Sounds for Silence: An Interview with Dos Noisemakers

Alex Sergay and Rich Hancuff of Dos Noisemakers will provide live music for the silent films “Her Fractured Voice,” “His Neglected Wife,” and “Flesh and Spirit.”

If you were worried about spending your Friday evening in total silence, never fear! Dos Noisemakers are here! The duo will provide musical accompaniment for Friday night’s screening of Her Fractured Voice, His Neglected Wife, and Flesh and Spirit.

Richard Hancuff, uno of the Dos Noisemakers, said their accompaniment adds authenticity and fun to the silent film experience, “One thing live music does is recreate the experience of the silent films as they were originally shown.”

With no scores to base their music upon, Hancuff and his partner Alex Sergay have created the score from scratch by altering music of the time period.

“We have been looking at older traditional music from the 1920’s through 1940’s as well as some tunes that were written by a member of Alex’s band in Michigan. One song we’ve been working on is Fats Waller’s ‘Jitterbug Waltz,’” Hancuff said, “We’re working on a new experience with these films.”

Sergay researched musicians of the time to inform the duo’s musical choices. “I found the musicians would play pretty much anything they could get their hands on,” he said.

Although the films are silent, these two musicians have tried to create a score that will let the films speak for themselves and enhance the audience’s experience. “You want the music to help set the mood, but you don’t want people to notice the music too much or have it distract from the film itself,” Hancuff said.

Sergay agreed, adding, “Live music always brings excitement to an event.”

Sergay in particular brings some accompaniment experience to the event. He once provided the music for Circus Opus, a mime, acrobatics and fire twirling show. “I started as a musician playing sound effects and music for Gerry the Fool, a mime popular in Detroit back in the 80’s.”

Hancuff and Sergay have worked together in the past, but are collaborating on a musical project for the first time. They will debut as Dos Noisemakers at Friday’s screening and play their own unique music to support our three silent films. “We hope we help the audience experience a silent movie much in the same way audiences did when these movies were made,” Sergay said, “It’s been fun working on these songs, it should be a good show.”

With the combination of three films and the debut of Dos Noisemakers, if you love film, music, or anything 1920s, you certainly don’t want to miss Flesh and Spirit tonight at 6 in the Burke Auditorium at King’s College!

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