© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

The Sounds Of Silence, Invincibly Yours

A classic silent film will soon be playing in San Antonio, but this version will have a twist. The twist was provided by the band the Invincible Czars.

(To hear Invincible Czars, hit "listen” above)

So what makes them so invincible?

“Ha! Good question," says founder Josh Robbins. "Well, we seem to keep going no matter what gets thrown at us. The band has existed for 12 years.”

And throughout those dozen years, they’ve been making heady, thoughtful, complicated music. And the background music in this piece is something they wrote for a once silent film, ‘The Wind’ — a 1928 romantic drama.

“It’s a really good one. It stars Lillian Gish and is set in Sweetwater, Texas.”

This is how it works: They set up as a band on a stage, and there’s a screen to the side.

“Yeah, from place to place, sometimes we’re right below the screen, sometimes we’re [at the] back, with the audience looking at the screen.”

The silent film plays, and they play music alongside, to breathe audio life into it.

“It’s quite a balance looking at the sheet music and looking at the screen.”

The Czars are blowing into town to do the live sound for The Wind this Saturday, at 8 p.m., at Urban 15’s headquarters on South Presa.

“’The Wind’ is our sixth [film], so we’ve done several.”

But Invincible Czars don’t just do sound tracks for silent movies.

“We’ve always mixed originals with music by other people. We play [the] ‘1812 Overture,’ at Christmas time we play ‘The Nutcracker,’ which, for better or worse, is what we’ve become known for.”

For more on the Invincible Czars, go here.

For more on their Urban-15 event, go here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii