Silent Film Accompaniment | Unpianistique Media | Makia Matsumura

Silent Film Accompaniment

In 2003, Makia was introduced to improvisational solo piano accompaniment for classic silent films and immediately fell in love with the art. In 2007, she was selected as one of the two “aspirant pianists” to attend the 2007 Pordenone Masterclasses, a renowned program “to share the experience and techniques of the festival’s resident musicians with new, young aspirants in the art of film improvisation”, part of the 26th Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy. As an “aspirant”, she was featured in an interview aired as part of BBC World Service’s “On Screen”.

In 2008, she has made a US debut as a silent film pianist at the Cinefest in Syracuse, NY, where she has been added to their roster of resident accompanists, and also performed at the New York Public Library’s renowned Meet the Music Makers series at the Donnell Media Center. In 2009, she became as the first Japanese pianist to accompany the official screening of the silent films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Since then, she has been invited to perform at major US film institutions such as the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Film Forum, and the Brooklyn Public Library in New York City, as well as the Yale University in New Haven, CT, the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY and the American Film Institute in Silver Spring, MD.

Outside of the US, she made her Canadian debut at the Revue Cinema in Toronto, Canada, in 2013, and continues to play at the National Film Center at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan) on a regular basis. She also appeared at the Kyoto Historica International Film Festival as well as at the Jimbocho Theatre in Tokyo.

In addition to the live accompaniment at screening events, she provides musical scores for DVD releases of silent films, most recently for “The Scar of Shame”, part of the highly-acclaimed 5-disc setPioneers of African-American Cinema” (hailed as “there has never been a more significant video release” by the New York Times), released from Kino Lorber International, which is currently available on Netflix.

(as of August 2017)