The new score for The Passion of Joan of Arc, led by British conductor Charles Hazlewood, is Utley's and Gregory's first collaboration on a live score, written for an eclectic ensemble comprising six electric guitars, a choir, harps, percussion, horns, and keyboards. Although both artists come from substantial classical music backgroundsGregory as a former saxophonist for the London Sinfonietta and Utley as a film and TV composertheir unique aesthetic focuses on guitar harmonics and pitch-bending synthesizers. The music incorporates extended techniques for instruments and voices, providing a powerful landscape for this remarkably moving silent film about the last days of Joan of Arc.
guitar harmonics and pitch-bending synthesiser sounds chase the expressive eyes of Joan, while the harp's gentle passages remind us she is human. The way the excellent ensemble take us to its finale, raising dynamics as well as the score's dissonance, ensures its horror continues in the mind long afterwards." -The Guardian
The music also heightened the film's remarkable intensity, building in pitch with guitar feedback and pounding drums as the confrontation between Joan and the Church reached its peak. By the end, as Joan was engulfed in fire, it was as if the Furies were bearing down on the auditorium." - Financial Times
Passion's visual achievement is so great that it can overwhelm a feeble accompaniment, but the duo's enthralling score rises to the challengeand a standing ovation testified to the audience's appreciation."-The Spectator
The orchestral ensemble, which featured both Utley and Gregorythe latter dropping in delicious Moog-style synthesiser effectsamped up the power of the cinematic experience, making it vital and contemporary." -The Telegraph
Made in France, the original film was released at the close of the silent era and offers a powerful portrait of psychological torment and martyrdom as it follows Joan's trial, imprisonment, torture, and execution. The original film negative was lost for decades and only discovered by accident in the cupboard of a Norwegian mental institution in 1981. The new print, made by Artificial Eye Film distributors, was premiered with the new score in 2010 at Colston Hall in the U.K.
Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 7:30 Alice Tully Hall The Passion of Joan of Arc Adrian Utley, composer, synthesizer, and Chinese oboe Will Gregory, composer, guitar, mandola, and synthesizer Charles Hazlewood, conductor US premiere of live score by Adrian Utley and Will Gregory The Passion of Joan of Arc directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928, 1 hour, 22 min. Performance will include choir, guitars, horns, keyboard, and percussion Presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in association with the Film Society of Lincoln Center Tickets: $45/65/80 Sponsored by Time Warner, Inc.