Performers & Speakers 2017

Photo of Frank Bockius copyright Alex Jung

Frank Bockius

The Hands of Orlac, Chicago

Frank is a versatile percussionist. He is versed in medieval, jazz and Latin music styles and performs for dance, theatre and his own bands. Twenty years ago Günter Buchwald asked Frank to join his silent movie music company and since then they have worked together in Kyoto, Pordenone and San Francisco. Frank has gone on to collaborate with many of the world's finest silent film musicians.

Photo of Neil Brand copyright Alex Hewitt

Neil Brand

Jeely Jar, Platform Reels

Neil is one of the UK's most established silent film accompanists, composers, writers and broadcasters. His achievements are too extensive to list, but recent work includes a new orchestral score for Fairbanks's 'Robin Hood', a highly-acclaimed Radio 4 adaptation of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde', and writing and presenting the new BBC Four series 'Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand'.

Photo of Günter Buchwald

Günter Buchwald

Hands of Orlac, The Informer

Conductor, composer, pianist, and violinist Günter Buchwald has accompanied silent films for nearly 40 years with a repertoire of more than three thousand titles and has conducted orchestras worldwide. He is founder of the Silent Movie Music Company and is musical director of Bristol's Slapstick Silent Film Festival in England.

Photo of Filmorchestra The Sprockets

Filmorchestra The Sprockets

The Patsy, Speakeasy

Daphne Balvers/Soprano Sax, Frido ter Beek/Baritone & Altsax, Marco Ludemann/Mandolin/Banjo/Guitars, Jasper Somsen/Double Bass, Rombout Stoffers/Percussion & Accordion, Maud Nelissen/Piano & Music and Arrangements. Dutch pianist and composer Maud Nelissen writes and orchestrates for silent film. Maud has gathered 5 inspiring musicians around her. Together they form Filmorchestra The Sprockets. The Sprockets have touched the public through their enthusiastic and virtuoso performances in the past years. Their shows are celebrations for audiences of all ages.

Photo of Christian Ferlaino

Christian Ferlaino


Italian-born saxophonist, improviser, composer and ethnomusicologist Christian Ferlaino focuses on the intersection between composition and improvisation. His recent work focuses on the use of sound materials of Calabrian folk music, his birthplace in the South of Italy, in a contemporary jazz and improvised music realm.

Photo of Jane Gardner and Co

Jane Gardner and Co

The Grub Stake

Acclaimed composer/pianist Jane Gardner has delighted many a silent cinema audience with her original and sympathetic accompaniments. She has performed at HippFest since 2012 with regular collaborator, percussionist Hazel Morrison to 'Earth', 'Dragnet Girl', 'The Goose Woman', and 'The Black Pirate' as well as 'Jeely Jar' comedy screenings. Often the pair team up with other musicians and this Festival they are joined by Beth Morrison on accordion and Nico Bruce on bass.

Photo of Stephen Horne

Stephen Horne

The Informer, Chicago

Stephen first started accompanying silent films at BFI Southbank over 25 years ago. He has recorded music for several DVD releases and regularly plays at major International Festivals. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates flute, accordion and keyboards into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. Stephen's accompaniment to 'Stella Dallas' at last year's Festival was one of the 2016 winners in the Silent London poll.

Photo of R.M. Hubbert

R.M. Hubbert

By the Law

Affectionately known as Hubby, R.M. Hubbert is a Scottish guitarist and singer who is best known for his solo work and as a member of Scottish post rock band 'El Hombre Trajeado'. In 2010 Hubby released his debut solo album 'First & Last' which was later re-released by Chemikal Underground Records label. His second album 'Thirteen Lost & Found' won the 2013 Scottish Album of the Year Award, and his third solo album 'Breaks & Bone' was shortlisted for the same award the following year.

Photo of Raymond MacDonald

Raymond MacDonald


Raymond MacDonald is a saxophonist and composer who has released over 60 CDs and toured and broadcast worldwide and has written music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations. Collaborating with musicians such as Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Evan Parker, David Byrne and Jim O'Rourke, he plays in many collaborative free improvisatory contexts and his roots in jazz and pop music can also be heard in his playing and writing. He is also Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation at Edinburgh College of Art and lectures, publishes and runs workshops internationally.

Photo of Mike Nolan copyright Alex Hewitt

Mike Nolan

A Couple of Down & Outs, NLS Moving Image Archive Shorts

Mike works across Scotland as a composer and performer and is a regular at HippFest. He has accompanied silent film screenings for over 20 years including several commercial releases and live performances for the NLS Moving Image Archive. Mike is also a Nordoff-Robbins trained music therapist.

Photo of Forrester Pyke

Forrester Pyke

Chinese Talks Programme, NLS Moving Image Archive Shorts

Forrester has had a successful career as a teacher and musical director and is one of the most highly respected silent film accompanists in Scotland. For over 20 years he has brought many of the great silents vividly to life for a new generation of cinemagoers. Forrester is greatly respected for his musical composition and improvisational technique.

Photo of John Sweeney copyright Alex Hewitt

John Sweeney

The Goddess, Laurel and Hardy Triple Bill

Since 1990 John has played for silent film at festivals and venues including the British Silent Cinema Festival, the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy and the Slapstick Festival in Bristol. He has recorded DVDs for the BFI, Cineteca Bologna and Edition Filmmuseum and is one of the founders of the Kennington Bioscope which screens neglected silent films at the Cinema Museum in London.

Last updated: 09 February 2017 at 10:19