From September 20-29, 2019, the Tenerife International Film Music Festival (FIMUCITÉ) was held, and Gorka Oteiza (SoundTrackFest), who attended it from 26-29, gives us in this article a summary of the 13th edition.
On Friday, September 20, 2019, the 13th edition of the Tenerife International Film Music Festival (FIMUCITÉ) began in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), entitled ‘Fimucité the 13th’ in a clear allusion to the classic horror saga ‘Friday the 13th’, dedicating this edition to the terror/horror genre.
The events of the festival began the first weekend (20-22), and continued from Thursday 26th until its completion on Sunday 29th, although in SoundTrackFest we could only cover the final part of the festival, which for us started with the concert in an intimate format offered by Randy Edelman on Thursday 26.
Let’s talk about each and every one of the events that we could attend, to end this article with a summary of the pros and cons of the festival.
NOTE: You can find detailed information about the festival’s concert program in the following link (read news) and complete information about the panels/masterclasses activities in the following link (read news).
The festival published on its official Facebook page, almost daily, a video-summary of what happened the day before. Here you can find the link to the article that we have prepared grouping all these video-summaries.
Today was our first day in Tenerife, with the concert that was going to have Randy Edelman on the piano entitled ‘Randy Edelman: A Close Relationship’, which with its title, already gave us a brief idea of how it was going to be: the composer would review his extensive musical career, both outside and inside of the movies, but in an intimate way, playing the piano and accompanied by his voice.
The concert was held at the Teatro Guimerá, which was half-full approximately. On stage, a simple but effective presentation: a text with the title of the concert on a large screen, which was not going to change throughout the whole show, and a piano in the center. Nothing else was needed.
After an introduction by Sagri Hernández and Manuel Díaz Noda, at approximately 20:10h Randy Edelman, who was greeted with applause from the audience, sat at the piano and started to play.
26/9/2019 - THU - 20:00h - ‘Randy Edelman: A Close Relationship’
VENUE: Teatro Guimerá (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
Piano y and voice: Randy Edelman
FMF Krakow String Ensemble
The Solo albums (#1)
- The Farmer
- Blue Street
- Highway Affair
The Carpenters recordings
- I Can’t Make Music
- Piano Picker
Score Medley: The Comedies
- My Cousin Vinny / When U Were Sleeping / Beethoven
The Solo albums (#2)
- My Heart Got in the Way
- If Love is Real
- London Song
Score Medley: The Drama Themes
- Gettysburg / Dragonheart / Come see the Paradise
- Theme from McGyver
- Don’t Forsake me Now
- Concrete and Clay
Arnold / Carrey Medley
- Twins / Kindergarten Cop / The Mask
Dark Medley (featuring FMF Krakow string ensemble)
- Diabolique / Cora’s Theme from “Last of the Mohicans”
- The Woman on your Arm (featuring FMF Krakow string ensemble)
- Weekend in New England (featuring FMF Krakow string ensemble)
- The Uptown Uptempo Woman (featuring FMF Krakow string ensemble)
- The Laughter and the Tears
- Just Passin Thru
The concert was structured in several blocks, referencing the different stages that Edelman had gone through in his career; both with his moments as a soloist, with his recordings for ‘The Carpenters’, or with the different cinematic thematic blocks, being one of them the one that the composer called ‘Hahaha Stories’, in clear reference to his music for comedies. Sometimes just with the piano and sometimes also singing, Randy Edelman was playing the different pieces of the program, linking them almost without pause, in a way that seemed random, as if the whole concert was a great ‘medley’, without following the written program at all times. This was not a major problem, because although we did not know exactly which piece was being played at each moment, the dynamism and the quality of the performance made the various musical moments highly enjoyable.
In the final part of the concert, Edelman was accompanied by the FMF Krakow String Ensemble composed of 7 young students from a musical exchange with the Krakow Film Music Festival (Krakow FMF), a festival twinned with Tenerife for years, to which the artist affectionately called ‘String Quartet +3’ or ‘Polish style String Quartet’, as he expected to find 4 musicians when the rehearsals started, but he found he had 7 young musicians instead.
At the beginning of each thematic block, Edelman addressed the public in English, in a funny way, telling stories and jokes, with irony in his words, providing additional information about the music that he was going to play. Unfortunately, an audience that could not fluently cross the language barrier, did not generate the feedback that the artist expected, as he commented a couple of times, and slowed things a little bit, in a particularly agile and informal concert. This issue has a difficult solution, since having a translator would have broken the dynamics and the fluency of the concert, but not doing so meant that the jokes and the anecdotes did not get to all the audience.
As a summary, it could be said that we had an intimate and direct concert, with very enjoyable music, that touched all the different stages of the composer’s career in just over an hour and a half, leaving a good taste and a good impression in the audience.
Throughout most of the week, many activities were carried out within the 4th edition of the Fimucité Film Scoring Academy, but unfortunately I couldn’t be there, having to attend the Fimucinema jury meeting, and other additional commitments and reunions, meaning that on this occasion, I could not enjoy the great conference program.
The same happened with the first of the two concerts for schoolchildren that was held in the morning of Thursday 26th at the Antonio Lecuona Auditorium of the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Canary Islands, which came to be a reduced version of the concert ‘Champions of the Silver Screen’ to be performed on Sunday.
But I could attend the morning concert on Friday 27th at the conservatory, entitled ‘Vince DiCola – Artistic Transformations’, where a room full of kids from different schools of the island, was going to be the audience for which the composer played at the synthesizer pieces of the feature films ‘Rocky IV’ and ‘Transformers: The Movie’ and the video game ‘Angry Birds: Transformers’, among others.
Each of the pieces was preceded by a brief history, in English with translation into Spanish, something that the young audience thanked with their laughter and applause, and that was arousing their curiosity as the show progressed. At the end of the concert (which lasted a little less than an hour), Vince DiCola gave way to a Q&A round, where a very young audience, who had already lost their shyness, showed us how child innocence sometimes does not know boundaries, generating from funny questions such as ‘How old are you?’, or ‘How is it to live in Hollywood?’, to interesting questions like ‘How did you get hired to do the music for Transformers?’.
This concert (and can I deduce that something similar happened with the one on the previous day), represents a very special activity for schoolchildren, where you can see kids enjoying the experience, and where, who knows, maybe one of those little brains, decides in the future that this is the path he/she wants to follow. A great initiative that we hope will be repeated every year.
More information about all the events that were included in the Fimucité Film Scoring Academy can be found at the following link:
At night, at 20h, it was time for the festival’s main concert, in a thematic edition of Fimucité dedicated to terror/horror music. The concert, entitled ‘My Favourite Fears’, was dedicated to the best music of that genre, with two of its great exponents among the audience, Christopher Young and Harry Manfredini.
Unfortunately, the public did not bet on this concert as much as it would have been desirable, filling approximately 2/3 of the Tenerife Auditorium. Perhaps having scheduled this concert on Saturday, the audience would have been bigger, but it may also be that the horror genre does not raise as many passions at a musical level as it does at a cinematographic level, due to the non-predominance of melodic and recognizable themes. In any case, what cannot be denied is that the great quality of the program and of the performance offered, deserved a full house in the auditorium.
The concert was performed by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife conducted by Christian Schumann, together with the Tenerife Film Choir and the Coro Polifónico de la Universidad de La Laguna conducted by Juan Ramón Vinagre. Indicate that as a curiosity, and to warm up the atmosphere before the concert, the auditorium’s outer hall was patrolled by some of the protagonist ‘characters’ of the concert: Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Jason Voorhees (Friday 13), that made the audience take many pictures. A great idea!
27/9/2019 - FRI - 20:00h - My Favourite Fears
VENUE: Auditorio de Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife
Tenerife Film Choir (Juan Ramón Vinagre, director)
Coro Polifónico de la Universidad de La Laguna
Conducted by Christian Schumann
‘Música para el Audiovisual Español’ Awards – Nominees Suite
Evil Dead 2 (Joseph LoDuca)
The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Halloween (John Carpenter)
The Exorcist (Mike Oldfield)
SAW (Charlie Closer)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Charles Bernstein) – Suite WORLD PREMIERE!
The Amityville Horror (Lalo Schifrin) – Main Title
Psycho (Bernard Herrmann) – Prelude
Rosemary’s Baby (Krzysztof Komeda) – Main Theme
Hammer Horror Curse of Frankenstein / Dracula (James Bernard) – Suite WORLD PREMIERE!
Damien: Omen II (Jerry Goldsmith) – All The Power / End Title WORLD PREMIERE!
“Mis Terrores Favoritos” Suite WORLD PREMIERE!
Tombs of the Blind Dead (Antón García Abril)
The House That Screamed (Waldo de los Ríos)
Who Can Kill a Child? (Waldo de los Ríos)
Drag Me to Hell (Christopher Young) – Concerto to Hell WORLD PREMIERE!
Hellraiser / Hellbound: Hellraiser II (Christopher Young) – Suite
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Elliot Goldenthal) – Born to Darkness / Lestat’s Tarantella / Louise’s Revenge
Sleepy Hollow (Danny Elfman) – Suite
Poltergeist (Jerry Goldsmith) – Rebirth WORLD PREMIERE!
Friday the 13th (Harry Manfredini) – Suite WORLD PREMIERE!
The concert started at 20:10h with the Spanish Audiovisual Music Awards, granted by the Spanish Association of Composers – Musimagen by the hand of its president Darío Palomo. In the section best score for a series, the award went to Iván Martínez Lacámara and Manel Santisteban – ‘Vis a Vis. Season 3’. In the best electroacoustic score section, the award went to Arnau Bataller – ‘El desentierro’. Next, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife conducted by Diego Navarro performed a suite of the three nominated orchestral scores, giving way to the presentation of the last award, the best orchestral score, which was for Vanessa Garde – ‘La gran aventura de los Lunnis y el Libro mágico’. All the awardees went on stage to collect their respective trophies, and after posing for the photo, left without giving any speech.
And when it was close to 20:25h, Christian Schumann, who was going to be in charge of the rest of the concert, appeared on the stage accompanied by great applause from the audience, and the concert began. This opening was with a special Overture, which included the music of several horror movies. There we could enjoy the well-known music for The Twilight Zone or the famous piece Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield for The Exorcist among others, in a very interesting suite of just over 8 minutes, which gave way to a classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street – Charles Bernstein where the orchestra, in addition to providing the music, offered vocal sounds, adding a slight touch of terror to the piece.
The screen located over the orchestra, where the images and videos that accompanied the pieces were being projected, received a personalized video message from Lalo Schifrin for the festival, where he introduced the next piece The Amityville Horror (Lalo Schifrin) – Main Title, which had the participation of the choir – mainly with the female voices – and with the predominance of the harp, although it turned out to be a somewhat loose and rather languid piece.
It was time for a classic, both as a movie and as a score: Psycho (Bernard Herrmann) – Prelude. A very good piece with a great beginning and with a great orchestral development in three parts. 5 minutes of musical delight, that were too short.
The piece Rosemary’s Baby (Krzysztof Komeda) – Main Theme was played next, where the orchestra’s strength gave way to the choir and especially to a solo female voice, which played a big part in the theme.
We were approaching the equator of the concert, and we did it with Hammer Horror – Curse of Frankenstein / Dracula (James Bernard) – Suite, which although it lasted a little less than 5 minutes and was short, it perfectly condensed the great musical quality of both soundtracks.
And before arriving to the intermission, it was time to increase the tension with Damien’s demonic presence, with the piece Damien: Omen II (Jerry Goldsmith) – All The Power / End Title, where a wonderful orchestra, under the attentive and precise conducting of Christian Schumman (as in the rest of the concert), offered us a theme with strength, energy, and tension, with the great contribution of the choir.
It was 21:00h when the moment of the intermission arrived and 25 minutes later the second half started with a new suite made from several Spanish horror films entitled ‘Suite – My Favourite Terrors’ (Tombs of the Blind Dead – Antón García Abril / The House That Screamed – Waldo de los Ríos / Who Can Kill a Child? – Waldo de los Ríos), where we could see how certain low-budget horror movies aged much worse than their music.
Then it was time for one of the main guest stars of the festival, with a suite of Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell – Concerto to Hell, with a wonderful concertmaster performing an overwhelming beginning, that even before finishing the suite, generated thundering applause from the public. 10 minutes of suite in total, that generated a great ovation of the entire auditorium standing up, corresponded by a visibly grateful Christopher Young, who returned the affection he was receiving shaking hands with the people around him. Without a doubt, this was the most intense and best valued musical moment of the entire concert… and of the entire festival.
The emotion of the moment, played a trick on the organization, and moved forward the delivery of the Antón García Abril Award to Christopher Young, which was supposed to be after the next piece, but that was done at this moment. This did not generate any inconvenience, and it was just an anecdote, as Young took the stage, and giving a meaningful speech of gratitude, picked up the prize visibly excited, to return to his seat to enjoy the next piece, Hellraiser / Hellbound: Hellraiser II (Christopher Young) – Suite.
This theme, which again included the energy of the orchestra and the choir, with a very good craft and performance, looked smaller due to the intensity of the previous piece and to the pause of the award ceremony. Perhaps having programmed in block Hellraiser first and Drag Me to Hell later, would have been better. But this did not lessen the quality nor the performance of both pieces.
Next two themes, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Elliot Goldenthal) – Born to Darkness / Lestat’s Tarantella / Louise’s Revenge and Sleepy Hollow (Danny Elfman) – Suite, were ok, but we had to wait till Poltergeist (Jerry Goldsmith) – Rebirth to listen to something remarkable that would surprise us again.
And arriving at the final part of the concert, it was time for another of the guests to go on stage, Harry Manfredini, who presented the world premiere of the suite for Friday 13th. In his presentation he did not only speak about the piece, but also about the wonderful reception he had by the festival and about his fabulous stay on the island, confessing he wanted to stay, telling to his agent John Tempereau that he was right, when he encouraged him to attend Fimucité against his initial intention. In the literal words of Harry Manfredini, and with a smile in his mouth: ‘John, for once in a lifetime, I’m going to tell you that you’re right.’
And thus, at 22:25h, the piece Friday the 13th (Harry Manfredini) – Suite began, divided into four movements, starting with a choir and the orchestra whispering the well-known “Ki Ki Ki… Ma Ma Ma…” to give way to a more dynamic and lively part with the rhythm of the drums, coming from the introduction of the second Friday the 13th movie. The third movement of the suite flooded us with terror with the marked sound of the strings and especially the violins, giving way to the last movement with a melodic part, in which the piano and the choir predominated, before receiving the final shock, as in every good horror movie. Then the suite ended just as it had started, returning to a disturbing peace and silence with the sound of a fading “Ki Ki Ki… Ma Ma Ma…”. A great suite of more or less 13 minutes (funny number, right?), which received great applause from the audience, corresponded by Harry Manfredini standing and bowing, and saying Thank You!.
As usual, the audience had no intention of letting the night end here, and applauded waiting for an encore or a new surprise piece, but what they did not expect was that this extra piece would arrive from the top of the auditorium, where 3 people characterized like The Ghostbusters came down the stairs to the stage, where the orchestra and two singers performed the last theme of the evening: the famous song Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr. A fabulous concert finale, dynamic, joyful, and original, which was brilliantly received by the public, closing almost 3 hours of show.
A great concert, essential for terror/horror movie lovers, with high quality and meticulously selected program, demonstrating that a festival, can and should be the ideal place, to bet on original and very well crafted proposals.
Today, one of the most anticipated moments of the festival was going to be celebrated, the screening of the film ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ (1992 dir. Francis Ford Coppola), while the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife under the baton of Diego Navarro, performed Wojciech Kilar’s score synchronously, with the participation of the Tenerife Film Choir and the Coro Polifónico de la Universidad de La Laguna, conducted by Juan Ramón Vinagre.
When we say that it was one of the most anticipated moments of the festival, it is because it was one of the most successful concerts at the box office level, since most of its tickets were sold, leaving very few free seats in the Tenerife Auditorium (total capacity 1616 seats).
This concert, which was a ‘personal’ project between the film music festivals of Tenerife and Krakow, started about a year ago with an idea that seemed a little crazy (as it often happens), and which gave its results 5 months ago, on May 2019, in Krakow. So, tonight in Tenerife, it was going to be the second time that Dracula was performed in concert live.
The great music composed by Wojciech Kilar for the movie, which was his big American debut, returned to its full orchestral splendor live, thanks to the work of a large team, where the composer and orchestrator Thomas Bryla played a fundamental role reconstructing of the score.
Krakow Film Music Festival director, Robert Piaskowski, was called on stage at the beginning of the evening to collect an award given by Fimucité to Wojciech Kilar, commemorating his work, and closing in a certain way the circle that started a year ago here in Tenerife. Piaskowski, in an almost perfect Spanish, gave a long speech that was not limited to the traditional one or two courtesy phrases, and over several minutes, he thanked for the award, commented on the work done, and said that he would give it personally to Kilar’s family in Poland.
Diego Navarro and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife did an excellent, precise, and diligent work, in a movie where music is fundamental, and its perfect synchronization with what we are seeing on screen is critical. The time, the rhythm, the intensity, as well as the different nuances and accents that the music and vocals of the choir brought to the global experience, were excellently controlled by Diego Navarro’s baton, and were essential to charm the audience, which was delighted with the evening.
The film was offered in its original English version with Spanish subtitles, and as the only downside, let’s note that there was only one screen in the center of the stage and at the bottom of it, which probably would not be very easy to watch from the last rows of the auditorium. Maybe it would have been a good idea to place additional side screens to ensure better visibility by the entire audience, like it was done last year with the concert ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.
As we mentioned when we uploaded the pictures of the concert to Facebook, the film has not aged very well, giving some ridiculous situations at times; although it is true that in a second viewing, and in comparison with the concert of May in Krakow, there were nuances that were perceived and understood better.
Special mention deserves the music of Wojciech Kilar, which for many years we have been used to listen to from the original edition of the only CD that had been published, until in November 2018, an extended and improved edition was published with new mixes and the complete score. Listening to this music in a concert hall with a complete orchestra and a live choir is a real delight, both for details that can be perceived, and for the greater dimension that this wonderful music acquires.
At the end of the screening, and while we watched the credits and the music was the only protagonist, Cristina Ramos performed fabulously the piece ‘Love Song for a Vampire’, originally performed by Annie Lennox.
In summary, it can be said that ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ in concert is a great initiative, and as it was confirmed by its creators, Fimucité, the Krakow Film Music Festival, and Robert Townson Productions, it will be possible to see it soon touring around the world, as it has been of interest by various international orchestras and promoters.
After an intense week of events and concerts, we were already on the last day of the festival with the concert ‘Champions of the Silver Screen’, which for the third day in a row was being held at the Auditorium of Tenerife, and which had the novelty of having the FIMUCITÉ Youth Orchestra instead of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife. Indicate that the concert was held normally, despite the widespread blackout that we had lived hours before on the island, so that when we arrived at the auditorium, everything was ready to enjoy a great evening.
Saying that we were going to enjoy a great evening was something that could be imagined, as soon as we saw the program, since it included multiple pieces and suites from sports movies, where the main theme is the overcoming, the heroic deeds against all the adverse situations, and the great sport deeds, building a concert that could already be described as emotional and inspiring (something that Americans summarize very well with the term ‘Feelgood movie’ or in this case ‘Feelgood concert’).
At 19:10h, the evening began with the hosts Vanesa Bocanegra and Ana Molowny on stage to introduce the Fimucinema awards, which were already celebrating their 7th edition. To accompany them, the Argentinian composer Osvaldo Montes, president of the Fimucinema jury, that was composed by musicians Harry Manfredini and Osvaldo Montes, the Canarian filmmaker Vasni Ramos, and… me, the founder and director of SoundTrackFest, Gorka Oteiza. Unfortunately, Canarian filmmaker Mercedes Afonso could not finally be part of the jury.
The Alex North Award for Best Soundtrack in fiction feature went to Jim Copperthwaite – ‘The Bird Catcher’. In the documentary category the award was for Olivier Militon – ‘The Superpowers of the Bear’. In the short film category, the winner was Mathieu Alvado – ‘Rebirth’. And the prize for the best song went to ‘Lo que Siento Por Ti’ by Frank Ceara (Lyrics) and Pengbian Sang (Music), from the movie of the same title. Unfortunately, none of the winners were there to pick up their trophy, but the hosts confirmed that they would receive them at home.
More information about the nominees and winners can be found at the following link:
The concert was performed by the FIMUCITÉ Youth Orchestra (students from the CPM and CSMC conservatories of music) under the baton of José Antonio Cubas, together with the guest directors Randy Edelman and Diego Navarro, who were joined by guest artist Vince DiCola, in addition to guest vocalists Marc Quee and Patty Baker. Indicate that the orchestra also had the reinforcement of the musicians of the FMF Krakow String Ensemble, who had already been part of Edelman’s concert last Thursday.
29/9/2019 - SUN - 19:00h - ‘Champions of the Silver Screen’
VENUE: Auditorio de Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)
FIMUCITÉ Youth Orchestra (students from the CPM and CSMC conservatories of music)
Conducted by José Antonio Cubas
Guest conductors: Randy Edelman and Diego Navarro
Guest Artist: Vince DiCola
Singers: Marc Quee & Patty Baker
“Champions of the Silver Screen” Overture WORLD PREMIERE!
RTVE Sports Theme (Antón García Abril)
Yo hice a Roque III (Alfonso Agullo /Eddy Guerin / Carlos Vila)
Street Fighter II (Yoko Shimomura)
The Karate Kid (Bill Conti)
Captain Tsubasa (Osamu Yoshioka, Hiroshi Uchiki)
Hoosiers (Jerry Goldsmith)
RAD (John Farnham) – Break The Ice – WORLD PREMIERE! featuring Marc Quee
Chariots of Fire (Vangelis) – Chariots of Fire Titles
Remember the Titans (Trevor Rabin) – Suite
The Natural (Randy Newman) – WORLD PREMIERE!
Rudy (Jerry Goldsmith) – The Final Game
Rocky (Bill Conti) – Going The Distance / Gonna Fly Now
Formula 1 (Brian Tyler) – Formula 1 Theme
Angels in the Outfield (Randy Edelman) – Suite WORLD PREMIERE!
NBC Football Theme (Randy Edelman)
Dragón, The Bruce Lee Story (Randy Edelman) – Dragon’s Heartbeat
Rocky IV (Vince DiCola) – Training Montage / Hearts on Fire / Up the Mountain / War! – WORLD PREMIERE!“Hearts on Fire” featuring Marc Quee
At 19:15h started the concert with an Overture entitled “Champions of the Silver Screen”, which was accompanied by video clips and images that were interspersed with live video of the orchestra, illustrating the many sports movies, a television series, and a video game, which were part of the piece. A dynamic suite, very agile, very intense, and really enjoyable. The piece began with the RTVE Sports Theme , a classic by the great composer Antón García Abril, and next we enjoyed Rocky’s parody with Yo hice a Roque III, where the images of the Spanish comedians Pajares and Esteso training got the smiles of the audience, to continue with the music of the video game Street Fighter II by Yoko Shinomura, to then give way to the wonderful music of Bill Conti for Karate Kid, to continue with the famous animated television series, Captain Tsubasa, and to end with the great music of Jerry Goldsmith for Hoosiers.
Ten minutes that condensed in a large suite a promising beginning of a concert, where the FIMUCITÉ Youth Orchestra, under the baton of José Antonio Cubas, proved to be very well prepared for a challenge of this nature. A beginning that set the expectations quite high for the rest of the evening.
After a great applause from the audience, the singer Marc Quee, put his wonderful voice at the service of the theme Break The Ice from them movie RAD (John Farnham), coming next a classic, Chariots of Fire (Vangelis) – Chariots of Fire Titles, superbly performed in rhythm by the orchestra, although it might have been a little more intense.
The next theme was Remember the Titans (Trevor Rabin) – Suite, which although it enjoyed a good performance, had a slightly abrupt ending that left us slightly disoriented. Then we had the world premiere of the suite The Natural (Randy Newman), which offered an intense feeling with the use of the trumpet, and interestingly, it showed us a clip where Robert Redford hit the lights of the stadium with a baseball ball and generated a short circuit in the venue. It is a curious coincidence that a few hours before we were in a similar situation on the island. Maybe Robert Redford was nearby?
Arriving at the end of the first half we could enjoy two great pieces. The first piece was a classic, Rudy (Jerry Goldsmith) – The Final Game, with a very good 6-minute suite, which started softly and was picking up rhythm and tension through the incorporation of the brass section, to explode later then in all its grandeur.
A huge applause, a brief pause, and we continued with the last piece of the first part. We listened to the glorious trumpets of Rocky, in a fanfare that is already mythical in the history of the sports, causing our adrenaline to rise while we watched Rocky train on screen. Rocky (Bill Conti) – Going The Distance / Gonna Fly Now was being played and it made us want to start running next to him. The initial training gave way to the combat, in a melody that was growing in intensity and in action, until it exploded in a great ‘victory’ and brought Rocky’s theme to its maximum splendor. A wonderful end of the first part, with a committed audience standing and applauding.
Perhaps the only thing that could be pointed out at this moment was the excessive use of the drums to mark the rhythms, and a strong predominance of the guitar in some moments, when maybe the orchestrations could have been based more in the percussion section of the orchestra. But this small detail did not minimize the quality of what we had enjoyed so far.
We arrived to the intermission at 20:00h and continued the second half 20 minutes later with the piece Formula 1 (Brian Tyler) – Formula 1 Theme, bombastic and quite impersonal, which was accompanied by the engine effect of the Formula 1 cars, which flew over the heads of the audience through the different speakers of the auditorium, generating a buzzing sound that although at the beginning could be interesting, when it remained throughout most of the piece it ended up being a bit annoying.
At 20:30h, José Antonio Cubas, who had done an excellent job, left the stage to give the baton to Randy Edelman, who was going to conduct the first of his three pieces. Now, “giving the baton” is figurative speaking, since Edelman conducted in a very expressive and unorthodox way, using only his hands to lead the orchestra. Without knowing if this way of conducting was really more or less effective than the traditional one, from the outside, sometimes it seemed to be too exaggerated and impractical for the young musicians.
The first piece that came next was Angels in the Outfield (Randy Edelman) – Suite, which lasted almost 10 minutes, offering us different passages, from the most tender to the most dynamic, perhaps becoming a bit long at the end. Then came NBC Football Theme (Randy Edelman), a piece with a lot of rhythm and marked Celtic nuances, which gave us a great tune that captured the essence of the American Football League.
After receiving a warm applause, which had the corresponding thanks from Edelman, we could listen to the music of Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story (Randy Edelman) – Dragon’s Heartbeat, in a fairly complete and well-crafted suite.
Edelman left the stage, and Diego Navarro took his place to lead the orchestra in this final part of the concert, dedicated to the music of Rocky IV composed by Vince DiCola, with the composer himself on keyboards.
Before starting the performance, DiCola wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words to thank the festival and the organization, indicating that his stay on the island had exceeded all his expectations, and that he had felt at home, for which he was deeply grateful.
At this time one could realize that perhaps it would have been convenient to place Vince DiCola in a more visible place, at the front of the stage, where the public could have observed better his interpretation and his interventions, thus giving him more prominence, compared to where he was now, as he was only seen when the cameras made him appear on screen.
Then we listened to the great music that he composed for Rocky IV, in a succession of themes that, as is traditional in this type of movies, went through the whole training process, the conflict, and the final resolution in combat. As part of the suite we could find the theme Hearts on Fire performed by Marc Quee and Patty Baker, and the piece Up the Mountain, where all the splendor of DiCola’s music is enhanced at the end with the brief and subtle references of the themes of Bill Conti for Rocky, when he reaches the top of the snowy Russian mountain, demonstrating that his training is completed, in a clear analogy with his famous upstairs run in Philadelphia in the first movie.
A wonderful and very well balanced suite of just over 10 minutes, which made the audience vibrate with excitement. And when it was 21:10h, the concert had officially come to an end, but an enthusiastic audience kept asking for more, giving way to the first encore: Vince DiCola – Saturday Morning RPG, which featured both singers on stage again.
An audience that did not want the evening to end, forced a second encore, the song Hearts on Fire from Rocky IV, where the singer requested the complicity of the audience through the applauses, to boost and enhance the rhythm of the piece.
At 21:25h the concert ended, with the entire audience of a fairly complete auditorium standing up, and with Diego Navarro approaching the microphone to say a few words to thank the audience, the orchestra, the artists, the guests who came from outside of the islands, and especially, to the entire Fimucité organization, to all that group of family, friends, colleagues, and volunteers that make the festival possible. And not only did he want to thank them publicly and in first person, but he also wanted to give them more visibility, so he made them go on stage, to receive great applause from the public, as a ‘Thank You’ for making possible another year of Fimucité.
A great concert, performed by a very well prepared and fabulous FIMUCITÉ Youth Orchestra, which had a great program, very well balanced, where the two guest composers, Randy Edelman and Vince DiCola, were incorporated and participated in a good way in the second half.
As usual, before moving on to the conclusions, let’s make a brief review of those strong points of the festival, and those points that should be improved for future editions.
POINTS TO IMPROVE
Absence of Antón García Abril. Being Antón García Abril announced as one of the main guests, he could not finally attend the festival due to personal reasons. While this is something that happens at all festivals and is something that cannot be avoided, it should have been previously announced through social networks, as soon as possible. A brief post or a short warning would have been enough.
Dracula in concert – Screens. Although it is surely a minor point, let’s note that there was only one screen where the film was being projected, located in the center and at the bottom of the stage, which probably would not have a very good vision from the last rows of the auditorium. It would have been convenient to place additional side screens to ensure better visibility by the entire audience, like last year with the concert ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.
Both the Fimucité Film Scoring Academy and the concerts for schoolchildren have become an essential activity of the festival, celebrating its 4th edition this year. These are activities that should be boosted and expanded in future editions. As a suggestion, and even knowing that it is complex to involve schoolchildren in the activities during the weekend, it would be convenient for the general public coming from outside the islands, to have some conferences on Saturday or Sunday, which are the moments in which the largest audience is concentrated and there is plenty of free time.
Press/Photos/Videos. The official graphic follow-up that the festival receives is spectacular, with a multitude of daily photos from all the events, as well as video-summaries that are available almost the next day, so you can see how was the previous day. A great work, especially for the people who have not been able to attend the festival, so they can live it day by day.
The Organization. The “Fimucité Family”, composed of a group of professionals, volunteers, friends, and family who move the festival forward, works like a charm, like a very well-oiled machinery after 13 editions, showing that there is a reason behind Fimucité being the most veteran festival in the country and not far from being the most veteran in Europe. The titanic work done by the organization to create a festival of this size and characteristics, with relatively limited resources, is an aspect to highlight and celebrate.
The 13th edition of Fimucité is over, and the person who said that 13 was a bad luck number was clearly wrong. The festival has shone with its own light, even more than last year, offering quantity, variety, and closeness, something complex, but that looking at the results, is perfectly possible.
And a big reason for that is the “Fimucité Family”, the group of people who are behind the festival, making everything work against all odds. The proximity with the guests and the organization is one of the highlights of the festival; a festival that has grown to reach a top-level at international artistic level, but at the same time, does not mark distances with all the people who come to the island to the event, helping them and trying to make them enjoy the most of their stay.
What new surprises will Fimucité bring us next year in its 14th edition? We don’t know that, but one thing we know for sure, we will be there to live it and write about it.
Article by Gorka Oteiza