Steven Severin: Vampyr - Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, Thu 12 Jan
- Neil Cooper
- 1 February 2012
The ex-Banshees bassist delivers a brooding live score to the 1930s horror classic
The man with the flowing white hair walks towards a small table and chair to one side of the Cameo’s big screen. Sporting a long black winter coat and carrying a glass of red wine, the man looks as if he’s stepped in from another, altogether darker age of shadows and light. Especially when juxtaposed against the shiny silver Macbook perched on the table which he sits himself down before. Such a clash of time-zones may be accidental, but it’s the perfect introduction to former Siouxsie and the Banshees bass player Steven Severin’s contemporary live score for Vampyr, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 study in parasitic possession, in which young fogey Allan Grey blank-walks his way into saving the lives of a pair of once-bitten sisters.
Severin’s use of brooding synth shards that ooze in and out provides a delicious counterpoint to Dreyer’s consciously over-egged visual signifiers, which bridge Victorian melodrama and high-end expressionism. Ushered in by bells, a recurring theme for Allan, and even some dance-band jauntiness, Severin’s latest score in his Music For Silents series following treatments of works by Germaine Dulac, Robert Wiene and Jean Cocteau lends even more menace than Wolfgang Zeller’s original in an intensely brooding and at times sepulchral-sounding affair, that’s wholly serious in intent and execution.
Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, Thu 12 Jan.