PETER Mullan got hypothermia in 2001 while shooting Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim in the Rocky Mountains.

Shortly after, the director told The Guardian how the Glasgow actor is “tough. At the same time you feel that, inside, there’s a huge amount of emotion”.

From his first film appearance in 1990’s adaptation of William McIlvanney’s The Big Man, through award-winning performances in the likes of Paddy Considine’s searing Tyrannosaur (2011), to recurring roles in TV shows Ozark and Westworld today, Mullan is an actor who fixes your gaze.

His performances are marked by a brooding intensity, as if the lines on his brow are straining to hold a lifetime of emotion and experience.

That quality was already there in Close, a short film he wrote, directed and starred in back in 1993 when he was 34. It’s also there in the music Craig Armstrong wrote for the film, the composer showing his knack for relaying the emotions conveyed on screen through sound, rhythm and texture.

Close was followed by Fridge and Good Day For The Bad Guys, similarly potent shorts which scorch images and dialogue fragments to the memory.

Tracks from each feature in Music For The Films Of Peter Mullan, a score album featuring music written by Armstrong for all of Mullan’s directorial films.

The National: Peter MullanPeter Mullan

Released on the celebrated composer’s own CMA Records, the reflective album includes works featured in Mullan’s 1998 feature-length debut Orphans, 2002’s The Magdalene Sisters and Neds from 2010.

In a recent event at the Edinburgh Film Festival with the pair, Armstrong said he had told Mullan he would work on the shorts as long as Mullan hired him to score his first feature. Armstrong didn’t need that insurance policy, first winning a Bafta for his soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo And Juliet in 1996 before earning another for Moulin Rouge! and a Grammy for his work on Ray, Taylor Hackford’s biopic of Ray Charles.

Armstrong and Mullan were natural choices for each man, having first met at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre in the 1980s under artistic director Michael Boyd.

The pair had both grown up on city streets, Mullan in Cardonald and Armstrong in Shettleston.

“A lot of Pete’s films were shot in Glasgow so there was a shorthand; we knew what we were both talking about,” says Armstrong. “Though it was good training for working with people like Baz Luhrmann, it was different because we were friends and worked together at the Tron, where Michael was always putting together great actors like Peter, people like Douglas Henshall, Gary Lewis. I was the guy writing the music for the plays.”

The album features another long-term Armstrong collaborator, Scottish Ensemble cellist Alison Lawrance who performs on tracks from Neds, Mullan’s yearning, grim, tale of growing up across class divides.

It’s the second release on Armstrong’s own label following Rosa Morta, an electronic album made with his musician friend Scott Fraser. Though not intended for Neds, tracks on Rosa Morta went on to appeared on the film’s synthesiser-composed score.

“Peter really loved them and ended up using a lot of them, especially for the last scene in Neds, which I thought was a brilliant film. For someone who had been brought up in Glasgow, I recognised so much of it,” says Armstrong.

Armstrong will follow this release with a score for Adrian Noble’s Mrs Lowry And Son, due in cinemas August 30. Once work on music for Thea Sharrock’s new Disney animation is completed, he hopes to release another album of hisown compositions.

“I set up my record company to put out things that were interesting but not maybe particularly commercial,” he says. “Though it’s maybe not going to be a big-seller, I think it’s important to be out there. It has Peter running through it. He’s an amazing filmmaker, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Music For The Films Of Peter Mullan is relased via CMA Records on August 9.