Institute of Incoherent Cinematography

Silent films set to a background of live music bring culture for the China Tour


Located in the former Hong’en Daoist Temple in the heart of the old city, the Zajia Lab has become an epicenter of Beijing cultural life. In the past several months, it has welcomed some of Beijing’s most respected musicians and documentary filmmakers to the stage, so it was hardly surprising that the Institute of Incoherent Cinematography (IOIC) settled on the Zajia venue for its new China Tour.

Based in Zurich, the IOIC aims to rekindle interest in silent movies by screening them with live musical accompaniments. So far, the Institute has shown around 40 silent science fiction films made between 1895-1929, with more than 75 musicians from varied musical backgrounds lending their unique harmonic talents to the task. For three nights this Fall, 10 Swiss and five Chinese musicians will take to the stage in the small wooden hall, playing their own scores to classic silent flicks like “Le Voyage Dans La Lune” and “Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde.”


Aside from cultural exchange, IOIC cultivates musical cross-pollination by inviting players from vastly different genres: IOKOI‘s classic combination of voice and drums, for example, comes in stark contrast to more experimental sounds Tim & Puma Mimi, whose soundtrack for “Dr. Pickle and Mr. Pride” included voice modulation and a wired cucumber.

On 26 and 27 September, IOIC will wrap-up the China Tour at Zajia with a two day concert featuring Swiss and Chinese musicians. To see the complete line-up, visit IOIC’s Facebook page.