On 11th October, cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney will visit the Films from the South festival 2012, and will play music to the silent film A Throw of Dice in Oslo Concert Hall. This unique silent film concert has been the “pet project” of managing director Heidi Palm Sandberg for more than a year.
A Throw of Dice (Prapanche Pash) was made in India in 1929 based on the Indian epic Mahabharata, a story about love and gambling. The British Film Institute has now restored the film, and Sawhney has composed music to it. The show has had full houses in the UK, USA, Netherlands, New Zealand, Italy and Canada, and will now be performed in Oslo in collaboration between the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Films from the South and the Mela Festival.
– Live music gives silent films a new dimension, says Heidi Palm Sandberg, who has worked as managing director of the foundation Films from the South for nearly two years. One of her first experiences here was a silent film concert, during which Bugge Wesseltoft and Ensemble played live to the legendary Brazilian classic Limite at the Oslo Opera.
– It was a great experience, says Heidi. She is educated in cultural leadership, and her daily tasks are to take care of the employees, the economy and partners of the foundation.
– I am not the one putting the programme of the festival together, but I was extremely motivated to get this particular event completed, she says. – I enjoy going to concerts of the Philharmonic. It makes my shoulders relax and my thoughts fly away, she smiles.
A latter day Renaissance man
Indian-British Nitin Sawhney (born 1964) is a multi-instrumentalist DJ, composer and conductor, and is considered to be a pioneer in the field of culture, often called a "latter day Renaissance man". His main focus is music, but film, dance, theatre and video games are also on his project list. He has travelled the world and collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra, Nelson Mandela, Anoushka Shankar, Imogen Heap and Paul McCartney among others. He has also composed the music for the BBC production The Human Planet, from which the episode Jungle: People of the Trees was shown at last year's Film from the South festival.
Film screening in the Concert Hall
Now, Heidi, along with the Oslo Philharmonic and the Mela Festival, ensured that he will be part of the Films from the South 2012 programme. The Oslo Philharmonic picked up the event in London, and Film from the South was seen as a natural partner.
– We have a wonderful event in the festival programme, and the Oslo Philharmonic gets a new scope of spectators, says Heidi. – The concert hall is perfectly suitable for housing film screenings, with a large canvas. This will be a great experience for our audience, she concludes.
On 11th October, Nitin Sawhney and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra go on stage to play live music to A Throw of Dice. We can only look forward to this. And Heidi can already relax the shoulders a little bit.