Festivals - 16th Krakow film music festival : Avatar: The Way of Water Score Premieres at the festival

By Mulder, 01 june 2023

The 16th Krakow FMF ended on Monday with accolades for the wonderful performances. Tuesday was to be the closing night, but Hans Zimmer’s concert was cancelled due to illness. Director of the Krakow Festival Office, Carolina Pietyra, who organizes the event with the City of Kraków and RMF Classic radio, said of the return of the festival: “Faced by the challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as the war that broke out at our doorstep, many of us have taken refuge in cinematic works – either trying to glimpse into the future or relive the amazing films from our childhood. The headline of this year’s edition of the Krakow Film Music Festival – Out of Space – stands for everything that takes us to other spaces and responds to our longing to explore realms unknown.” Participants and attendees included legends of the film score scene –Simon Franglen, Gary Marlowe, Nainita Desai and Steven Price.

The festival’s centrepiece was the Space Gala. ICE Kraków Congress Centre resounded with some of the best cosmic scores by Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival), Cliff Martinez (Solaris), Steven Price (Gravity) and Benjamin Wallfisch (Hidden Figures). The grand finale was the world premiere of Simon Franglen’s Avatar: The Way of Water suite, resulting in a five-minute standing ovation.

The screening of E.T. with live music brought guests back to the 1980s. Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece has captivated audiences worldwide and continues to inspire new productions. Some part of its allure lies in the Academy Award-winning score by one of the greatest composers – John Williams. “Even today, I consider E.T. to be the film of my childhood… I still remember how impressed I was by the music and the story, which was really moving, albeit simple. We wanted to remind older members of the audience what it made them feel and share these emotions with children and youth. We believe that E.T. is not a closed chapter in the history of cinema,” says Robert Piaskowski, Artistic Director of the Krakow Film Music Festival.

Electronic music aficionados and all the listeners interested in new technologies were at home during the Echoes of Space concert. Immersive visuals and an advanced surround sound system were the focus of the evening. The invited artists, including Gary Marlowe, created their own language, blurring the boundaries between symphonic, ambient, and electro-pop music. Simon Franglen also presented his experimental work Sunrise | Sunset, which was commissioned by the Shanghai Tower and inspired by the landscape of Shanghai. The work can be heard in the highest located art gallery in the world. and dedicated to the highest located art gallery in the world.

“One of the aims of the Krakow Film Music Festival was to constantly change and evolve in order to bring about new ideas and evoke new emotions; however, one thing never really changed – we keep coming back to the scores we fell in love with long ago. That is why the programme features compositions by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, one of our greatest friends, who is celebrating his 70th birthday this year. We have been playing his marvellous music on our radio since the very beginning – and it has been twenty years,” says Magdalena Wojewoda-Mleczko, RMF Classic’s music director. The Kaczmarek2Cinema concert featured some of the Master’s most beautiful themes, including the Academy Award-winning score from Finding Neverland.

The last chord of the festival was Patrick Doyle’s 70th birthday concert. His oeuvre includes scores for popular comedies (Bridget Jones’s Diary), thrillers (Donnie Brasco) and fantasy films (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), as well as adaptations of British classics (Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility, Gosford Park). “Patrick Doyle is one of the most prolific and diverse artists of our time – a composer who can masterfully wrangle melodies and paint detailed pictures of intimate worlds to highlight the psychological dilemmas of film characters. The brilliant performance left us longing for the next year’s festival,” says Robert Piaskowski.

(Source : press release)