On 10 June at Glasgow’s City Halls Ben Palmer conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in a live performance of his score for Harold Lloyd’s silent Safety Last! Davis’ 74-minute score has received over one hundred performances worldwide, including at the Komische Oper (Berlin), Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Teatro Verdi (Florence), BOZAR (Brussels), and has been broadcast on the UK’s Channel Four. It has previously been paired in performance with Davis' score for another Lloyd’s classic An Eastern Westerner.
The concert celebrates the centenary of Lloyd’s iconic romantic comedy. Inspired by the 'human fly' phenomenon of the period when men climbed skyscrapers unaided as publicity stunts, Lloyd plays the Boy, who comes to the big city and wins his fortune and his girl. It contains one of the most striking shots in cinematic history, when Lloyd’s character dangles precariously from a clockface above the New York City traffic.
Davis’ 22-player orchestration is based on the line-up of the Paul Whiteman Band and is inspired by the popular music of the Twenties; it is one over fifty silent movies Davis has scored, which include Douglas Fairbanks’ The Thief of Baghdad, Chaplin’s The Adventurer, and Abel Gance’s epic Napoleon.
On 7 July Débora Waldman conducts Davis’ score for Buster Keaton classic The General (1927) l'Orchestre national Avignon-Provence. On 1 August the City Light Chamber Orchestra perform One Week (1920), another Buster Keaton soundtrack by Davis (1987), at Klosters Music Festival, as well as 2003 his score for Charlie Chaplin’s The Rink (1916). Davis conducted both scores with longstanding collaborators Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg in March this year.