What a fun shoot day. It was a major thrill playing Vitali’s “Chaconne in G Minor” as the film’s lead, Ethan Hawke (as Nikola Tesla), enters the Alta Vista Hotel. It was quite a challenging shot, as I was to walk behind Ethan and play while fighting my way through extras. Ten years of Classical training as a kid, but I never once had to play the Violin while walking.
I selected the “Chaconne” as it seemed tonally correct and period specific. Written in the 1700s, it didn’t become popularized until the 1840s in Europe. As the film takes place in the 1890s in Colorado, Tesla’s heyday, it is likely that the piece had made its way to The States by then, and might be something a violinist of the time would play. Incidentally, Director Michael Almereyda ended up using the song in the soundtrack as well. It was a great feeling to have my contribution included.