Scoring Silent Hitchcock

Contemporary silent-film scoring presents composers with a unique set of challenges, requiring them to develop sonic textures that add both nuance and emphasis to stories from a bygone era. When commissioning our noir-tinged orchestral soundtrack for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, we turned to an expert in the field, English silent-film accompanist Neil Brand. In a supplement on our just-released edition, he guides viewers through his composition process, detailing the myriad choices that went into creating new music for this blood-curdling thriller, which follows the tale of a shadowy young man (played by dashing matinee idol Ivor Novello) who moves into a London boarding house just as a serial killer targeting blonde women is driving the city into a panic. The below clip features Brand discussing the film’s opening moments and the ways in which Hitchcock’s visual mastery inspired the score’s rhythmic and melodic approach.

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