The Wind

+ live score by Erland Cooper featuring the Chorus of Opera North

24-26 Feb 2022

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In this newly commissioned soundtrack, Scottish composer and artist Erland Cooper employs the live voice – the powerful sound of the 18 women of the Chorus of Opera North – enhanced by his own recordings and real-time processing of their performance.

The Wind is silent cinema at its most shockingly, primally potent. A radiant Lillian Gish plays Letty, a young woman cast out from her sheltered Virginia home into the dust bowl of the Texan prairie, where an act of savagery – and the unrelenting northerly wind – push her mind beyond its limits.

Erland’s score breathes new life into the empty plains, sandstorms and intensely charged terrain of this forgotten masterpiece. Born and raised on Orkney, his sensitivity to the relationship between landscape and psychology has been a constant in a career that’s taken in everything from folk and prog to field recordings and contemporary classical music.


1 hr 19 mins

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The music

“Inspired by the large aircraft engines that director Victor Sjöström used to generate the wind and sandstorms on the film’s Mojave Desert locations, I’ve used an industrial fan to create a small wind tunnel in the studio. I’m sending sections of the recordings that I’ve made with the Chorus of Opera North through it… generating the texture and sound of the wind in the score, with its origins in the human voice. 

“The Mojave could not be further away from the Orkney Islands where I grew up, but an archipelago is surrounded by frequent gale force winds that drive and turn a cycle of shelter and search for safe havens, from both external and internal elements”.

-Erland Cooper

Location shooting for The Wind in the Mojave Desert

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The Wind

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