How Kieran is making movie magic – adding stunning new soundtracks to classic comedy films

Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill Jr
28 Aug 2019 @ 2.36 pm
| Entertainment

‘Kieran White’s score, and his live accompaniment, raises an already almost perfect film to fresh heights.’

So said Little Voice and Brassed Off director Mark Herman. And he knows a thing or two about movies.

Mark was reviewing Kieran’s all-new musical score for classic Buster Keaton comedy The General, which he premiered in 2013.

Now he’s written a score for another Buster Keaton belter, Steamboat Bill, Jr – and he’s presenting both at Joseph Rowntree Theatre next month.

Creating a soundtrack for a silent film brings both challenges and rewards. We asked Kieran about music, movies and belly laughs…


King threatens to consign Bill's boat to the scrapyard

Posted by Breaking the Silents on Wednesday, 12 September 2018

There are no upcoming events at this time.
Two performances @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm

‘A wonderful day out’

Kieran at the keyboard
Why did you choose piano?
I was very inspired by my grandfather. He was a superb pianist and made the most complex music sound effortless. Also, ever since a very early age, I’ve been fascinated by puzzles (particularly chess). Watching Pop play was like sitting inside a gigantic engine – seeing gears mesh, listening to the sound of tiny hammers. Music chose me!

Why would someone want to go to see Buster Keaton movies in 2019?
We live in an instant world. A world governed by consumerism & technology. What we want we can get just by clicking a mouse. We have forgotten how to slow down. How to breathe. Buster takes us back to a time when time itself was a different thing entirely. A time when moments were savoured rather than squandered.

How long did it take to write your scores?
The General? Eleven days. Steamboat – a little longer…

Who do you think will make up the audience?
Largely middle age and older, but it appeals to anyone with a love of history, a nostalgia for days of yore and an unfettered imagination.

Why did you choose the Joseph Rowntree Theatre?
It is such a unique warm intimate theatre that has such history & has a special atmosphere created by its army of volunteers. I feel the ushers in immaculate attire who adore the theatre will help recreate the 1920s feel.

What do you hope the audience will get from these productions?
A wonderful day out for all the family. A lot of belly laughs. An appreciation of Buster’s incredible athleticism and craftmanship but most of all a reawakening of that state of wonderment that children have but never know they have.

What are your hopes for Breaking The Silents?
I think what I do is unique. Ultimately, I’d love to perform all over the world.