Fresh off his Helen Hayes Award win for Outstanding Sound Design, percussionist and composer Tom Teasley will perform his original soundtrack live to complement screenings of the classic German horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Tickets are $25-$55 and can be purchased online at www.ConstellationTheatre.org or over the phone by calling 202-204-7741.
Directed by Robert Wiene, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari follows a young man named Francis and his encounter with the eponymous doctor, who has hypnotized Cesare, a somnambulist or sleepwalker, to emerge from a coffin-like cabinet and offer foreboding prophecies. What follows is a series of escalating kidnappings and murders involving the deranged Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, culminating in a shocking twist. Described by film critic Roger Ebert as “the first true horror film,” Dr. Caligari’s distorted visual aesthetic, suspenseful narrative structure, and haunting performances distinguish it as a hallmark of German expressionist cinema.
Constellation Theatre’s presentation of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari will be an immersive event for audiences as well as a showcase for the talents of internationally acclaimed musician Tom Teasley. Combining ancient instruments with digital technology, Teasley’s original score will interplay with the film and its bold visual style. For the first time, Teasley will use an electronic analog synthesis reminiscent of twentieth-century French composer Edgar Varèse, also known as “The Father of Electronic Music.” Teasley will also reflect the angular optics of the film using odd meter and additive rhythms inspired by both Igor Stravinsky and Middle Eastern traditions. Lastly, in keeping with Tom’s interest in current sounds, he will borrow contemporary urban rhythmic language from fellow Washington D.C. native DJ Spooky, who has also created an alternative score to the same film.
Tom Teasley maintains a unique career as a multi-instrumentalist, percussionist, composer and collaborator, and frequently tours the world performing and teaching as a Cultural Envoy for the State Department. He has received five Helen Hayes Nominations and three Awards for his work with Constellation including: Crazyface, The Ramayana, The Green Bird, The Love of the Nightingale, The Fire and The Rain, and Journey to the West. A three-time recipient of a Fulbright-Hayes grant for performances in the Middle East, Teasley has collaborated with indigenous musicians and has performed in Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank and Jerusalem. Teasley has won the Washington Area Music Award for World Music Instrumentalist of the Year for four years running. To learn more about Teasley and his work, please visit www.tomteasley.com.