The first full-length feature project of pantheon Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, Strike (1924) is a government-commissioned celebration of the unrealized 1905 Bolshevik revolution. The story is set in motion by a series of outrages and humiliations perpetrated on the workers of a metalworks plant. The Czarist regime is unsympathetic to the workers, characteristically helping the plant owners to subjugate the hapless victims. Finally, the workers revolt, staging an all-out strike. Strike is where Eisenstein's theory of "the montage of shocks" was given its first major workout. The R&P MPO's original score for Strike is where the group's full-fledged orchestral sound is given its first major workout. Brooding strings and tympanic percussion conjure an ominous mood, eventually propelling the orchestra into brass motifs both heroic and violent as workers and authorities clash on screen. The Strike score is the Rats & People's most challenging and audacious work yet. Eisenstein's challenging and audacious film deserves no less.

Last year I had the immense pleasure of catching the band Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra at Off Broadway performing the soundtrack live to the Buster Keaton film "Go West". It was the most memorable local show I attended last year and still leaves me in wonderment of how amazing the band not only performed but sounded playing in the upper level of Off Broadway while the film was shown on center stage. The attention and timing needed to accomplish something like this should not be taken lightly.

-52nd City on the R&P MPO

Artwork by Ronald Weaver:

Strike art

Other scores: