Violins of Violence

The world's most imitated movie sound effect — the "stab" screech from the shower scene in Psycho — wasn't made by foley artists, synthesizers, or the universe sucking its breath in sharply. Instead, the quintessential sound of meaningless, gory death and sheer violent insanity was made by a symphony's string section. Bernard Herrman's score is unknown to most thrillergoers, but without it, how would anyone be scared of strangers, or old houses, or Mother, or psychos? Thank you, Mr. Herrmann. At Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho with the San Francisco Symphony, a live, top-of-the-line rendition of the composition accompanies a screening of the classic frightfest. Will it be even scarier than if you were at home with your HD and your bangin' sound system? Short answer: yes. Long answer: It's the 50th anniversary of the Hitch signature movie, your speakers can't deliver what conductor Donato Cabrera can, and "the big screen" means "bigger than will fit into any apartment in the Bay Area."
Sat., July 17, 8 p.m., 2010

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