If you read my reports about film music festivals on this web log, you know that I write them during or at least very quick after the festival. This time I just did not had the time to do that. I have written a report for the Dutch film music magazine Score. This is a simple translation of that report.
The city and the festival
Each year there is a film music festival held in Krakow in Poland. This year it was held later in the year from 26 to 28 September. It was a good year with a bit of Dutch influence. Krakow is known as one of the oldest cities of Poland with a lot of things to see. It is also considered the culture capital of Poland. This is a good reason to have a film music festival in Krakow each year. The main venue of this festival is a large factory hall that can hold about 4000 to 5000 people. But also on other smaller venues are concerts and other activities.
Workshops and Q and A’s
During the day of the festival lot of things are being organized like for example workshops for young composers. Trevor Morris laid out his process how he wrote the music in a complex scene of The Immortals.
This year there were a couple of Q and A (Question and Anwser) sessions with composers. It is very interesting to see how every composer deals with these sessions. Don Davis likes to have a good laugh. At the session of Alberto Iglesias scenes of his movies was shown where he talked very modestly about it. Abel Korzeniowski liked to be very involved with the audience. For non-Polish people like me there were translators who talked to us in headphones. The beauty of the sessions during the day: It was free for everyone.
The concerts with a Dutch accent
This year there were five concerts. The first concert was in a theater in the center of Krakow. Here we heard music of Alberto Iglesias. Music of a decent collection of movies were played like Talk to her, All about my Mother and Volver . The conductor if this concert was the Polish conductor Marek Moś. The concert was concluded by music written by Alberto on two poems, sung by a countertenor. It was quite an experience. If you like film music it is maybe not something that you would like to hear.
On the second evening there were two concerts. The theme of this evening was that we need to be careful with our planet. The first concert that brought us that message was in a church in the middle of Krakow. The performer of this concert was the Dutch jazz musician, cello player and composer Ernst Reijseger. Together with musicians around the world, like a 4-men choir, singer from Senegeral they brought us a unique concert. The played two suited from Werner Herzog movies Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Requiem for a Dying Planet. These musicians with their minimalistic music brought a performance to never forget.
At 10 PM the second concert started with the same theme about our planet. Entitled Dreamland the composer Valgeir Sigurðsson together with a viola player, a viola da gamba player and a small orchestra he brought us music from a documentary about the destruction of Iceland. The concert started very minimalistic with only the viola, the viola da gamba player and Valgeir on piano. After that the orchestra took over and all the musicians concluded this excellent performance. The encore was very appreciated by the audience.
At the third day it was time for the first concert in the large factory hall. It was a gala with music played from 10
composers: Alberto Iglesias, Don Davis, Trevor Morris, Gavin Greenaway (conductor), Abel Korzeniowski, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Diego Navarro, James Newton Howard, Craig Armstrong and Michał Lorence. Known pieces of the composers were played like Oscar, W.E., The Tudors, The Sixth Sense and many more. Also the FMF Young talent award was presented that evening. Young composers wrote music for a short animation movie. The jury chose unanimously for the Dutch composer Matthijs Kieboom! His music was quite a joy to listen to.
The festival ended with the movie The Matrix with live orchestra conducted by Don Davis himself. If you love the music and the movie, you were in for quite a treat.
I am going to this festival for three years now. Each year it is different. This year they had a more alternative program than previous years. For every film music lover there is something that he or she loves. Poland is a also good location if you live in Europe. It is drivable from a lot of places and there are a lot of cheap flights. It was the first time that this festival was held in September instead of May. Which is more cold than previous years. A coat was appreciated in the main factory hall. I am still going there and having fun each year!