FIMUCITÉ – 16th Edition – Festival summary
Fimucité celebrated its 16th edition from September 16 to 25, 2022 and on this occasion, SoundTrackFest attended for the first time the two weekends of the festival.
Despite the maximum alert motivated by a fateful tropical storm, which forced to suspend the acts of the final stretch of the festival, most of the events were held normally and with great success.
Below, Gorka Oteiza and Sergio Hardasmal bring us a summary of the concerts of both weekends.
FIRST WEEKEND (Summary by Gorka Oteiza)
Friday 16/9/22 – 20:00h – Opening concert ‘Kilar – Glass – Navarro’
A packed Teatro Leal de La Laguna, offered on Friday 16th a fabulous opening concert, where a spectacular Sinfonietta Cracovia, who had traveled from Poland just for this concert, due to the long-standing partnership that links Fimucité and Krakow FMF, did a fantastic job. The orchestra was accompanied by virtuoso pianist Aleksander Dębicz, soprano María Candelaria Hernández, and all of them under the baton of Kasia Tamala in the first half, and Diego Navarro in the final stretch of the concert.
The program was as follows:
A very interesting program, very well balanced, with a dynamic, vibrant, and energetic start, that presented well-known pieces by Glass and Kilar, to take us to the end of the first part with the hypnotic and wonderful work Orawa by the Polish maestro. A complex piece to interpret for its cacophonous & rhythm-changing music, divided into multiple layers, which tests the skill and endurance of the orchestra, and that was fantastically performed by the Sinfonietta Cracovia, guided by the skill and precision of Kasia Tomala. The work was greeted by a standing ovation from the entire hall… And if you have never heard it before, look for a video on the Internet and be amazed!
The second part started with the interesting work Sideways by pianist Aleksander Dębicz, a world premiere, followed by three pieces by Diego Navarro, also in a world premiere, corresponding to 3 of his latest films: The Wasteland, The Photographer of Mauthausen, and Passage to Dawn. Pieces full of harmonious melodies, delicious counterpoints, and sentimental musical landscapes, which managed to delight the audience. The icing on the cake was the delicate but profound interpretation of the Tenerife CPM choir of white voices and their soloist, both with the Nana and the suite of Passage to Dawn. A great start to the festival, with a different and original concert.
Detailed information about the concert, including an interview with Agata Grabowiecka, director/manager of the Sinfonietta Cracovia, can be read in the following special article:
Saturday 17/9/22 – 19:30h – Concert ‘Ridley Scott: Like Tears In Rain’ – Pop Culture Band
The second concert of the festival, ‘Ridley Scott: Like Tears In Rain’, offered energy, fun, rhythm, and much more, with a powerful and wonderfully cohesive Pop Culture Band, in a Teatro Guimerá in Tenerife, which was completely packed.
A concert with the best rock, pop, blues, jazz, cabaret, and many other genres that we can imagine… that have been relevant in the history of cinema, and more specifically in the filmography of Ridley Scott.
Two hours of emotion and musical enthusiasm, with stupendous vocal and instrumental soloists, perfectly blended, that made the audience vibrate with a variety of themes as wide as… Time Of The Season (The Zombies), Good Lovin (The Rascals), Beyond the Sea (Charles Trenet), Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley), More Than This (Roxy Music), Freedom Overspill (Steve Winwood) – with all the solo vocalists on stage, or the powerful encore of Waterloo (Abba) that made the audience stand up and dance!
The wild side of film music, the wild side of Fimucité… more alive, more musical, and more intense than ever!
Sunday 19/9/2022 – 19:30h – Tangos de Cine
The ex-Convent of Santo Domingo in La Laguna hosted a recital entitled “Tangos de Cine” by the duo formed by Karolina Mikołajczyk and Iwo Jedynecki (violin and classical accordion).
Unfortunately, we could not attend this last concert of the first weekend, but fortunately Fimucité broadcast it in streaming, so here is the link to watch the complete concert:
SECOND WEEKEND (Summary by Sergio Hardasmal)
Friday 23/9/2022 – 19:30h – CYBERPUNK REMASTERED I: Manga / Anime
For the final part of Fimucité 16, focused this year on Cyberpunk, two main concerts had been announced for the weekend, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th. To this should be added an additional concert incorporated to the program a few days before the beginning of the festival, under the title Memories of the Big Screen, which was going to be a nice finishing touch to an intense week.
The technical complexity of the Friday and Saturday events was more than remarkable in the words of the Festival director, Diego Navarro, during the press conference held in the middle of the week in the halls of the Cabildo Tinerfeño. Both the concert Cyberpunk Remastered I: Manga / Anime and Cyberpunk Remastered II: The Soul of the Machine, required complex logistics and an ambitious work of adaptation of electronic pieces to orchestra and synthesizers, with the presence of important soloists and always under the baton of Navarro. In short, the most ambitious and expensive concerts in the history of the festival. Both programs were offered with a second core part in common, the first half of them being intended to give a greater musical offer to those who chose to attend the Auditorio de Tenerife on both days.
To the surprise of the fans, the recent weather phenomena would come to force the cancellation of the reading of the FIMUCINEMA awards, as well as the concerts Cyberpunk Remastered II: The Soul of the Machine and Memories of the Big Screen (read more). A bad news that was confirmed on social networks during Friday afternoon and that came to fall on everyone like a huge jar of ice water. The cause: a tropical storm originating in Cape Verde and that would keep in check the entire Canary archipelago during the closing weekend of the festival and the following days. The consequences of this unfortunate setback imposed by the skies, would not go beyond the suspension of all kinds of cultural and leisure initiatives, as well as interruption of educational activities or cancellations and delays in flights and communications between the islands and abroad.
The Cyberpunk Remastered I: Manga / Anime concert, scheduled for Friday 23, gathered a significant number of attendees, being the Auditorio de Tenerife an exceptional environment, still under a totally favorable climate.
The presentation of the evening would open the way to the ceremony of the V Premios de la Música para el Audiovisual Español (read more), with the interpretation of a brilliant suite consisting of themes belonging to the award-winning works and under the direction of Diego Navarro. These awards, the only ones voted by the audiovisual composers of our country and belonging to the Musimagen Association, come to distinguish each year the highlights of our audiovisual production. In 2022 the awards went to Arnau Bataller for Mediterráneo (best original music for fiction feature film), Josué Vergara for Out of the Blue (best original music for documentary), Iván Palomares for La Cocinera de Castamar (best original music for series), Zacarías M. de la Riva for Mango, Mediterranean Dream (best original music for advertising) and Gerard Pastor for Discovery O Park, The Turtle Game (best original music for videogames). Iván Palomares was unable to attend to collect his award, as well as Zacarías M. de la Riva, in both cases due to scheduling reasons. The president of Musimagen, Xavier Capellas, took the stage and highlighted the importance of these awards chosen by professionals. In addition, the ceremony also saw the presentation of the festival’s Antón García Abril Award to the award-winning sound engineer Dennis Sands.
For the rest of the concert, the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra and the Tenerife Film Choir would be accompanied by a distinguished cast of guest soloists: Ben Watkins, member of the British band Juno Reactor, would be present on keyboards, as well as a highly sought-after Greg Ellis on drums along with the electric guitar of soloist Amir John Haddad – El Amir, famous for his virtuosity on this instrument, which has led him to be part of the tours of such commercial stars as Hans Zimmer.
The first part of the Cyberpunk Remastered I: Manga / Anime concert could be highlighted by Thomas Bryla‘s arrangements for two world premieres: “Motorball” from Alita: Combat Angel, by Tom Holkenborg (known as Junkie XL), and “Kaneda” from Akira, by Geinoh Yamashirogumi. In both cases the result would be particularly spectacular, always with the indispensable projection of images on a huge screen. The maestro Kenji Kawai, a must in the genre, would be present thanks to “Making of Cyborg” from Ghost in the Shell, as well as a beautiful suite from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.
From the hall outside the Auditorio de Tenerife one could contemplate spectacular sea views, something that at no time seemed to presage the unpleasant rains to come during that same early morning. The audience could therefore enjoy a brief rest in this place of enormous charm, just before the start of the second part of the program, now of longer duration and that would adequately maintain the level of spectacularity promised in its poster. Thommy Andersson’s exhilarating arrangements of a suite from Vangelis’ classic Blade Runner thrilled the audience with a curious fusion of synthesizers with orchestra and Kike Perdomo‘s brilliant saxophone on the love theme. The world premiere of the theme “The Holowgram”, belonging to Total Recall, showed the skill of Jerry Goldsmith and his belonging to another league very different from the rest of the composers honored during the evening. A really complex piece that sounded very good and that pushed the musicians of the orchestra to the limits of their capacity.
The rest of the evening was devoted to world premieres, following with a brilliant suite by composer Johnny Klimek, arranged by Gene Pritsker. Highly celebrated themes from the films The Cloud Atlas and Matrix Resurrections could demonstrate the quality of the composer, present in the hall and the subject of an endearing personal anecdote humorously exposed by the presenter of the event Ana Molowny, since the musician met his partner and mother of his children precisely in Tenerife during the celebration of the second edition of the event.
The presence on stage of the guitars of Marcin Przybylowicz (also on keyboards) and P.T. Adamczyk, as well as the beautiful voice of Olga Jankowska resulted in the enormous spectacularity of an extensive suite belonging to the music of the video game Cyberpunk 2077, now under the arrangements of the second of the composers and again in world premiere. The Matrix universe would return to the Tenerife Auditorium with the energetic theme “Mona Lisa Overdrive”, from the film Matrix Reloaded, composed by Don Davis and Juno Reactor, arranged by Thomas Bryla and with the participation of Ben Watkins himself.
The most anticipated moments of the concert would come during the final stretch of the event, as both Vince DiCola, guest of the festival in 2019, and Brad Fiedel, “headliner” composer of Fimucite 16, would present their music and participate in the interpretation of all of them. The suite of Transformers: The Movie, with arrangements by Leigh Phillips, would bring a complete 80s tone to the evening due to its varied and endearing musical offer that would also include the powerful solo voice of Javier Luis Delgado Jadel. On the other hand, the suite of Terminator / Terminator 2: The Last Judgment, by Brad Fiedel (arranged by Leigh Phillips), came to be a perfect closing for a concert that could be described as spectacular. Fiedel himself would intervene in one of the most outstanding moments of the whole evening, when he personally interpreted at the piano his famous central theme for the saga starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The standing ovation that the audience in the hall dedicated to the artists was translated into an unexpected piece. Diego Navarro confirmed his regret for the cancellations already mentioned and offered as a gift one of the pieces of the concert scheduled for Saturday: the suite of Pacific Rim, by Ramin Djawadi, arranged by Thomas Bryla and world premiere. But it would be the recently deceased Vangelis the one in charge of closing the evening with his Blade Runner and the central theme of such a distinguished soundtrack, a piece that had been clearly missing in the opening suite of the second part of the concert.
The week covered by Fimucité 16 had left behind a good variety of events and a great taste in the mouth despite the cancellations, although when the calm arrived the organization reconvened the FIMUCINEMA awards ceremony and the concert Memories of the Big Screen.
The enormous level of this annual event is undoubtable, always an indispensable reference in terms of film music and with an outstanding level of spectacularity, as well as a great professional team. This year has also drawn attention to the increase in the number of sponsors of the festival, as has been shown in the official poster of the event, as well as the improvement of the situation regarding the pandemic, which had complicated the organization of the two previous editions. We can therefore expect a great line-up for 2023. We will be eagerly awaiting it… but always with our eyes on the sky!
Article by Sergio Hardasmal & Gorka Oteiza
Pictures by Gorka Oteiza, Gori Martínez & Manuel García de Mesa