Le Locataire Diabolique (2009)

For Chamber Orchestra
Duration: 6 minutes

This piece was written for my senior piano recital at Lawrence University. I wanted to write a piece to accompany a film, so I searched through several silent films and chose “Le Locataire Diabolique” by George Melies. The film is from 1909 and its translation means the Diabolical Tennant. It is about a tennant who seems friendly enough at first, but then proceeds to pull an endless amount of things from his tiny bag, even pulling out his family from his impossibly small suitcase. Then, at the end of the month, when his rent is due, the tennant can’t pay, so he quickly packs everything back into his tiny suitcase and runs off, leaving a surprise for the landlord and the police.

I chose this piece because I thought it was funny and clever. I thought of a good way to use music for the story and began writing. I created a theme for the tennant, with changing moods for the different environment changes. When the tennant brings his family out of the suitcase, the family sits down for a pleasant dinner. I created a lyrical line to create a warm feeling of family. It lasts until the landlord comes in and is surprised and scared by everything that is suddenly in the formerly empty apartment, at which point the tennant’s magical and devious theme returns.