Silent Film, Live Music

Submitted by urban15 on February 9, 2016 - 3:02pm

Inspired by numerous requests from fans over the years, Austin's Invincible Czars will debut their new score for the 1922 German silent film Nosferatu (dir. F.W. Murnau) at URBAN-15 on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Nosferatu marks the seventh effort for a band that’s increasingly becoming known for its well-crafted original silent film scores. Last year, The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, known for hosting acclaimed silent film accompanists from around the nation, called the Czars' soundtrack for the 1929 Lillian Gish silent classic The Wind—also performed at URBAN-15 in 2014—"as good as any we've seen." 

The band always incorporates classical music into their scores, and this time they've chosen Bela Bartok's Roumanian Folk Dances in a nod to the fictional Count Orlock's home turf, utilizing violin, glockenspiel, organ, flute, bass clarinet, vocals, music box, loops, electric guitar, bass, singing bowl, tambourine and other hand percussion--a sight to behold when performed live by only four players. The highlight of their arrangements is a haunting version of Roumanian Dance IV, which features an otherworldly vocal performance by the band's wind mistress Leila Henley.

Nosferatu is one of the most revered films in the history of cinema. As the world's first vampire movie, it is regarded as the first important horror film--but it was almost erased from the history books when the estate of Bram Stoker sued the filmmakers for copyright infringement and most of the prints of the movie were destroyed. Several survived, and this performance will feature the most completely restored version that exists.

As an homage to the film, a Nosferatu-inspired costume contest will precede the Czars’s performance at 8:30 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite vampire for a chance to win a door prize! Those interested should arrive at URBAN-15 at 8 p.m. to register.

This event is part of URBAN-15’s Sonic Provocations series, which provides a setting for sound artists to showcase original material, taking it out of the laboratory and into the ears of the public. Tickets are $10 at the door or presale at

For more information about the event, contact Marisol Cortez, Events Coordinator at URBAN-15, at 210-736-1500 or

For more about the Invincible Czars, visit or contact Josh Robins at 512-656-0357 or