All films at HippFest are accompanied by live music. Below is a list of musicians and narrators who we have worked with this year and who would have performed at our 10th Festival in March.


Silent Film Performers 2020

David Allison

Rob Roy - currently touring 2019/20

David premiered his new score for Rob Roy (1922) at HippFest 2019 and is currently on tour with this HippFest commission until 14 February 2020 when he will perform at the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh. He has created several successful live soundtracks for silent films, including The Last of the Mohicans (HippFest 2018) and the 1922 horror classic Nosferatu (HippFest 2011); The Island Tapes and The St Kilda Tapes which toured internationally and sold out at festivals such as Celtic Connections. David has also produced three solo studio albums: Reporting, Guitar Gi-tar and Acoustic Movies.

Jonny Best

The Woman Men Yearn For, Laurel & Hardy Triple Bill

Jonny studied piano at Chetham’s School of Music and Drama at University of London, and this combination of music and drama has run through his work ever since. He spent the first part of his career in theatre, opera and arts festival production before turning to silent film accompaniment in 2014. Jonny is a resident pianist at BFI Southbank and performs across the UK and internationally. He researches silent film accompaniment at University of Huddersfield and directs the biennial Yorkshire Silent Film Festival.

Stephen Horne

Dawn, Hamlet, Poil de Carotte

Stephen first started accompanying silent films at BFI Southbank over 25 years ago. He has recorded music for several DVD releases and regularly plays at major international festivals. Although principally a pianist, he often incorporates flute, accordion and keyboards into his performances, sometimes simultaneously. Recently Stephen won ‘best screening with a single accompanist’ for the sixth year in a row at the Silent London Poll.

John Sweeney

Lady Windermere’s Fan, A String of Pearls, Silent Shakespeare Cuppa Talk plus shorts.

Since 1990 John has played for silent film at festivals and venues including the British Silent Cinema Festival, and the Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone, Italy. Recently he composed a score for Lois Weber’s 'Dumb Girl of Portici' (Milestone DVD), '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.

Frank Bockius

The Mark of Zorro, The Woman Men Yearn For, Laurel & Hardy Triple Bill, L’Homme du Large

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.

Mike Nolan

Platform Reels, Edith Cavell Cuppa Talk plus shorts

Mike works across Scotland as a composer, choral conductor and performer and is a regular at HippFest. He has accompanied silent film screenings for over 20 years including several commercial releases and live performances for the NLS Moving Image Archive. Mike is also a Nordoff-Robbins trained music therapist.

Meg Morley

The Sentimental Bloke

Since playing for her first silent film four years ago, Meg Morley has quickly become one of the UK's pre-eminent silent film accompanists, performing at various international film festivals including Flatpack Festival, Il Cinema Ritrovato and Nederlands Silent Film Festival. Meg plays regularly at the London Cinema Museum where she is a resident pianist for the Kennington Bioscope. Her latest silent film projects include: a commissioned score (2018) for several Mabel Normand films released on DVD, and a piano score (2019) by Kino Lorber for a DVD release of Alfred Hitchcock's The Ring.

Neil Brand

The Mark of Zorro, Jeely Jar, City Girl, L’Homme du Large

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 touring work includes ‘Neil Brand presents Buster Keaton’ and Neil Brand presents Laurel and Hardy’. Neil also wrote and presented 'The Sounds of Song, Musicals and Movie Musicals' on BBC 4.

Jane Gardner & Hazel Morrison

Filibus: The Mysterious Air Pirate

An acclaimed composer and pianist, Jane Gardner has delighted many a silent cinema audience with her original and sympathetic accompaniments. She has performed at HippFest since 2012 with Hazel Morrison (percussion) and others to 'Seven Footprints to Satan', 'The Grub Stake', 'Earth', 'Dragnet Girl', 'The Goose Woman', and 'The Black Pirate' as well as Laurel and Hardy and Jeely Jar comedy screenings.

Elizabeth Jane Baldry


An award-winning harpist and composer who has created harp scores for many silent films in the UK, Europe, and America. Her compositions have been used by ITV, the BBC and by Irish, Japanese, Danish and Canadian film, radio and television. Her orchestral score for feature film, 'Sir Lanval', won a Media Innovation Award. She also produces and directs films of British fairytales and is lucky enough to own a magical wood in the Dartmoor National Park where she grows trees, keeps bees, and brews tea in a twig kettle.

Paul McGann

L’Homme du Large

Actor Paul McGann came to prominence as the eponymous "I" in Bruce Robinson's cult film comedy 'Withnail and I' and has since gone on to star in films including 'Alien 3' and 'Dr Who' (1996), as the eighth Doctor, and in TV including 'Holby City' and 'Luther'. Well known for his voice work, Paul has narrated many documentaries as well as audio episodes as the Eighth Doctor and has recently worked with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival to narrate the intertitles to several films.

Forrester Pyke


Forrester has had a successful career as a teacher and musical director and is one of the most highly respected silent film accompanists in Scotland. For over 25 years he has brought many of the great silents vividly to life for a new generation of cinemagoers. Forrester is greatly respected for his musical composition and improvisational technique.

Dodge Brothers

City Girl, Mike Hammond and Neil Brand in Conversation

The Dodge Brothers are a skiffle-and-blues band producing ‘tunes of proven merit’ – new songs written and performed in the old style, harking back to the days of jug-band blues and early rock’n’roll. The band are: Mike Hammond (guitars, lead vocals, banjo); Aly Hirji (guitars, mandolin, vocals); film critic Mark Kermode (bass, harmonica, vocals), Alex Hammond (washboard, snaredrum, percussion) and, when accompanying silent film, the band are joined by their fifth member – pianist, composer, broadcaster and HippFest favourite: Neil Brand. The Dodge Brothers were the first band to accompany a silent film at Glastonbury Festival in 2014 and have played to silent films at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues in the UK including The Barbican, BFI Southbank, and The National Media Museum, Bradford.

Irine Røsnes

The Woman Men Yearn For

Violinist, academic, improvisor and advocate for new music, Irine is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Huddersfield, investigating the performative aspects of the repertoire for violin and electronics. She has presented numerous premieres across Europe and North America and appeared at festivals such as Huddersfield Contemporary, Borealis, Gaudeamus, Chicago New and Wonderfeel. Recent performances include works by Bernard Parmegiani, Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez and Natasha Barrett. Irine is also a guest lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton and one of the directors of Yorkshire Sound Women Network.

Andy Cannon and friends

The Loves of Mary, Queen of Scots

Andy is one of Scotland’s leading storytellers and was a founder of the award-winning theatre company Wee Stories. His most recent production, “Is This a Dagger?” a solo performance of Macbeth - is currently touring internationally (New York, Mumbai, Kolkata, Istanbul and Vancouver to date). Andy is delighted to be returning to HippFest where he originally recreated the long-forgotten role of the “Film Explainer”, public speakers and who would provide live narration to accompany the early cinematic experience. Collaborating with Andy are musicians Wendy Weatherby, Frank McLaughlin and David Trouton: Wendy has composed music for theatre and film and has vast recording experience on albums ranging from ‘The Complete Songs of Robert Burns’ to The Pearlfishers’s ‘Sky Meadows’. She was nominated in the Scots Trad Awards 2010 as ‘Traditional Singer of the Year’ and has regularly been commissioned by Celtic Connections. Frank is a first-class guitarist and piper much in demand for his ability to create innovative arrangements and he has numerous recording credits as a session player, composer or producer. David is a theatrical composer and educator who works across Scotland delivering his much sought after pioneering educational project which uses music to nurture the development of children’s emotional intelligence.


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