The film 4 Devils was released in 1928 by Fox Film Corporation. Directed by F.W Murnau (Sunrise, Nosferatu), the circus-themed melodrama was a full-fledged Hollywood production of the late silent era. After its release, the film disappeared, and remains 'lost' to this day.
85 years later, composer Robert Stillman, writer/printmaker Anna Fewster, and bookbinder Sarah Bryant conjure 4 Devils back into existence with 'Leap of Death', a limited edition bookwork/LP that resurrects the lost film as 'imaginary fragments' of original music, image and text.
Drawing inspiration from existing 4 Devils archive materials such as scripts, production stills, and promotional materials, as well as from Les Quatre Diables, the 1890 Herman Bang novella upon which the film script was based, Stillman, Fewster, and Bryant's work reconstitutes the 4 Devils as an impressionistic 'atmosphere' of black-and-white trace monotype images, letterpress text, and through composed music, inviting an interpretive, non-linear experience of Murnau's story-world.
The bookwork/LP was created as a limited edition of 50 numbered copies, each consisting of one vinyl LP, six booklets, and three posters, collected in an orange clothbound enclosure.
The work also exists in digital form as the website www.robertstillman.com/leapofdeath
, and is performed live by Robert Stillman and the Archaic Future Players as a 44-minute musical score with projections.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
released 28 September 2014
Robert Stillman: composition and tenor saxophone
Nick Malcolm: Trumpet
Magnus Dearness: Trombone
Theon Cross: Tuba
Kit Downes: Organ
Sean Carpio: Drums
Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.