Minima, live music for the silent screen

BRISTOL-based quartet Minima specialise in creating live accompaniment to screenings of silent films and there are two chances for Artsreach audiences to enjoy these spellbinding events, at Studland on Saturday 21st March and Alderholt on Sunday 29th.

Minima, like the better-known Dodge Brothers with Mark Kermode, bring the excitement of live performance to the magic of the silent screen. The four musicians play a wide range of instruments including cello, double bass, baritone guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, autoharp, dulcimer, synthesizer, glockenspiel and drum kit to create a unique live experience.

They have been making their mark at leading venues including the Barbican Centre and BFI Southbank, and at Glastonbury Festival and the Transylvania International Film Festival. They have also recorded original music for short films by contemporary filmmakers.

At Studland village hall on Saturday 21st, Minima will perform an original, live score to one of the silent era’s masterpieces, Nosferatu from 1922. The eerie, Gothic feel of director FW Murnau’s German expressionist classic, combined with a chilling performance from Max Shrek as the vampire, set the template for many horror films that followed.

Darkly humorous and tender too, it is a story of yearning and the search for fulfilment.

At Alderholt village hall on Sunday 29th the film is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 thriller, The Lodger. London is being terrorised by a Jack the Ripper-style murderer, “The Avenger,” who targets young blonde women. A mysterious new lodger arrives at the home of Mr and Mrs Bunting, whose daughter Daisy is being courted by a policeman on the case. When the lodger begins behaving strangely, he attracts suspicion, particularly when he shows an interest in Daisy.

The Guardian reviewer said: “Minima’s spine-tingling music clung to each twist of the movie… spellbinding accompaniment.”

Both performances begin at 7.30pm.