
The Son of the Sheik
Saturday, March 7, 8pm, Somerville Theatre

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Boston, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents Alloy Orchestra performing the Boston premiere of its live score for the silent film The Son of the Sheik on Saturday, March 7, 8pm at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $25, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

The world-renowned Alloy Orchestra presents the Boston premiere of its live musical score to the 1926 classic silent film The Son of the Sheik, directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, and George Fawcett. Valentino died suddenly just as the film was being released, unleashing an outpouring of love and support for the deceased actor along with his last and perhaps finest film. This wonderful swashbuckling romance is being presented in a beautifully restored print along with one of Alloy Orchestra’s best original scores.

(c) Ivan Singer

(c) Ivan Singer

Rudolph Valentino’s last film, The Son of the Sheik, is a film of passion, betrayal, and redemption. He is often cited as the silver screens greatest lover, and this film demonstrates why this reputation is justly deserved. In The Son of the Sheik, Valentino plays an unusual dual role of both the Sheik and his son. The film was a huge hit, grossing a million dollars in the first year, and critics have deemed it the greatest work of the actor’s career. Alloy Orchestra premiered their new score for The Son of the Sheik, along with the new 2k digital restoration of the film by sister company Box 5, at a special event of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on September 20, 2014.

Alloy Orchestra, formed in 1990, is a three-man music ensemble based in Boston. The collective includes Terry Donohue on percussion, accordion and vocals, Ken Winokur on percussion and Roger Miller, guitarist of post-punk band Mission of Burma, on the synthesizer. Working with an outrageous collection of peculiar objects, they produce expressive music from unlikely sources to accompany classic silent films. With a progressive barrage – drums, hubcaps, truck springs and other found metals – combined with state-of-the-art electronics, the orchestra can reproduce almost any song imaginable. Utilizing their famous “rack of junk” and electronic synthesizers, they can conjure up a French symphony or a simple German bar band of the ’20s.

After 22-years together, Alloy Orchestra has written 28 feature length film presentations, typically premiering their new scores at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, or the New York Film Festival. They have performed more than 1,000 shows around the world and have traveled to a dozen foreign countries. They collaborate with some of the world’s best archives and collectors, such as the British Film Institute, Paramount Pictures, and Film Preservation Associates, to present audiences with the very best available prints of some of history’s greatest films. Performing at prestigious film festivals and cultural centers in the US and abroad, Alloy Orchestra has helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era.

The late film critic Roger Ebert called the Alloy Orchestra “the best in the world at accompanying silent films,” and calls them a “reminder that silent films are never silent, anyway: They just didn’t talk.”


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