Canary Islands festival in movie music loop
Despite its rather remote location and relative infancy, Fimucite — which wrapped July 26 in Tenerife, Canary Islands — is already giving older, more established film music festivals in continental Europe a run for the money as a movie music showcase able to draw marquee names.
Guest composers at the fest’s third edition included Oscar winner Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (“Finding Neverland,” “Unfaithful”), John Ottman (“Fantastic Four,” “Valkyrie”), Clint Mansell (“The Wrestler,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and 17-time Emmy nominee Mark Snow (“The X-Files,” “Smallville”).
The weeklong event is one of the few, including the Ghent Film Festival in Belgium and a film music fest held in Ubeda, Spain, the week before Fimucite, dedicated to film music and the composers who create it.
For Varese Sarabande producer Robert Townson, who helped plan Fimucite’s closing-night concert, the event’s auspicious organization was apparent early on. “They’ve had a fantastic orchestra from the start,” he said of the 120-piece Tenerife Film Orchestra and Choir, led by composer-conductor Diego Navarro, the fest’s founder and music director. “It wasn’t particularly humble beginnings; it was glorious.”
With this year’s event centering on the 30th anniversary of the “Alien” franchise, closing night featured Navarro introducing “The Biomechanical Symphony,” a new suite featuring music from five of the six “Alien” movies as composed by Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Elliot Goldenthal, John Frizzell and Brian Tyler.
“There is so much amazing music there,” Navarro said. “We took the best of each movie to create the new piece. We (filmed) it and will give Fox all the footage.”
Fittingly, the second half of the closing-night symphony, held at the architecturally magnificent Auditorio de Tenerife in Santa Cruz, was a tribute to Oscar-winning composer Goldsmith, who would have turned 80 this year.
Snow stepped in to conduct the Goldsmith tribute, replacing ailing composer Joel McNeely. “As a kid, the first score I really reacted to was (Goldsmith’s) ‘The Planet of the Apes,'” said Snow, who conducted a selection of his own work during a July 24 concert that also featured the music of Kaczmarek and Ottman. “The idea of conducting the music of Jerry Goldsmith is thrilling beyond belief.”
Goldsmith’s widow, Carol, attended the concert and gave a moving speech in Spanish.
Mansell performed an evening of his work in the historic Teatro Leal in La Laguna, accompanied by the Sonus Quartet, on July 22. “Most of the time you’re working in a dark room when you write music for film,” Mansell said. Playing live before an audience is “like regaining ownership of it. People can hear it and connect. There aren’t a great many events in which to do this.”
Navarro estimated that 4,000 people attended this year’s edition of Fimucite, up from 3,000 its first year.