Filmed in 1916, the silent movie Deschutes Driftwood will be given new life by composer Dr. Elena Ruehr in our ROCO String Quartet Concert on February 23rd. The film follows the life of a traveling a hobo by the name of Weak Knees Walter, who travels the rails along the Deschutes River in Oregon. The score was commissioned by the National Film Preservation Foundation which restores “orphaned” early films, and with the help of Elena Ruher , the film has been given a new vitality. Inspired by Railroad songs performed in the early folk tradition, Ruher’s composition mirrors both the churning sounds of the railroad and also the melodies of the people who rode them. Also featured is the poetry of Berton Braley, whose words are featured in the film, and which Ruher has transformed into a folk ballad. This score will be featured in the DVD of the film, but this will be a unique opportunity to hear the score performed live along with a screening of the movie.
Elena Ruher’s string quartet compositions have been featured by the Cypress, Biava, Borromeo, Lark, ROCO, and Shanghai String Quartets, and will have a new CD released in April 2012 of her complete works for chorus and orchestra, featuring the Trinity Choir under the direction of conductor Julian Wachner. Dr. Ruehr was composer-in-residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project from 2000 – 2005 who premiered her orchestral works Ladder to the Moon and Sky Above Clouds as well as her acclaimed opera Toussaint Before the Spirits.
Dr. Ruher will be available after the concert for a Q&A session. Don’t miss it! For more information, click here.