Silent cinema pianist Gerhard Gruber plays at Hobart's State Cinema festival
By Aneeta Bhole
Posted Thu 23 Feb 2017 at 8:36pm
Piano accompanist Gerhard Gruber takes a highly improvisational approach to providing the music.(ABC News: Aneeta Bhole)
For Austrian pianist, Gerhard Gruber, motion and emotion are two words in the English language that resonate with him most.
The 65-year-old pianist will bring these two elements together at the fourth instalment of Hobart's Silent Film Festival hosted by the State Cinema over the weekend.
Mr Gruber, who has been a composer and accompanist for silent films for more than 25 years, said playing alongside a movie with no sound is a "very intimate, ever-changing and dynamic experience" for all involved.
"People don't know what they're expecting, but when they've seen a silent film they usually say 'it's great' and they always come back for more," he said.
As a trained music teacher, Mr Gruber explained it isn't just the action on the screen he draws inspiration from, but also the emotion of the audience.
He said he does not use sheet music or go in with a pre-conceived idea of what he will play.
"It's different every time. I never prepare with my instrument. I might watch the movie beforehand but I never play alongside it until the night," he said.
As a result, "though the movie is always the same, the feeling of the evening changes every time".