Neil Brand has spent the last 20 years accompanying movies. His playing is amazingly vivid and dynamic and bracingly free of cliché - he gets rather tired of people who assume that he spends his life playing Tobiani's Hearts and Flowers.
Like George Benjamin, he prefers the rush of working with a film he has never seen before and sometimes surprises himself with the sheer quality of his inventions: "I'll be sitting there thinking, 'Oh,that's lovely! Where did that come from?' Once you know the film, you're not using that side of your brain."
For Brand the musician is the bridge that connects the modern audience with these silent witnesses to a world gone by. "You have a pure, instinctive response and the process is so exciting, so inspiring: your own enjoyment of the movie funnelled through the music."
Pandora'ss Box (PG), part of the LSO's By George! series, is at the Barbican Cinema (0845 120 7500) on May 4 at 3.00pm,
by Louise Levine, Sunday Telegraph
27th April, 2003
Copyright - Neil Brand 2002