2024 Performers


All our feature films are accompanied by live music performed on stage by some of the world's finest silent film musicians.



HippFest 2024 Performers

Frank Bockius

The Racket, Laurel and Hardy Double Bill, Queen of Sports, The Wind

Frank Bockius is a versatile percussionist who has dedicated a major part of his musical work to accompanying silent film during the last 25 years. He regularly plays at many major festivals, cities and venues around the globe and records scores for silent film. www.frankbockius.de

Neil Brand

Mantrap, Oliver Twist, Laurel and Hardy Double Bill

Neil is one of the UK’s most established silent film accompanists, composers, writers and broadcasters. His achievements are too extensive to list, but recent work includes Echoes of the North, with the Brighouse and Rastrick band, and the Hound of the Baskervilles with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Jane Gardner

The Flying Scotsman (Community Screening and Platform Reels), Sound Tracks: The Flying Scotsman and Britain’s ‘Part- Talkies, New Found Sound

Jane Gardner has delighted many a silent film audience with her sympathetic and eclectic accompaniments, both on solo piano and with other musicians. Her first film was to Victor Sjöström's He Who Gets Slapped (1924) in 2005. Since then, she has performed at many venues and festivals all over the UK. Last year she contributed to the 4-disk Blu ray/DVD box set 'Cinema's First Nasty Women’. Jane has been a regular at Hippfest since 2012. www.janegardner.uk

Catriona MacDonald

The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric

Catriona Macdonald is a proud bearer of one of the world's great fiddle traditions, that of the Shetland Isles. Catriona at once embodies the strength and spirit of her heritage with the freshness and diversity of a thoroughly modern performer and composer. Her superb playing and great charisma have established her a worldwide reputation as both a solo artist, and as a founder member of Scottish fiddle band Blazin' Fiddles and International string group String Sisters. She is currently a Senior Lecturer and Degree Programme Director for the BA in Folk and Traditional Music course based at Newcastle University.

Meg Morley

How to be a Flapper - The Wonderful World of Eve’s Film Review, Queen of Sports

Since playing for her first silent film in 2016, Meg Morley has quickly become one of the UK’s pre-eminent silent film accompanists. She regularly plays at the British Film Institute (London Southbank) and at the London Cinema Museum where she is a resident pianist for the Kennington Bioscope. Her latest silent film commissions include a 2022 collaborative live score with Derbyshire’s electronic trio Haiku Salut for the German silent People on Sunday. www.megmorleymusic.co

Maud Nelissen

Just Around the Corner, Our Dancing Daughters, The Organist at St. Vitus Cathedral

Maud Nelissen is a Dutch pianist en composer who has particularly dedicated herself to the creation of musical accompaniment for silent films. She worked in Italy with Charlie Chaplin’s last music arranger Eric James, Since then she has been performing at festivals and special events in Europe, America and Asia. Maud founded also her own ensemble, ‘The Sprockets’, for silent film accompaniment, and performs solo, or with The Sprockets, or with various other ensembles and orchestra’s. www.maudnelissen.com

Mike Nolan

The Racket

Mike works across Scotland as a versatile composer and performer, and is a regular at HippFest. He has accompanied silent film screenings for nearly 30 years including several commercial releases and live performances for the NLS Moving Image Archive. Mike is also a pipe organist and Nordoff-Robbins trained music therapist.

John Sweeney

Adventures of Half a Ruble, Steamboat Bill, Jr., The Norrtull Gang

Since 1990 John has played for silent film at festivals and venues including the British Silent Film Festival, and the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy. He has composed scores for Lois Weber’s Dumb Girl of Portici (Milestone DVD) and The Great Victorian Picture Show at the London Film Festival (2018), and has recorded DVDs for the BFI, Cineteca Bologna and Edition Filmmuseum. John is one of the founders of the Kennington Bioscope which screens neglected silent films at the Cinema Museum in London. @silentsweeney

Inge Thomson

The Rugged Island: A Shetland Lyric

Inge Thomson is an award-winning musician who has been creating music for over 30 years as a composer, producer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist and performer. Although best known as a long-term collaborator with The Karine Polwart Trio, in her own right Inge creates large scale multi-media works, produces content for radio and film soundtrack, performs and records in solo capacity and in cross-disciplinary collaborations including projects with scientists, visual artists, animators, theatre makers and textile artists. Recent high profile commissions include BBC Radio 3 Slow Radio piece Fair Winds (2022) and the 2021 BBC Na Trads Award nominated, Wild Edges.

Stephen Horne

Peggy, Laurel and Hardy Double Bill, The Wind

Stephen first started accompanying silent films at BFI Southbank over 30 years ago. He has recorded music for several DVD and online releases, and regularly plays at major international festivals. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates flute, accordion and keyboards into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. Stephen has been an award winner for the last 8 years in the Silent London Poll. www.stephenhorne.co.uk


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