Composers to create Alfred Hitchcock silent film scores

Image caption,
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog was Hitchcock's third feature and first suspense thriller

Rarely seen, silent Alfred Hitchcock films are to have new orchestral scores composed for them as part of screenings for the London 2012 Festival.

Nitin Sawhney is among several British composers who have been commissioned to create scores for the films which are being restored by the BFI.

Tansy Davies and Daniel Cohen will also compose new scores for the special events next summer.

It will be followed in the autumn by a Hitchcock retrospective at the BFI.

The scores will follow on from the works of American composer Bernard Herrmann, who was best known for his collaborations with Hitchcock on films including Psycho, North by Northwest and Vertigo.

Sawhney will write the music for Hitchcock's first suspense thriller, the 1926 film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, to be performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.

The film tells of a mysterious lodger who is suspected of being a serial killer terrorising fog-shrouded London.

Sawhney said: "Bernard Herrmann is one of my great musical heroes.

"It would be honour enough to follow in Herrmann's footsteps but to actually score a film that precedes his musical genius is a wonderful opportunity for creative imagination and invention."

Young composer Cohen will create a new score for Hitchcock's first film, 1925's The Pleasure Garden, about the diverging lives of two dancers.

Image caption,
Nitin Sawhney said it was a 'dream project' to compose the new score

The rarely seen films are being restored by the BFI National Archive to be shown on the big screen again.

"The BFI is thrilled to be able to bring Hitchcock's early films to the London 2012 Festival," said Heather Stewart, creative director of the BFI programme.

"They are the foundation of his whole body of work and new audiences will be able to enjoy them for the first time ever in all their restored glory and with new scores from an incredible mix of British musical talent."

The London 2012 Festival marks the culmination of the four-year Cultural Olympiad as part of London's 2012 Olympics. The festival brings leading artists from all over the world together to inspire creativity across all forms of culture from 21 June - 9 September.

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