On 6 November a new 60-minute score from Neil Brand for brass band premieres at the Yorkshire Silent Film Festival. Echoes of the North: Four Chapters in Time will be performed by the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, conducted by Ben Palmer, in the lavish setting of the 19th-century Morecambe Winter Gardens; the Band were crowned champions of the 2022 Brass Band Open Championship in October this year. See the trailer here.
It is the first ever original brass band soundtrack written for a silent film. Brand’s music accompanies Echoes of the North; Four Chapters in Time: a specially created film of rarely seen early 20th century archive footage shot around the North of England between 1898 and 1929. It is made up of more than a hundred fragments of archive film to take audiences back to the early 20th century: its industries and rural life, wartimes and festivals, holidays, family excursions and huge, city-wide occasions.
It is produced by Jonny Best for No Dots, and edited by Andy Burns, for Yorkshire Film Archive. Echoes of the North has been created in partnership with Yorkshire Film Archive, North West Film Archive, North East Film Archive, and Archive Film Agency.
Brand says of the project,
"If ever a marriage of two art forms was long overdue, it is this coming together of silent film and brass band music.
The wonderful, resonant images of people going about their lives, work, play and conflict in the first 30 years of the last century spring to life with the timeless beauty of the brass band sound, music that evolves and matches every contrasting mood for us today, just as it could have done when these scenes were shot."
On 20 December the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers premiere The Hound of the Baskervilles, their latest collaboration with Brand, at the Barbican. Scored for chorus, orchestra, and 8 actors, this new adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic mystery stars Mark Gatiss as Sherlock Holmes and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Dr. Watson, with Timothy Brock conducting. Brock also orchestrated the score, as he did with Brand’s earlier acclaimed adaptiations of A Christmas Carol and The Wind in the Willows. The Hound of the Baskervilles was commissioned by the BBC, Barbican Centre, London and Saffron Hall. The concert will be filmed for later broadcast on BBC4.