It’s not everyday that you experience the synthesis of 15th century story telling, 20th century film history and 21st century music composition; indeed it probably won’t surprise you to know that such a fusion is fairly unique. This is mind, the chance to see a screening of the 1927 silent epic The Passion of Joan of Arc, complete with an original score from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and Portishead’s Adrian Utley was a particularly exciting one.

The story behind the existence of the film is almost as interesting and farfetched as the film itself. After being censored post-release, the original negative was destroyed in a fire. The film was lost and unseen until in 1981, an unspoiled original Danish copy was found in the closet of a Norwegian mental institution. Often lauded as one of the masterpieces of silent cinema, the French film follows the intense trial and execution of Joan of Arc. With the lavish Queen Elizabeth Hall as its setting and the 23-piece orchestra as its accompaniment, Joan was set to burn once again.

As it so often does with silent cinema, the orchestra provided an ideal accompaniment to the film; capable of providing an intense and provocative backdrop to the stirring storyline, the meticulous soundscaping and painstaking subtlety perfectly captured the many emotions of the film – a picture may say a hundred words but an orchestra says a thousand. Indeed, the biggest draw turned out to be the greatest flaw of the performance; complete with a spellbinding array of instruments, the metronomic whir of the huge projector and a barrage of thunderous crescendos, it was often difficult to actually pay attention to the film. It was just as well then that the film frequently relied on provocative stills and close-ups of Joan, wide-eyed tear-filled as she often appeared (you can hardly blame her, imminent death considered).

While the marriage between such a seminal silent film and a pair better recognised for synth-pop seems an odd one, the overall spectacle, exemplified by the film’s ferocious, cathartic climax and brutal soundtrack was truly to martyr for.