My visit to the 9th Kraków Film Music Festival has drawn to a close, and it has been a sensational final day. The much mooted storms stayed away until late in the day (just in time for me to get a soaking), and the city basked in hot sunshine – making it even more beautiful, if that’s possible.
I found myself at the festival centre once again; a great little hideout for guests with free wifi, free Nespresso, things to buy (yes, I bought CDs) and the location for daily mastper classes for students and additional events for us lucky guests. I sat in on a chat with Robert Townson (esteemed film soundtrack producer) and Pia Hoffmann (a bust German Music Supervisor), both of whom shared their stories and gave insights into the work. It was a really inspiring session, particularly as I’ve dipped my toe into producing and want to do more… Watch this space!
I had been looking forward to this evening’s show for a long while: John Williams complete score for Raiders of the Lost Ark performed live to picture on the big screen. I had the great pleasure of creating/writing the programme materials for the UK premiere of the show at the Royal Albert Hall back in March, but due to presenting commitments in Bristol I couldn’t attend. Thank goodness for Kraków.
We found ourselves in the cavernous Tauron Arena once again, this time in the company of the Sinfonietta Cracovia and the fantastic conductor Ludwig Wicki. It was a buzzy atmosphere and sat in the second row, it was an impressive sight behind me; all the expectant faces as far as the eye could see… The film of course needs no introduction, but what a thrill to see it on the big screen for the first time and with a live orchestra. The musicians really nailed the performance, the brass being especially impressive and I should think Williams’ immense, iconic and energetic masterpiece gave them quite a workout. My favourite moments in the film (and score) packed a huge punch live, from the Basket chase through the the streets of Cairo and the scene in the Map Room at Tanis, through the exhilarating truck chase and the opening of the ark… It was hair-raising stuff, and quite emotional.
What an end to my second visit to the festival in this amazing city; hopefully not my last. The biggest thanks to Robert, Agata, Joanna and the team for all they do, their love for film music and the warm welcome. Dziekuje!