All is Film Music
The Grand Film Music Gala concluded the first decade of the Film Music Festival in Krakow. The greatest hits of the European and Hollywood cinema, i.e. ”all that has built our brand for years” – as explained Robert Piaskowski, FMF Artistic Director, resounded at a great concert in TAURON Kraków Arena. The concert opened with Howard Shore’s symphonic suite from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. A few hours earlier the composer talked with the Festival audience about his work on Tolkien’s trilogy. ”I took a flight to New Zealand, I watched its fifteen-minute footage, I reviewed illustrators’ sketches, had a look at hand-made props and costumes. Including armours, chain mail garments and swords. It was my inspiration – as soon I got back home, I sat down to write. In pencil, because, just like John Williams, I’m not into computer software when it comes to creating film music. I created a twelve-hour score for all the three parts myself, I orchestrated it myself, and I led the recording – it was a painstaking, but extraordinarily fascinating and interesting work”, said the composer at a meeting with fans in the Krzysztofory Palace. Music for other parts of the saga – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Oscar-showered The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – closed yesterday’s Gala All is Film Music, and at the same time symbolically ended the first ten years of the Film Music Festival in Krakow. In 2008, during the first edition of the FMF, Peter Jackson’s music to the adaptation of Tolkien’s trilogy resounded for the first time on the Krakow Błonia meadow.
Legendary themes from small and large screen productions were performed on that night: John Williams’ Star Wars, as well as The Dreamer and Unfaithful by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek who is a special guest of the 10th FMF; Alan Menken’s Beauty and the Beast; Hans Zimmer’s Inception; Maciej Zieliński’s Sługi Boże (God’s Servants); Jeff Russo’s Fargo and the world premiere of Justin Hurwitz’s suite from La La Land, a film which won six Oscars, including for the best music and the best score. The American composer, many times Emmy-winning Sean Callery, performed his themes from the series Homeland and 24 Hrs on the piano, whilst the Polish composer of Bulgarian descent Atanas Valkov his suite from the series Belfer (Teacher). Brian Tyler, seven times winning the ASCAP Award (for the themes from the films: Thor: The Dark World, Power Rangers, Assasin’s Creed: Black Flag, The Fate of the Furious 8, The Mummy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles); the Canadian-born composer Trevor Morris, twice Emmy Award winner (for the suite from the series The Emerald City), and Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski, twice Golden Globe nominee (music from the series Penny Dreadful) – all of them stepped on the conductor’s podium. On Saturday afternoon he met with his fans at his home Academy of Music in Krakow. ”Image is always my first inspiration, because sight is the first sense through which my perception of the world comes. As a matter of fact I’m not interested in words or dialogues, with one exception – Penny Dreadful – where what the characters’ talk is really fascinating,” said the composer answering the questions about the backstage of film work.
World cinema music hits were performed by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra and Pro Musica Mundi Choir, under the baton of Diego Nawarro, the Festival’s friend and FMF Ambassador. Vocalists also appeared on stage at the TAURON Arena Kraków. The stars of the night were: Edyta Górniak (who sang Beyoncé’s song Listen from Dreamgirls) and Natasza Urbańska (James Newton Howard’s The Hanging Tree from The Hunger Games: Kosogłos. Part 1). ”It is a great honour for me to be part of this evening. I thank and congratulate all the people who have contributed to this splendid festival paying tribute to the greats of film music”, said Edyta Górniak still on the stage. ”It is fantastic that thanks to music written for the ciemna our favourite scenes stay in our memory and we can revisit them in our thoughts. I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to sing a film song for the festival audience who offers such a wonderful reception”, added Natasza Urbańska, as she stepped down the stage.
The FMF annual prestigious Wojciech Kilar Award funded for by the Mayors of Krakow and of Katowice is granted to film music creators who have contributed to the promotion of compositor’s ethical standards. This year the award ceremony was held at the All is Film Music FIMF Birthday Gala. The audience greeted the award winner, Howard Shore, with a standing ovation. The statuette and the title of the FMF Ambassador went to Robert Townson, an American producer and the founder of Varèse Sarabande, a renowned film music label. ”It is a great joy to stand here and to hear the fanfare played by Diego Navarra, being here among friends and composers who co-create this great festival. For ten years, FMF has been showing to the world how exciting film music is”, said Townson accepting the award. The FMF Young Talent Award went to the Polish composer, Paweł Górniak: ”In recognition of his extraordinary musical cue that enhances the authoritarian power and self-generated hero-worship of the wizard”, as well as for ”the effective musical support provided to Dorothy’s mystical transition”, as we can read in the justification of the decision of the Jury chaired by Professor Daniel Carlin. Górniak’s score was chosen from among 120 submissions by artists from 16 countries of Europe. The award-winning suite to a clip from the fantasy series The Emerald City resounded in the second part of the FMF Birthday Gala.
Now we are looking forward to the Festival finale, with the Polish premiere of Matt Schrader’s Score: A Film Music Documentary, a concert of John William’s Star Wars music to be given by FMF Youth Orchestra under the series Young Seriously, and the simultaneous screening of James Cameron’s megahit Titanic, showered with Oscars, with James Horner’s music live.