Silent movies and music
In 2002 I started to improvise live piano music for silent movies.

Through the years I have also started using my voice alongside silent films.

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.

Compositions were made, popular tunes or classical ones were used, but also, there was improvisation! Free improvisation following the story on the screen as it unfolded.
In Belgium we have one of the best kept film archives in the world: Cinematek in Brussels, at Bozar.
Here there are weekly screenings of films and silent movies with live piano-improvisations.

Elsewhere in Belgium I’ve played at Flagey Studio5 Brussels, Cinema Zuid Antwerp, Cinema ZED Leuven, KASK Cinema Ghent, Dommelhof Neerpelt and in Cultural Centres.
In Leuven, Cinema ZED, I worked together with the Japanese benshi Ichiro Kataoka in 2016.
Through the years I have accompanied more than 400 different silent movies.

On several editions of the ‘Zomerfilmcollege’ I have accompanied the films there since 2009.

During the first edition of the silent movie festival “Il Cinema Repubblica” in July 2018 during the ‘Gentse Feesten’ I accompanied 2 days a wide range of different films.

Abroad I have played in EYE in Amsterdam, in the ‘Cinemateket’ in Stockholm (2015) and at Kaunas International Filmfestival in Lithuania (2017).

Besides piano, I also improvise with voice, together with banjo/guitar player Wim Lauwaert.



Improvisation and creation are the main themes in my musical work. On the piano, guitar, cello and with my voice I improvise solo and together with other musicans.
Besides I sing folksongs, Hebrew music and songs from the Renaissance accompanied on classical guitar.
Writing poetry is another way of improvising and composing with words and language: the rhythm and the sounds create the musical structure where in the pure musical elements and poetic language can flow together as in a duet.
For example, Emily Dickinsons poetry is always inspiring me.
Hilde Nash

Please contact me on this number

+32 472 75 43 07


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© Copyright Hilde Nash


photos by The Imagerie