Friday, April 13, 2012

Felix Makes Meowsic

From this issue of film-specialized trade magazine Cinéa published in the dawn of talking features, Dec 1st, 1929, there's an article about the recent installment of sound recording studios next to the Pathé studios in Joinville-le-Pont, near Paris, courtesy of RCA. It also mentions that 8,500 US theaters out of roughly 20,000 would be equipped with sound material within the end of the year - this is quick considering that the first talkie was released a mere two years ago.
But the most interesting anecdote is the caption to the above illustration: we learn that the music and sound effects for the forthcoming Felix cartoons would be provided namely by Bernard Altschuler's Orchestra and Harry Edison, who according to this article from the Pittsburgh Press, dated Jul 13th, 1929 is a drummer who has been performing sound effects for various NBC programs.
A quick Google search has yielded only one Bernard Altschuler in the musical field so far: he was the younger brother of Modest Altschuler, founder of the Russian Symphony Orchestra of New York, and was a cellist there. He later wound up performing at NBC Radio. (source)
I cannot guarantee he is the one providing the soundtracks for the later Felixes, so let me know if I have been citing a namesake.