CLARK WILSON is one of the most prominent and recognized scorers of silent photo-plays in America today. He works exclusively with the organ in developing accurate and historic musical accompaniments as they were performed in major picture palaces during the heyday of the silent film.
Clark was personally influenced by, and subsequently became close friends with, Chicago-area organist John Muri, who was an original master of picture accompaniment and practiced his art well into the 1980s. His (and Wilson’s) historic style was that of utilizing fine music as a basis for developing a score of musical value. If the original score is no longer extant, a new one is prepared from the organist’s library and is normally transferred to a cue sheet – somewhat of a “road map” of suggested themes and notated screen actions that keep the organist on course. Nothing is left to chance and wholesale improvisation is not relied upon. Further, the musical style of the time remains intact; no attempt is made to distract from the picture by using themes or styles that entered the musical scene years later.
Wilson began his scoring career in 1980 and has successfully toured North America with hundreds of film presentations at schools and universities, performing arts centers, theaters, film festivals, and conventions. He is the organist of choice for many of the American Theatre Organ Society’s international convention silent film presentations, and he has scored pictures for Kino International for public DVD release.
Clark has been organ conservator and Resident Organist at the Ohio Theatre for the Columbus Associate for the Performing Arts since 1992 and has given performances at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, Royce Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has led courses in theater organ styling and silent film accompaniment at the Indiana University School of Music. He has been named an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma, teaching courses in silent picture scoring and the history of the American theater organ.
Wilson was presented with the ATOS Organist of the Year award in 1998. An acclaimed organ technician and consultant, he has also been professionally involved with over 200 pipe organ installations to date and has earned the ATOS Technician of Merit award, the only person to receive both ATOS distinctions.