Review: In The Nursery – The Fall of the House of Usher
Review of In The Nursery’s score to The Fall of the House of Usher.
What we now call ‘silent’ films were, back in the day, nothing of the kind. They invariably had a musical accompaniment, from the humblest of church halls with a piano, to the larger cinemas with an organ or even a small orchestra. So in providing music to accompany the film ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’, Sheffield band In The Nursery have done nothing that wasn’t intended all along. You could be forgiven for not having seen the film, regarded as it is as the first true Gothic horror film, as it was released almost 100 years ago, when it was the scariest film anyone had ever seen. Hopefully, this new soundtrack will result in it being shown more widely and appreciated by a new audience. The score reflects the spooky, haunting, and stark images of Jean Epstein and Louis Bunuel’s film, and although it can never be as effective as the visuals and score combined, this album does stand up as a listening experience on its own. Interestingly, Klive and Nigel Humberstone have not just used electronic instrumentation here, they play unusual, traditional instruments such as a shruti box and a sansula (and full marks if you know what they are without resorting to Google images). This is the eighth release on their Optical Music label of new scores for classic silent films, and is a welcome new addition to the series.