Written by Scottish composer and artist Erland Cooper for the women of the Chorus of Opera North, a new live score for the elemental 1928 silent film The Wind receives its world premiere at Sage Gateshead on 24 February 2022. 

The latest commission in Opera North’s FILMusic series tours to RNCM Manchester on 25 February and closes at the Howard Assembly Room, Leeds on 26 February. 

Born and raised on Orkney, Erland’s sensitivity to the relationship between landscape and psychology has been a constant over the course of a diverse and collaborative career.

For this commission, he employs the voices of the 18-strong Chorus, together with his own textural recordings and live analogue processing, to open up a new imaginative space for a forgotten masterpiece. 

The Wind is silent cinema at its most primally potent. Lillian Gish plays a young woman cast out into the dust bowl of the Texan prairie, where an act of savagery – and the unrelenting northerly wind – push her mind beyond its limits. 

A current FILMusic commission, pianist Matthew Bourne’s live score for another late, great silent – King Vidor’s The Crowd – travels to the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre on Sunday 21 November for the EFG London Jazz Festival 2021

Another large-scale choral commission, Julia Holter’s score for The Passion of Joan of Arc, was postponed due to the pandemic and will be rescheduled for 2022.