Music

The screening will be accompanied by live music created by the famous Polish composer Jerzy Maksymiuk. It will be performed by the Wrocław Chamber Orchestra  LEOPOLDINUM and conducted by the composer himself. With that we hope to bring back the spirit of movie screenings from nearly a 100 years ago.

JERZY MAKSYMIUK
the composer of music for the film “Mania”, conductor:

I accepted the task of composing music for this movie because I like that era in music very much; I wish I had been born then. I like the atmosphere of the old Paris cafés, with film posters by Mucha. The main topic of Mania, a silent movie from 1918, is a great love, one that knows no bounds, perhaps to the point of exaltation. Some people criticize the movie for being naive but for me it is – like all great passions – a rather Shakespearean topic.The star of the film is Pola Negri, or Apolonia Chałupiec, the actress who conquered Berlin, France and, finally, Hollywood. A beautiful woman, unique personality, who fascinated the greatest men of her time: Rudolf Valentino, Chaplin, Chaliapin, Einstein. It is fascinating to watch her act without using a single word – her eyes, her gestures. Sometimes overdone, sometimes very subtle. That alone was enough for me to accept the task of writing the music for Mania. Also, I like tango, charleston and especially romantic ballads which have benefited so much from the influence of Russians and gypsies. I was born in Grodno and the turmoil of war forced me and my parents to move to Białystok, a city in the east of Poland. In classical music, I feel a close affinity to Rachmaninow, and in popular music – to emotional ballads.

For Mania, I have decided to write music reminiscent of that time period. There will be waltzes, tangos, romances… but most of all there will be two musical motifs. The first is connected with Mania’s great love for Hans, a composer and a conductor (the scenes where he writes an opera and then conducts it are also very interesting for me personally), the other is connected to Morelli – the villain of the movie – and his role in the plot. The difficulty of working on this music stems from the fact that there is no dialogue – the soundtrack must span the entire 80 minutes of the movie. That requires clear, melodic fragments with “connecting points” between them.

As a composer I can’t be satisfied with just any harmony and banal music. Therefore, I compose sophisticated tangos and romances in which some echoes of Ravel and the romantics can be heard and in other places there are parts inspired by modern music. I first wrote the two main themes. Then, after re-watching Mania I modified them and wrote additional ones, also not tonal, often intended as dramatic accents or connection points. However, I always remember that there are no dialogues or special effects – only the picture and the music. I consider the music to be a substitute here – a substitute for the absent dialogue, which could stir our imagination and emotions. I wanted my music to build an atmosphere of events and emotions, without forgetting that a story of great passion cannot lead our minds astray into sentimentalism.