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, De Cinema Antwerp, Cinema ZED Leuven, KASK Cinema Ghent, KAAP Ostend, Het Bos Antwerp, CC De Ververij Ronse and in other 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 500 different silent movies.

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

During the second and third edition of the silent movie festival “Il Cinema Repubblica” (2018 & 2019) during the ‘Gentse Feesten’ I accompanied a wide range of different films.

During the first, second and last edition of the silent movie festival SHHH in KAAP, Ostend (2019, 2020 & 2021) I accompanied several silent movies, solo, with piano, voice & guitar and voice & piano.

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

Improvisations: Concerts

29/08 at 3pm: DIE BERGKATZE by Ernst Lubitsch (1921)
07/09 at 7pm: THE COVERED WAGON by James Cruze (1923)
25/09 at 3pm: THREE BAD MEN by John Ford (1926)
03/09 at 10pm:  NANOOK OF THE NORTH by Robert J.Flaherty (1922)
23/09 at 8.30pm: EARLY FILM PIONEERS 1896-1909
21/10 at 8.30pm: THE KID by Charlie Chaplin (1921) &
SHERLOCK JUNIOR by Buster Keaton (1924)
07/11 at 5pm: THE GENERAL by Buster Keaton (1926)

Hilde Nash


© Copyright Hilde Nash


photos by The Imagerie & Jacinta Agten