Laila - the Story of an Arctic heroine, reimagined by Scots musical duo Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält
"It was clear on the night from the audience on their feet cheering that everyone was entirely blown away by Marit and Ronas accompaniment. The music was a triumph and perfectly served the film - drawing out all the drama, romance and beauty of the film...The film is epic as was their accomplishment. Bravo." Ali Strauss
Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält present their inspirational musical score live to a screening of the Sami-Norwegian silent film Laila.
Over 90 years ago, the film Laila was first released, telling the story of a Norwegian girl separated from her parents and brought up among the indigenous Sami people of the High North. The stunning landscapes, sympathetic portrayal of a misunderstood ethnic minority and the glowing presence of Swedish actress Mona Mårtenson in the title role all contributed to the film's success.
Fiddle player Rona Wilkie was named BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2012 - the same year she and Marit Fält won the coveted Danny Kyle Award for the uplifting, border-crossing music they make together. Rona, a fluent Gaelic-speaker, is also doing a PhD on the role of Gaelic song in social history at the School of Celtic and Scottish Studies in Edinburgh and her music with Marit beautifully marries the music of the remote landscapes and indigenous peoples in their respective homes.
Like the film's heroine Laila, Marit Fält was brought up in Norway but is from a Swedish family. She plays the låtmandola, a traditional Nordic instrument bigger than a mandolin. They have spent much of their career exploring their identities through fusion projects, with a particular emphasis on the relationship of Gaeldom with Scandinavian and other minority cultures.
The accompaniment by Marit and Rona was commissioned by the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival in 2019 www.hippfest.co.uk