Jessica Danz

Performer | Composer

Ísland í lifandi myndum

My piano score - Iceland in Moving Pictures - is now ready to send to Kvikmyndasafn Íslands, the National Film Archive of Iceland!  I wrote and performed the work last year at An Lanntair's Faclan Festival, as a live soundtrack for Ísland í lifandi myndum, a fascinating 1925 Icelandic documentary created by filmmaker Loftur Guðmundsson.  This was a very rewarding project, and it was wonderful to work in collaboration with the Icelandic Film Archive.  We chose the first 35-minute section of the film for the event at Faclan, and Erlendur Sveinsson and his team at the Archive created English titles specially for the showing.

In January 2018 I was invited to include the work as part of the exhibition SSA & VAS TOGETHER, showing at the Royal Scottish Academy, and the film and my recorded score were installed in collaboration with An Lanntair and the National Film Archive of Iceland. 

I'm currently doing some revisions in order to transform the work into a solo piano suite, which is proving to be rather fun - I've thrown in an extra 'storm', and I'm attempting a virtuosic theme and variation movement (and probably driving my poor neighbours a bit mad with all those experimental arpeggios).  Then I'm heading up to the Isle of Lewis in a couple of weeks to record it as a new album at Black Bay Studio, where I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with my favourite Bechstein piano!



A short studio video from the last week - some last minute practice before recording the piano interlude from Last Waltz.  Today I've begun the daunting task of recording all the vocal tracks... definitely the most challenging part of the process so far!


I'll be performing a live music score that I've written specially for Margaret Tait's silent film 'These Walls' as part of the Story Makars on the 9th of March at An Lanntair.  Writer and performer Gerda Stevenson will read from a new collection of poetry, alongside showings of three short films by Orkney-born filmmaker Margaret Tait.

Tait's haunting work 'These Walls', is an impression of the interior of her studio premises in Rose Street, Edinburgh. It has been suggested that the film was made as she was preparing to move out of the studio - it is a colour, silent film composed mainly of close-ups and panning shots of the walls, and gives a sense of time inexorably passing in the small, simply furnished space.


© Jessica Danz