Fimucité: Stephen King’s Night Gallery

The last concert of this year’s Fimucité promised to be an intriguing one. A couple of months ago, when I first heard the announcement of a full concert with music from Stephen King movies, I did not know what to expect. However, I also was very curious what would be played at this concert. Before the official program could start, we first witnessed a small Fimucité award ceremony:

  • For best song: Josué Vergara for Sonrie
  • For best score in a short film: Nami Melumad for Luminaries
  • For best score in a documentary: Mina Petric for The Last Ice Hunters
  • For best score in a feature film: Amano Manish for Rebellious Flower

Sadly, only Josué Vergara was present to collect his award. After he left the stage, the rest of the program could start.

The hosts of the evening were very familiar to me: Ana Molowny from Fimucité and Magdalena Miska-Jackowska, who has been a host for the film music festival in Krakow, Poland, for many years. Between each piece from a Stephen King movie, a passage from the book appeared on screen using a typewriter effect. The text appeared in English with a Spanish voice-over. As per tradition, the orchestra was conducted by the director of the festival, Diego Navarro.

Fimucite - Stephen King - 3/ Aaron s. Ramos / fimucité

The first performance was a suite from Children of the Corn II and Children of the Corn III. Music for these movies was composed by Daniel Licht, who sadly passed away this year. The suite started with a solid part done by an all young female choir singing eerie sounding lyrics, followed by soothing melodies from the orchestra. After another typewriter segment on the big screen we could listen to music from The Dark Half, composed by Christopher Young, which started with all kinds of scary sounds and melodies. This was again followed by a part where the choir had a leading role. Carrie, which was played next, started with violins playing a lovely. It also had some eerie sounds later on, but the melodic lines in violins stayed. It was a suite of decent length with music that I had never heard before. Next up was Salem’s Lot, which was a bit shorter, but had some interesting music.

Composer Richard Bellis was present in the audience. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to play his music from the original IT movie. It started of very melodically. I loved the short walz in the middle, that transitioned into a tense part straight away. At the end the melodies returned with an awesome horn fanfare. When the piece was finished Bellis stood up to receive the applause from the audience. Next on the program was Cujo, which was also had some great melody lines in contrast to a tense movie. The next piece was my favorite of the evening. It was “The Host of Seraphim”, written by Dead Can Dance. I love this song, but I also know that lead singer Lisa Gerrard, with her enchanting voice, is hard to replace. The singer who had been given the challenge was Cristina Ramos, who also sang the day before. I have no words, it was just perfect and I had goosebumps all over. The last part of the first half was a piece that was synchronized with a scene on the screen behind the orchestra. It was “The Elevator Shaft” from Nightmares & Dreamscapes: Battleground. The images on the screen together with the music and sound effects from the orchestra made for a very tense experience.

Fimucite - Stephen King - 2/ Aaron s. Ramos / fimucité

The second half started on a serious note. The late Daniel Licht was awarded a posthumous lifetime achievement award for his work. Diego Navarro told the crowd his personal experiences with Licht and then on screen Cliff Martinez, a friend of Licht, was shown giving the award to Licht’s widow. When this ceremony was over, Licht’s music from Thinner was played: A suite with an uneasy start, it transitioned into a part with a weird string instrument together with a beautiful violin solo. It sounded lovely and I could hear a hint of Dexter in it. Afterwards we heard “Opening Titles” from The Dead Zone. It was interesting to hear Michael Kamen’s take on horror, which was very melodic. The next piece was Secret Window, which was filled with the repetitive patterns, which Philip Glass is famous for.

The piece Misery started very quietly and serene, but got more tense as the piece progressed. Next was music from one of Stephen King’s most famous movies: The Shining. It started with loud trombones and tuba. There were some eerie noises playing in the background and the rest of the piece was scary sound effects including the famous “Come play with us” quote. It was quite fitting for the overall theme of this concert. We had already heard the original IT, so it was now time for the remake with music composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. The “La la la” vocals sung by the female choir was lovely but also very unnerving. It transitioned into a faster part where Diego Navarro gave it his all to bring out the fury he wanted from the orchestra. The suite had a second part though, which was a nice melodic piece with the main focus on the piano. Elliot Goldenthal’s Pet Sematary was next on the program during which was dominated by the  choir singing creepy melody lines. When the piece was finished, the eerie part of the concert was done.

For the last part of the concert the focus shifted to dramatic movies, which resulted in more melodic music, starting with Heart of Atlantis. The next track was something quite different:  a song.It was “Main Theme / Stand by Me” from Stand by Me, sung by Fran León with the support of the orchestra, choir, and guitars. In my opinion there are two drama movies from Stephen King with truly outstanding music, The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption were the final pieces of the program, both of which have been composed by Thomas Newman. The strings were perfect in the first piece, but also compliments to the oboe and horns in the second. Those last two pieces were gorgeous, but in my opinion not really suited to end a concert with. Luckily, Cristina Ramos was still available to rock our socks off with her stunning voice during AC/DC’s “Who Made Who”, from the movie Maximum Overdrive.

Fimucite - Stephen King - 4/ Aaron s. Ramos / fimucité

Like I said at the beginning, I had no idea what to expect from this concert, but I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the music was new to me, but, as such, very refreshing. The mix between eerie and melodic music was excellent as well, with great songs for even more balance. A lot of these pieces were world premieres that were arranged especially for the Fimucité concerts. Credits, and definitely compliments, needs to be given to the arrangers Carlos G. Herrera, Thomas Bryla and Nikiforos Chrysoloras, among others, for their contribution to pieces for the two main concerts. All in all, this concert provided me with a very entertaining evening, with a lots of new music for me to explore.I cannot wait for the 12th edition of Fimucité. Tenerife, I’ll see you next year.

(Pictures by Aaron s. Ramos / Fimucité)

Concert information

When and where: Santa Cruz de Tenerife at September 30, 2017, during Fimucité
Orchestra and choir: Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife and Children’s Choir of the Professional Conservatory of Music of Santa Cruz de Tenerife conducted by Diego Navarro
Singers: Cristina Ramos and Fran León
Guest: Richard Bellis

Program

  • Daniel Licht – Suite from Children of the Corn II & III
  • Christopher Young – Suite from The Dark Half
  • Pino Donaggio – Suite from Carrie
  • Harry Sukman – “So Long Danny” from Salem’s Lot
  • Richard Bellis – Suite from IT
  • Charles Bernstein – Suite from Cujo
  • Dead Can Dance – “The Host of Seraphim” from The Mist
    • Singer: Cristina Ramos
  • Jeff Beal – “The Elevator Shaft” from Nightmares & Dreamscapes: Battleground

Intermission

  • Daniel Licht – Suite from Thinner
  • Michael Kamen – “Opening Titles” from The Dead Zone
  • Philip Glass – “Main Titles” from Secret Window
  • Marc Shaiman – Suite from Misery
  • Wendy Carlos / Krysztof Penderecki – Suite from The Shining
  • Benjamin Wallfisch – Suite from IT
  • Elliot Goldenthal – “The Pet Sematary” from Pet Sematary
  • Mychael Danna Suite from Hearts in Atlantis
  • Jack Nietzsche / Ben E. King – “Main Theme / Stand by Me” from Stand by Me
    • Singer: Fran León
  • Thomas Newman – “The Green Mile” from The Green Mile
  • Thomas Newman – “So Was Red / End Titles” from The Shawshank Redemption
  • AC/DC – “Who Made Who” from Maximum Overdrive (encore)
    • Singer: Cristina Ramos

Author

  • Anton is the editor-in-chief and founder of Soundtrack World. After writing about film music occasionally, he thought it was time to create his own site to celebrate music from film but also other media. Next to working on this website as a hobby Anton has a full-time job in IT and plays the tuba in a local orchestra.

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