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Behind the film score

Film music is truly something special, because it offers so much freedom for the composer and at the same time limits, that serve the writing process. The composer really has any instrument at his disposal, but he must contain himself within the emotional limits of the visuals. He can also use any structure he wants, or none at all really, but he must stay within the time limits of the film. The true point, meaning of film music can differ from scene to scene, movie to movie, but with Kresnik, there was only one way that worked for us.
The music in the movie Kresnik has one major point. It has to support the film emotionally, especially the inner world of Peter, the protagonist of the story. There was a lot of talk about the music for the movie. We wanted to incorporate slavic motifs or instruments, to get a slavic feel, but after tons of trials and errors we found out, that we really have to support Peter’s emotions and thoughts, otherwise the movie just stands there without any engagement for the viewer and without any feeling for the perception of Peter. We found out that we are not mimicking reality. We are trying to convey a story with meaning and with emotion, so a lot of our former ideas weren’t working.
As an example, there’s this scene of Peter coming to the open field, where the bonfire night with elves is unfolding. The elves are dancing, singing and playing drums or horns. The score however is rather epic/magical and not raw/‘real’. It was here where the point of music for the film was really conveyed clearly. We are trying to understand Peter, what he felt and not create our own perception of the bonfire night. Peter was in awe and this moment was full of magic and wonder for him.
The process of writing music for Kresnik, as for our other movies as well, always happens in different phases. Danilo and I both understood that we have to create, find themes, motifs, instruments and/or rhythms, that would be the heart of the movie and create a special characteristic feel. So we didn’t really write to picture right from the start, but rather experimented with different things without regarding specific scenes.
At the same time, a certain silver lining is important. Especially if we want to create this characteristic feel which I was talking about earlier. So we watched the film a few times and I created sort of a map, where the music should be present and where not. Sometimes I added more detail with answering questions why, how and how much music in a specific scene and went through it a few times with Danilo. It’s very important to mention the involvement of the David as well. Nothing really goes without the approval of the director and in a way, he composes music with us, by guiding us to the right choices. He knows exactly what he wanted to say in a specific scene and how he wanted to make the audience feel.
From then on it was as you might have expected. Danilo and I put in continous effort to create a magical experience for the viewer. It took much longer that I expected, but as it was a special movie for us and we couldn’t really let big errors ruin all the effort we put into it. We took the time that was necessary for us to get accustomed to the picture, to the type of music we want to write and then really create the best we can.