For Baby Peggy was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0421: Marquee Ghosts
The Assignment: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night?
I made the decision to slightly alter the assignment for this week. As an avid lover of silent films I have spent the past decade traveling to upstate New York on a yearly basis to attend a film festival of silent movies and obscure films from the 1930s. The assignment of discarded movie theaters in the middle of the night got me thinking about the silent movies I so love, made at a time when the new media was figuring itself out.
We are at a time now when there are only three people living today who were actually in a silent movie during that era – Mildred Kornman, Billy Watson, and Peggy-Jean Montgomery, better known as Baby Peggy. At the time she was as famous as Jackie Coogan, and having been in nearly 150 shorts was considered a precursor to Shirley Temple. In 2016, at the age of 98, she was inducted into the Classic Film Hall of Fame.
So this piece was written with her in mind, with the thoughts of the music that accompanied the films in those theaters that might still be ringing for those who can hear it.
For Baby Peggy was written for two Vibraphones, Violin and Viola.