Coming soon: The first CD by The Anvil Orchestra! 

Cosmic Cowboy Records will release “THE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR” (directed by Dziga Vertov). The Anvil Orchestra composed and recorded the score last October, then premiered it at the International Documentary Festival Festival in Amsterdam in November.
“A Musical Triumph!” – Nikolai Izvolov, director of restoration.

Recent PRESS

Business Docs’ IDFA Stage Review (Nov.21, 2021, Amsterdam):
“An excellent live score by The Anvil Orchestra, alternately martial and mournful, with rousing percussion, intimate piano and harmonica, and a sorrowful musical saw, did much to heighten the drama, and also to ease the audience past the less captivating parts of the movie.”

Nikolai Izvolov, film archivist and preservationist for “The History of the Civil War” (Nov.21, 2021)”
“A Musical Triumph!”

Here is a brief video of our performance at IDFA in Amsterdam, Nov.20, 2022:

The Anvil Orchestra Forms 2021;

Guilford, Vermont (June 7, 2021) – Formed in May 2021, The Anvil Orchestra is a silent film-accompanying ensemble featuring two members of the world-renowned Alloy Orchestra – Terry Donahue (Concussion Ensemble, Zero Zero) on drums, percussion, and accordion, and Roger Clark Miller (Mission of Burma, Trinary System) on keyboard/synthesizer. Boston percussionist Lawrence Dersch will join The Anvil Orchestra for films that require a larger percussive sound.

The Anvil Orchestra plays percussion-driven original scores to silent classics utilizing unusual sound sources as well as drums, accordion, musical saw, electronics, and orchestral keyboards.

As members of Alloy Orchestra, Donahue and Miller have performed at The Pordenone Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy; The Academy of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, California; The Louvre in Paris; The Lincoln Center in New York City; The San Francisco Silent Film Festival in California; and in many other theaters and festivals. Miller and Dersch have also toured Europe extensively in the post-punk rock band Mission of Burma and AKA/COD. They have over twenty DVD/Blu-Ray releases to their name on labels such as KINO Lorber, Criterion, Image Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Flicker Alley.

The Anvil Orchestra’s inaugural engagement was a virtual concert (COVID) of the silent film classic, METROPOLIS for the SNF Nostros Festival in Athens, Greece on August 27, 2021. Dersh will also be featured.

For METROPOLIS, the powerful drumming combined with full orchestral sounds matches the epic scenes that run throughout the film. For the more intimate moments, they pull back to harp and accordion.

“Pop Culture World News,” wrote the following about the North American premiere of METROPOLIS in Los Angeles in 2010: “When the film ended and the musicians took a bow, the entire packed house of 1,100 festival-goers was on its feet applauding and screaming.”

For more information about The Anvil Orchestra, visit their website at

Photo: Joanne Kaliontzis