Last year Neil Brand‘s orchestral score for the silent version of Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail was premiered (and much acclaimed) at Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna in July 2008. Happily there is going to be a further outing for the score, as film and music are to feature at the Barbican in London on 31 October 2010. The BBC Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by Timothy Brock, and tickets can now be booked from the Barbican site. As said before, this is probably the first full orchestral score to be written for a British silent fiction film since the 1920s (The Battle of the Somme, a documentary feature, received the orchestral treatment at the Royal Festival Hall in 2006).
For an extract from the score, photos of the Bologna screening, and extracts from reviews, see the Blackmail page on Neil’s personal site.
And there’s more. As regular readers will know, Neil is progressively building up a further reputation as a radio dramatist, and on 27 and 28 May (each at 14:15) BBC Radio 4 will be broadcasting Waves Breaking on a Shore, a two-part play about early cinema, Jewish culture, nationalism and radical politics in London’s East End, co-written by Neil and Michael Eaton. The two parts will be broadcast in the Afternoon Play slot and will be able to be heard live on the Radio 4 site and – one trusts – for a week thereafter on iPlayer (if you are in the UK).
I’ve read it and I warmly recommend it (and if it ends up mentioning Walter Gibbons’ Phono-Bio-Tableaux, then I contributed three words to it as well).