Neil Brand introduces The Sound of Cinema

Posted on Thu 3 Apr 2014
Neil Brand

We're delighted that Neil Brand, long-term Watershed and Slapstick collaborator, will be here on Sunday to introduce this one-off marathon screening of his popular three-part series The Sound of Cinema - The Music that Made the Movies, made for the BBC, which celebrates the art of the cinema soundtrack.

Brand is a huge fan of film music and, in particular, of the kind of cinema score that makes you "hear what you need to” – altering the effect a film makes by the sounds that accompany it. In The Sound of Cinema he takes us with endearing enthusiasm through the era of the silent movie, accompanied by an orchestra or an organ, through the invention of the “click track” to the moment in 1933 that Max Steiner (once compared to Mahler) changed film history by underscoring King Kong – and the great era of the Hollywood orchestral score was born.

He draws attention to the small things it is easy to miss: the simple sequences of notes that put the viewer on the side of a character (or an ape); the way in which Korngold can use three different themes in one short scene to set the shifting mood of a conversation; the method by which Bernard Hermann can make the score of Vertigo react with the same shock as the audience.

The series is riveting, beautifully illustrated and explained. And when Brand reveals the score of Psycho, with the violin line for the shower scene scattering down the page as sharp as the cuts from the knife, he brings an amazing moment of cinema history to new and exciting life. You can see the live score to Psycho performed at Colston Hall on Thu 10 April.

Throughout this unique screening of the three episodes back-to-back he explores the work of the great film composers and demonstrates their techniques by looking at how the classic orchestral film score emerged and why it's still going strong today. He also uncovers the way film composers would subsequently be challenged by directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. There will be short intervals for you to refuel.

Neil will then introduce seminal silent classic Underground, which he has recently rescored.

Special offer: Buy a combined ticket to The Sound of Cinema and Underground for just £8.00 full / £6.50 concs - to book the combined ticket offers please call Box Office on (0117) 927 5100.