By Michael Hix
Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, through the first zone of the twentieth century, Alabama-born organist and composer Lee Orville Erwin, like some of the twentieth century’s nice American composers, hung out learning in Paris. From 1930 till 1931 Erwin studied in France with organist André Marchal and the concord academics Jean Verd and Nadia Boulanger. This formative event vastly formed his compositional type and aesthetic. Upon returning to the USA, Erwin begun his long profession in radio and tv operating with Arthur Godfrey. In 1967, Erwin was once commissioned by way of the yank Theater Organ Society to compose organ track for the Gloria Swanson movie Queen Kelly. It used to be this movie that led his occupation again into the consoles of the good American theater organs. He toured greatly, enjoying hundreds of thousands of live shows of organ track in the course of silent movie showings. He hence ushered within the silent movie revival, carrying on with the style of stay track functionality accompanying movie. Erwin, believing that cue sheets initially compiled for those motion pictures in the course of the silent movie period have been “full of the musical cliché’s of the 1920s,” composed new rankings to over a hundred silent films.
An American Organist in Paris provides Lee Orville Erwin's letters from France to his family members in 1930-1931. In those letters, Erwin recounts his day-by-day studies and encounters with a few of the twentieth century's maximum musicians and academics. He writes of his classes with Marchal, Verd, and Boulanger and dinner events with Olivier Messiaen. Erwin's letters not just give you the singular reports of a tender musician but additionally mirror the typical reports shared by means of the multitude of yankee composers who studied in France in this time. those letters are broadly footnoted to supply readability and historical past info of the destinations and personalities mentioned. A biographical bankruptcy on Erwin, which outlines his huge musical occupation and influence at the silent movie song revival within the twentieth century, is usually incorporated. This e-book will function a distinct glimpse into the lifetime of certainly one of America's such a lot prolific composers for the theater organ.
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Additional info for An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931
Capacity crowd for the Beacon Theatre Showing of Queen Kelly. Swanson, thrilled by the performance, wrote Erwin the following letter: Dear Mr. Erwin, I have heard nothing but the most fulsome praises for your performance Monday night. It was a tour de force on all grounds. I look forward to hearing the tape one quiet evening when things are not as hectic as they were the other night. Meanwhile I want you to know how much I appreciate the labor and love that went into bringing QUEEN KELLY to life—the way it was meant to be seen.
Even tho I should like to have it on my return, the money it will bring will mean a lot more and do more good here. I don’t think I shall even want another automobile tho. They cost entirely too much for the good that comes out of them. I should like to have the money I spent on that one back again. I bet it’s easily a thousand dollars! As to the expenses over here, things have increased considerably in the past year, but even so it’s nothing like what things over there cost. 00 in checks I have not touched.
7 we took a subway out to the woods of Boulogne (just on the edge of Paris). It is a most beautiful place and of course it has been preserved just as it has been for years. After rambling around for some time we discovered that we did not know where we were and were sadly in need of food. After on a while longer we ran upon a place that we later discovered, much to our sorrow, was a very high class, high priced eating house. 00 in American money) apiece. Both Mr. Titus and myself have placed ourselves on a budget of between 30 and 35 francs for food,8 each day, so we will have to go rather light the rest of the week to make up for our special meal this noon.
An American Organist in Paris: The Letters of Lee Orville Erwin, 1930-1931 by Michael Hix