After receiving critical acclaim for his appearances on BBC4's Sound of Cinema, Sound of Song, Sound of Musicals and Sound of Movie Musicals as well as Radio 4’s Film Programme, Neil Brand, the ‘doyen of silent film pianists’ is proud to present his own critically acclaimed show. The Silent Pianist Speaks is one of most unique and memorable shows you will see. It has left both audiences and critics around the world in far from silent awe of the great filmmakers of the Silent Era and the magic of the accompanists who breathed life and sound into their work.
Neil uses clips from some of the greatest moments in silent cinema to illustrate his 30 year career and the special place of music with silent film.
“A RICHLY DIVERTING HOUR OF ENTERTAINMENT - BRAND SHOULD BREAK HIS SILENCE MORE OFTEN” Metro
From the earliest, earthiest comedies and thrillers, through a silent cine-verité classic scripted by a young Billy Wilder which the audience gets to score, to the glories of Hollywood glamour and the sublime Laurel and Hardy, Neil provides improv accompaniment and laconic commentary on everything from deep focus to his own live cinema disasters. As well as taking a sidelong glance at his own globe-trotting 30-year career he investigates how music works with film by inviting the audience to score a love scene and culminates by accompanying a clip ‘sight unseen’ whilst simultaneously describing his reactions to it. The result is a hilarious, sharp and ultimately moving show about cinema and music which pays tribute to the musicians of the silent era through the observations of one the world’s greatest and most entertaining pianists.
“BRAND'S IMPROVISED PIANO PLAYING ELEVATES SILENT MOVIES FROM CRUDE SLAPSTICK TO SUBTLE BALLET” The Guardian
Having trained originally as an actor, Neil has been accompanying silent films for over 30 years performing regularly at the NFT on London's south bank and film festivals and special events throughout the world. He combines the disciplines of composer, writer and performer in a unique way, creating work in cinemas, theatres, concert halls, radio and TV. He is a Fellow of Aberystwyth University, Visiting Professor of the Royal Academy of Music, BASCA Gold Badge winner and considered one of the finest improvising silent film pianists in the world.
‘BRAND'S SKILL AND CHARISMA AS A PERFORMER ARE UNQUESTIONABLE.’ – Three Weeks
‘THIS IS A SHOW WHICH IS NEVER EVER DULL AND YOU ARE IN THE COMPANY OF A MASTER OF ART AND TECHNIQUE.’ - one4review
‘WHETHER YOUR INTEREST IS MUSICAL, HISTORICAL, FILMOGRAPHIC, OR NONE OF THE ABOVE, NEIL BRAND IS CERTAINLY WORTH YOUR TIME’ - Edinburgh Guide
Thursday 3 October 2019