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22.05.2019

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Krakow as the world’s capital of film music

This is something completely new: the hottest personages of film music, including: Don Davis, Trevor Morris, Craig Armstrong, Jan AP Kaczmarek and Abel Korzeniowski, as well as film industry experts from Hollywood, including Michael Todd, Daniel Carlin, Dennis Sands, Robert Elhai, music editors, recording session producers, arrangers and sound engineers – they all are coming to Krakow. 40 young composers from Poland and abroad will participate in the Audiovisual Forum organized within the FMF.
This is a natural result of connections established over the years, partnerships with the most important centres of film industry, but also the Festival’s brand which is recognized across the Atlantic and which is regularly mentioned by both The Hollywood Reporter and the industry’s most important daily medium, the Variety internet portal. “The Festival has become a natural space for cooperation of representatives of film industry in the broad sense of the term,” emphasizes Izabela Helbin, the director of the Krakow Festival Office which organises the Festival along with the RMF Classic radio station.

The Forum is also combined with an international competition for a film score. As many as 54 young composers have entered their scores for Marek Gajowski’s film study Ciemna strona księżyca [Dark Side of the Moon]. The jury led by Robert Townson, the head of Varèse Sarabande, one of the most important record label which releases film music, has selected 32 compositions and decided on a suit which will be performed during the Great Film Music Gala on the 28th of September at the Tinning Plant of ArcelorMittal Poland. The winner will receive the FMF YOUNG TALENT AWARD statuette and their music will be performed by the Polish Radio National Symphonic Orchestra conducted by English conductor and composer, Gavin Greenaway, who usually runs recording sessions for, among others, Hans Zimmer, James Newton-Howard and John Powell.
Apart from Robert Townson, the jury includes other outstanding experts. During the FMF, they will run master courses and workshops organised in one of Europe’s most state-of-the-art recording studios in Alwernia. The Festival’s fans will also be able to participate in workshops organised at the Krakow Music Academy and the Małopolska Garden of Arts.

For the first time, we have launched an educational platform for young composers who wish to build their careers within the international film service industry. “We have named it the Audiovisual Forum because the idea of a forum expresses the equality of its partners and, therefore, a learning system based on the exchange and merger of knowledge and experience,” says Robert Piaskowski, the originator of the workshops and artistic director of the FMF.

The largest number of classes within the scope of the Forum will be led by Professor Daniel Carlin and Dennis Sands. Daniel Carlin is the director of the prestigious chair of Scoring for Motion Pictures & Television at the University of Southern California: Thornton School of Music and has worked on over 100 film productions as a composer, conductor, supervisor and producer. Carlin has created a programme for composers at the Sundance Institute and has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 25 years. Within the FMF’s master courses, he will lead classes devoted to the soundtrack production processes, roles within the film industry and particular stages of film music productions. He will be accompanied by a four-time Academy Award nominee (for the films The Polar Express, Cast Away, Contact, Forrest Gump), winner of a Grammy Award (for the soundtrack for American Beauty) and Emmy Award (for Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin). Dennis Sands is a sound engineer, editor, recording session producer, who has worked on over 300 films and hundreds of TV series episodes and music albums. He has cooperated with many composers, such as: Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, Mark Isham, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, John Powell, James Newton Howard, Alexander Desplat, artists, including Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, and directors, among others, Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, and Robert Redford.

The secrets of film orchestration and arranges will be revealed by Robert Elhai, who was, for many years, Elliot Goldenthal’s orchestrator and the author of orchestration for the Academy Award winning film Frida, as well as Brian Tyler’s (Iron Man 3, The Expendables, Children of Dune) and Klaus Badelt’s (Pirates of the Caribbean, Wu ji [The Promise], Rescue Dawn) supporting orchestrator. A well-known person for Krakow, a composer, conductor, the director of Fimucité Festival, Diego Navarro, will talk to his students on how to build portraits and characterize film heroes with music, while a Canadian composer, Trevor Morris, will tell us about creating music for great television productions, TV series, films and computer games.

An unusual educational performance will be held at the Krakow Music Academy by Pociąg Towarowy comprised of its founding fathers: Marek Chołoniewski, Krzysztof Knittel, Włodzimierz Kiniorski and Piotr Bikont, who are renown for music recorded for Andrzej Czeczot’s film Eden. They will present a live music project and a visual performance with elements of improvisation, experiment and interaction with the audiences. Workshops led by Pociąg Towarowy will be entitled Reconstruction of sound layer in a silent film with the use of electroacoustic devices with elements of electronic and acoustic arrangement constitute the open part of the FMF Audiovisual Forum which is addressed to everyone interested in sound laboratory, applied music and at all those who simply like listening to people who enjoy playing with sounds.

The secrets of a composer’s career will be revealed to young composers by Michael Todd, the Director of Film & Television Music at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), an organization which embraces 460 thousands of music composers. Todd will talk about how to build relations within the industry and the characteristics of copyright. He will also share his experience in career development consultation for young composers and lyric writers. He has been producing and leading the famous annual ASCAP Television & Film Scoring Workshop for thirteen years. This four-week long intensive training camp aims at the education and promotion of a new generation of beginner film authors from all over the world and provides them access to the best resources possible. Similar classes on how the Hollywood film industry works will be led by Robert Messinger, one of the most powerful agents within the industry, the owner of First Artists Management, a boutique agency that represents leading film music composers and music supervisors, such as Alberto Iglesias (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Mychael Danna (The Life of Pi), Howard Shore, Gustav Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain), Rachel Portman (Chocolat). Messinger will give a lecture on film music as a business and its relations to other sectors of film industry.

Valgeir Sigurðsson, a producer, composer, musician and the founder of the best recording studio in Reykjavík, Greenhouse Studios, will elaborate on the relation of ecology and music. Sigurðsson also established Bedroom Community music label. His career flourished in 1998 thanks to Björk, who engaged him to record a score she had composed for Lars Von Trier’s film Dancer in the Dark. The composer will meet young people at the Małopolska Garden of Arts to tell them about his passion for music, creating and artists’ responsibility for nature.

Other open meetings include those with Abel Korzeniowski, Trevor Morris, and Alberto Iglesias. Korzeniowski wrote music for films of such directors as: Jerzy Stuhr (Duże zwierzę [Big Animal] and Pogoda na jutro [Tomorrow’s Weather]), Tom Ford (A Single Man), Madonna (W.E.). Recently, he has created a soundtrack for Disney World's postmodern picture Escape from Tomorrow (directed by Randy Moore). Alberto Iglesias has been cooperating with Pedro Almodóvar for 18 years but he has also worked with the most avant-garde Spanish directors: Carlos Saura, Bigas Luna, Julio Medem, as well as with Oliver Stone, John Malkovich, Mark Foster, and Steven Soderbergh.

The meeting with Alberto Iglesias will be hosted by Simon Greenaway, a composer and pianist who regularly cooperates with such artists as: Bryan Adams, Gary Barlow, Harry Gregson Williams, The Lemonheads, David Arnold, Patrick Doyle, and John Powell. He is the Director of Film & TV UK/Europe at ASCAP and in 2011 joined the board of directors at the World Soundtrack Awards.

“We feel a constant need to educate within the field functional composition for the new media in a systemic way and with use of advanced methods. This issue is virtually absent from the teaching programmes of a majority of artistic universities, especially in an integrated form focused on an international career. The Festival wishes to use its experience, international status, the industry’s trusts and contacts within the industry to help young artists who are planning an international career within this field,” says Piaskowski.

Among the extensive schedule of meetings, workshops, film screenings and concerts, also an open meeting with a double Emmy Award winner, conductor and arranger, the author of score for the legendary Matrix trilogy, Don Davis, is awaited impatiently by the festival’s audiences. Davis composed music for numerous American TV series, video games and feature films, such as: When a Man Loves a Woman, Behind the Enemy Lines, Ballistic, House on Haunted Hill, and Jurassic Park III, as well as for one of Wachowski brothers’ first films, Bound from 1996.

The Festival will be visited by many famous people connected with film music, for example Werner Herzog’s main composer, Ernst Reijseger and Valgeir Sigurðsson, who has already been mentioned above. Participants of the Great Film Music Gala – 10 Composers for RMF Classic’s 10th Anniversary will include, among others: Michał Lorenc, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Abel Korzeniowski, Diego Navarro, James Newton Howars, Craig Armstrong, Don Davis, Alberto Iglesias, Trevor Morris and Gavin Greenaway. We would like to remind you that during the Festival’s finale, the blockbuster Matrix will be screened simultaneously with a live performance of the film’s score. The concert will be conducted by the author of the score, Don Davis.

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