Daan van den Hurk – Q&A

This January starts with a weekend filled with silent movies. On 9,10,11 and 12 January the Dutch Silent Film Festival (NSFF) takes place in Eindhoven and is organised by Stichting Zolderkamertjesklassiek. This years’ festival includes an extensive program in Pand P and Parktheater Eindhoven. In addition to that, there will be a Slapstick Saturday on the 11th of January. Besides film musician, concert pianist and composer; Daan van den Hurk is also a silent film expert and the founder of the Dutch Silent Film Festival, which he brought to Eindhoven three years ago.

Nederlands Silent Film Festival

Silent films around the world

'Just after graduating from the conservatory, I was asked to play as a film musician during the Pordenone Film Festival. This was the beginning of my love and career as a composer for silent films. Since then, I return to this beautiful festival, where I enjoy guiding a number of films.’

In the footsteps of Deshavov

At the beginning of December, Daan played at two festivals in Turkey: one in Ankara and Karkum and one in Istanbul. 'In preparation for this festival the original music of the film Fragment of an Empire, written by Vladimir Deshavov, was offered to me digitally. Deshavov is one of the greatest composers of the 1920s, who, because of his political preference, was often asked for the music in propaganda films. Not every movie has sheet music, so that makes it extra special. I feel really honored to work on a reconstruction with these ‘original’ notes of the composer as a basis.’

A new life

"Did you know that about 80% of silent movies have been lost?" It’s a unique situation when ‘new’ films are found. Professional knowledge is needed to get this film to appear on the big screen again. In such moment, we delve into history together with historians to reconstruct the film. If there’s sheet music included, we translate it. It inspires me that we transform the movie into something new again and I like to share that feeling with the audience. I can’t wait for the next movie to be found!

Four days of silent movies

This year the NSFF opens with a beautiful romantic film The Spanisch Dancer with among others Pola Nigir. What else can we expect? 'Only American films are shown during the Slapstick Saterday in the Philips hall in the Parktheater. Sunday, January 12th is NSFF family day. Young visitors can follow a music workshop and their parents are offered the possibility to attend a lecture from me.'

Daan van den Hurk, born in Heeze, lives in Utrecht and works as a musician. Daan loves Italian cuisine, is happy when listening to special music, admires people with passion and in his spare time he likes to read. On spotify he likes to listen to Liszt, Ravel, Gentle Giant, Randy Newman and many more....