Part 7 of my 7-part series (read part 6), about Randy Avers.  Randy is one half of the fabulous duo, Les Frères Méduses, who are writing and performing the original, live film score for us that will be performed on June 22nd to open our summer series.  Info here.

When the Alamo’s Tim League asked me about creating an original film score for one of his favorite silent films (“The Unknown,” 1927, Dir. Tod Browning), I knew that no other duo on the planet was more perfect for the task than Randy (who is based now in Norway) and his amazing French duo partner Benoît Albert.  Randy and I went to college together and I wanted to share a few stories.

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After Oberlin, Randy went to Paris Conservatory.  He learned French and learned to live very much as a European.  In my years of booking acts in Austin, there have been many times when it was Randy’s ears on the ground in Europe that helped me to identify (and still do) the greatest talent in far-off places.

He returned to the States for a Masters at University of Arizona, and spent time in Pennsylvania while his brilliant, Norwegian, saxophone-playing wife Line, completed a Doctorate there in Speech Pathology (they had met in Paris).  And then they settled back in Norway, where they are still based, have two lovely children, and she practices Speech Pathology while Randy works his magic on the guitar.  Check out his website to learn more.

He did, of course, also strike up an amazing friendship and collaboration with the immensely talented French guitarist and composer Benoît Albert to form Les Frères Méduses.  The reason I’ve shared these stories being, of course, that the two of them are writing, and will perform, the film score that will accompany the 1927 silent film masterpiece “The Unknown,” starring Lon Chaney Sr. and Joan Crawford, on June 22nd right here in Austin!  Info on that here.

I, on the other hand, came to Austin, Texas.  I’m not sure Randy knows this, but he’s actually one of the main reasons why.  As we neared the end of our time at Oberlin, and graduate school was imminent, I distinctly remember him saying to me: “Matt, I’m heading to Paris next year, but if I were to stay in the US there is only one place I’d study: The University of Texas at Austin with Adam Holzman."

I knew of UT and of Adam, of course, but as an upstate New York vegetarian who once received the advice: “You know, Matt, they eat people like you in Texas,” I hadn’t planned on making Texas my next home (for the next 15 years)!  But with Randy’s advice ringing in my ears, I applied to UT, along with all the best-known programs that year, and the great Adam Holzman took care of whatever convincing was left to be done.  One of the best choices of my life!

Thank you Randy, I cannot wait to hear and see what you and Benoît have cooked up for us this June!