RPM Orchestra

RPM Orchestra gives old movies a new twist

RPM Orchestra has been improvising its way through the underground hype music scene in downtown Phoenix for a few years when it came up with the idea of ​​composing original pieces to accompany the silent films as they run.

They tested the waters at FilmBar in 2011, performing as a score for “The Unknown,” a 1927 horror film starring Lon Chaney as Alonzo the Armless, a circus geek who throws knives at his feet, and Joan Crawford as a carnival girl. his dreams.

As Pete Petrescu, who founded the orchestra as a studio project in 2008, recalls, “We’ve had such a positive response to this premiere, we’ve set a 10-year goal of, ‘Hey, we want to play Orpheum Theater indoors for the next decade.'”

They found success last October, reviving their score to “The Unknown” at the downtown Phoenix theater.

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How to see the RPM Orchestra at the Orpheum

The RPM Orchestra returns to Orpheum on Sunday, May 8, for a live performance accompanying the screening of “Filibus: The Mysterious Air Pirate,” a 1915 silent film directed by Mario Roncoroni and written by Giovanni Bertinetti.

It’s a movie they’ve been wanting to see for a while.

“We were basically just waiting for the day someone would digitally redesign it,” Petrescu says.

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