Piano Improvisations in Black and White: Hilde Nash in Concert

  • December 7 18:00  M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art (Putvinskio st. 55, Kaunas)

“Piano Improvisations in Black and White“, a concert featuring the Belgian musician and music therapist Hilde Nash, taking place on the 7th of December, 6pm at Kaunas’s M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum is a tribute to the magic of cinema. Hilde Nash will be performing a live accompaniment to two dinstincly different classics of silent cinema: Sherlock, Jr., (1924) a comedy from the legendary American comic actor and director Buster Keaton and Ten Minutes Older (Par desmit minutem vecaks, 1978), directed by the master of Latvian documentary Herz Frank.

This selection of films was curated by Anouk de Clercq, the Belgian artist who is also visiting Kaunas International Film Festival. According to her, Sherlock, Jr. and Ten Minutes Older offer perfect displays of cinematic magic: “The curtain rises and the lights go out in the cinema. The whispering of the audience gradually subsides as it waits for the illumination of the silver screen and the imaginations and beginnings of a story to come with the light”.

To Hilde Nash, accompanying silent films is a never-ending improvisation, a search for a meeting point between music and cinema. “In my work as a musician, and also as a music therapist, improvisation is my main focus and 'motor'. It is the energy that can create a performance, into the moment itself“, says the musician. “Although with silent movies you can refer to the film, the images. But together with the improvised music it creates a bigger experience, a performance. With accompanying silent movies, the movie leads me. Like a patient also leads me further. Leading to something I 'm always trying to capture/to create a musical structure: a universal, human language beyond words”.

Hilde Nash started creating silent cinema and music performances in 2002 and has performed improvised live soundtracks to about 400 films ever since in Belgium, Sweden and elsewhere. The musician views silent cinema as an immensely rich tradition: “Before sound and image could be recorded together there was ‘the silent movie’. Images and story were told in a different, slower and more intense way, music and sound were created live, on stage. A rich tradition was born and thousands of silent movies were made. Famous slapstick, city syphonies, dramas… They were accompanied by jazz bands, a whole orchestra, a singer, a story teller and very often by …. a solo pianist.

The 10th edition of the Kaunas International Film Festival is thrilled to host a synthesis between music and cinema. We would like to invite you to an encounter a dialogue between an immensely talented musician and the classics of silent cinema…