Battleship Potemkin

Genre: Ensemble work for silent film

Description: A complete score to the famous silent film Battleship Potemkin (1925) by the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein.

For ensemble 1 flute (=piccolo), 1 b-flat clarinet (=clarinet in a), 1 horn in f, 1 trumpet in b-flat (=trumpet in c), 1 percussion, 1 piano, 1 violoncello, 1 double bass, plus electronic sound (pre-recorded, four channel)
Duration: 75 Minutes
Date: 2005


Programme Note

This work is intended to be performed as a live accompaniment to Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin (1925). It seeks to connect the film’s collision of montage and epic structure with fast moving, multi-layered music in equally bold paragraphs. Additionally, the score uses modern technology in order to approach the ideal of film and music synchronisation, which Eisenstein described as a ‘symphony of machines’ in his notes on this film.

In Hughes’s music...there is a perfect fit with the films, with incidental sounds such as the factory whistle in Strike skilfully incorporated into the musical line. Potemkin was first shown with Hughes’ music at an unforgettable performance in 2005 in the machine hall of the Brighton Engineerium, which provided a uniquely suitable site for it. A similarly happy match between film and music runs through these two superb scores.
— Laura Marcus, Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature; Fellow, New College, Oxford