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SCV In the Movies | Wagon Tracks (1919)

Uploaded 06/14/2019

Wagon Tracks (1919)

Bill and E.J. are showing off one of William S. Hart’s famous silent movies, “Wagon Tracks” as featured in 2017’s Silents under the Stars event, with accompaniment from Ray Lowe.

Originally released 100 years ago, “Wagon Tracks” is an exciting story of a desert wagon train guide, played by Bill Hart, who finds himself internally conflicted when his younger brother is murdered. Many of Hart’s movie plot lines contain oft-used conventions, such as Hart as the bad boy turned good, converted by love at first sight. Without revealing plot spoilers, “Wagon Tracks” defies many of these conventions.

The soundtrack composer is Ray Lowe, a resident of the San Fernando Valley, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music from UCLA but makes his living as commercial real estate lender for Wells Fargo. Having no professional ambitions in music, Ray uses his musical abilities in a variety of charitable and volunteer settings. Ray has been composing and performing silent movie soundtracks for Friends of Hart Park for over twelve years, ever since his then-college age daughter was a Hart Park intern.

The soundtrack added to this release of “Wagon Tracks” is the actual live recording performed by Ray at the 2017 Silents Under The Stars fund raiser. It contains all of the glitches, mistakes, and other thrills of a live performance. The one-man live performance constrains the music composition to that which can be played in real time on two synthesizers with two hands and two feet. Like most of Ray’s soundtracks, this one is 100% original material, but the main theme was inspired by “Pilgrim”, a hymn tune published in the 1835 Southern Harmony hymnal.