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The 9th edition of the FMF is history

A week-long kaleidoscope of all kinds of film music.

Classic film symphonic, music for American animations, old cinema in modern arrangements, piano improvisations on film motifs, alternative drone music and a video game soundtrack – last week we presented our audience with almost all genres of music connected with screen. Over 39000 people participated the 9th edition of the Film Music Festival in Krakow, which ended on Monday.

As for the results of this year’s edition of the FMF, we can count 10 concerts, including 6 gala performances, 40 film clips used during the evening events, five renowned ensembles (Polish Radio National Symphonic Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, AUKSO Tychy Chamber Orchestra, FMF Youth Orchestra), two mixed choirs (Pro Musica Mundi and Polish Radio Choir), twelve outstanding conductors (including Dirk Brossé, Frank Strobel, Ludwig Wicki, Anthony Weeden, Marek Moś), 170 Polish and international guests connected with film industry, as well as 50 composers for film, television and games, including 2 Oscar laureates: Alexandre Desplat and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.

The film week started with a triple Oscar meeting of the most prominent representatives of world cinema – Roman Polański, Alexandre Desplat and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. The official “Scoring4Polański” gala was organised in two prestigious places – the NOSPR Headquarters in Katowice, as well as ICE Kraków Congress Centre, and in both places the most famous orchestral motifs, composed by Wojciech Kilar, Alexandre Desplat, Ennio Morricone and Krzysztof Komeda for films directed by the master were played for the audiences. During the following days we presented a colourful kaleidoscope of genres connected with the silver screen, including film songs by Henryk Wars and Bronisław Kaper, arranged by Paweł Kaczmarczyk and Audiofeeling Trio, the most famous film motifs improvised by Aleksander Dębicz on the piano (as part of the inauguration of “Cinematic Piano” – a new cycle at the FMF), we also heard the thoroughly modern drone scores by Jóhann Jóhannsson, Joseph Trapanese, Cliff Martinez and Łukasz Targosz, as well as the most famous motifs from American animations. The final gala, which took place in the TAURON Arena presented three vocal and instrumental suites composed of motifs created for the award-winning Witcher 3: Wild Hunt game.

The complex formula of concert programmes allowed us to collaborate with world-class soloists, who compose and perform music of various and sometimes very erse genres. The FMF venues saw artists such as: Edyta Górniak (in “Colours of the Wind” from Pocahontas), Brodka (in the lullaby from the premiere performance of Witcher 3: Blood and Wine suite), Tomasz Stańko (in soundtracks by Krzysztof Komeda and Jerry Goldsmith), Wioletta Chodowicz (in the famous vocalise from Wojciech Kilar’s The Ninth Gate and the soprano parts of suites from The Witcher), Maciej Obara International Quartet (in jazz motifs by Krzysztof Komeda) and Percival – a folk metal band, specialising in Slavic music (in the “Video Game Show: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” finale gala).  

It was the ersity, both in the repertoire and the performances, that was the main strength of this year’s festival, at least according to its artistic director, Robert Piaskowski. “The 9th edition is proof that we are slowly surpassing the formula of film music itself, and at the same time we are getting more into music connected with screen – cinematic, TV and computer”, Piaskowski summed up.

The wide variety of themes could be also noticed during the educational events connected with the FMF. This year’s edition allowed the group of 27 young composers (selected from among candidates for the FMF Young Talent Award) to participate in over 40 hours of Master Classes, including a recording session in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice, classes on spatial sound technology and ambisonic methods (recording with special Soundfield and Eigenmike microphones, currently unavailable in Poland), as well as presentation of an anechoic chamber at the AGH University of Science and Technology.

The Festival Centre in Krzysztofory Palace saw meetings with creators and experts from the film industry, open to general audiences. The fans could talk to an Oscar-winning composer for the Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat, Harry Gregson-Williams, who wrote music for Shrek, Emmy-winning artists connected with the Dynamics Music Partner group and the Warner Bros. studio (Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter and Michael McCuistion), representatives of the contemporary alternative film music (Joseph Trapanese, Cliff Martinez, Łukasz Targosz) and the creators of the third Witcher game (director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz and composers: Marcin Przybyłowicz and Mikołaj Stroiński). The accompanying events, organised as part of the FMF Audiovisual Forum attracted over 2500 lovers of the broadly understood film music.

Moreover, like every year, talented adepts of the film music art, as well as friends of the FMF have received the festival awards. French composer and Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat received the second ever Wojciech Kilar Award, founded by the Mayors of Krakow and Katowice, awarded to those composers, who carry on with the artistic line of its patron. Professor Daniel Carlin from the Southern California University – three-time head of the FMF Young Talent Award international competition jury, received the FMF Ambassador title. This year, the young composers competing for the prestigious statuette were asked to create music for the selected scenes from the 4th instalment of the adventures of the most famous ogre in the world – Shrek Forever. The final stage saw 27 candidates from 15 countries, who then took part in the Master Classes, organised as part of the festival. The FMF Young Talent Award was won by Joep Sporck from the Netherlands, whose sensitivity and understanding of the dramaturgy of animated film; the special award, founded by the West One Music Group label, enabling the laureate to participate in a recording session in one of the leading London studios was given to Bartosch McCarthy, a German composer with Polish roots. The award-winning suite by Joep Sporck was performed during the Film Music Gala: Animations in the Krakow TAURON Arena – it was the first live performance of the young composer’s music.

To sum up, here is some information regarding the reach and reception of the 9th FMF. The events were reported on by almost 200 journalists from 8 countries (from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Turkey, Russia, the United States and of course Poland), the press published 39 articles regarding the festival. Great interest could be also observed in social media – during the festival week, over 1 400 000 posts concerning the events, meeting and concerts appeared on all portals, and over 2500 people decided to download our #ilovefmf application. There is also one more number, which is very important for us – the largest number of people using audio description so far (a technique allowing to add a special narration between dialogues in a film, listened to by blind and partially sighted persons on headphones) – this year, 50 listeners participated in the screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark with live music and audio description. 

We would like to invite you for the 10th anniversary edition of the Film Music Festival in Krakow right away. See you in May 2017! Join us!

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