Friday, June 12, 2020

Mikołaj Trzaska - Music From The Movie Kler (2019)

Mikołaj Trzaska

Mikołaj Trzaska - alto & baritone saxophones, bass clarinet
Paweł Szamburski - clarinet
Peter Ole Jørgensen - drums, vibraphone
Marek Rogulski - sound machine
with The Klezmer Orchestra Of Pogranicze Theater

Music From The Movie Kler 


By Adam Baruch

The close cooperation between a film director and a cinematic music composer, which last for many years, is quite a common phenomenon in the Film industry, and of course has its long tradition in Polish cinema as well. Such famous couplings include Roman Polański - Krzysztof Komeda, Krzysztof Kieślowski - Zbigniew Preisner and of course also Wojciech Smarzowski - Mikołaj Trzaska. Trzaska wrote the music for all the films by Smarzowski ("Dom Zły", "Róża", "Drogówka", "Pod Mocnym Aniołem", "Wołyń" and "Kler"), except for his debut film ("Wesele").

Trzaska, one of the leaders of Polish Free Jazz / Avant-Garde / Improvised Music scene, seems to find himself at ease with writing music for films, which of course works quite differently than his usual modus operandi on stage or in the studio, surrounded by other improvisers. The magic that happens when Smarzowski's often harsh, shocking and deeply troubling visual expressionism gets combined with Trzaska's music, and the two fit together perfectly, as if created in one mind.

Trzaska, who plays saxophones and clarinets, involved in creating this music the "usual suspects", i.e. artists he worked with earlier, like clarinetist Paweł Szamburski, Danish vibraphonist/drummer Peter Ole Jørgensen, multimedia Artist/musician Marek Rogulski and The Sejny Theater Klezmer Orchestra. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Trzaska, which last together for almost thirty seven minutes, and served as a source of the incidental music incorporated within the film.

As usual in the case of film soundtracks released as stand alone albums the crucial test is if the music is able to hold its ground on its own, without the presence of the visual element being involved. Trzaska managed to achieve this with his previous cinematic projects and he does not disappoint here as well. The album delivers a coherent, quite diverse series of atmospheric/ambient pieces, which are a fascinating journey, and the listener is able to create his own scenography and plot on the fly or simple accept the music on a purely emotional plane.

Although not involved directly with Jazz per se, the spirit of improvisation is an integral part of this music, as appropriate for Trzaska and his usual sound environment. It takes a while to enter this enigmatic world of sounds, but the more one listens to this music the more addictive it becomes. I have but to agree with Smarzowski (who writes so on the album's cover) that this album is very much different from the film, which of course is pretty obvious, but the overall effect of Trzaska's music is absolutely phenomenal on its own. I am grateful to be able to call this great Artist a Friend!

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