Polish composer Jacaszek will release his latest album, Music For Film, on March 27 (Ghostly International). As a film score composer and solo artist, Michal Jacaszek has always had an affinity with music designed specifically for film. Ten masterful compositions make up this collection, and each one presents an individual scene to the listener.
A number of intricate details appear, layering the music and peppering its black-and-white stave, although the listener will need to take more than a second glance in order to find its many subtleties. Creeping shadows lurk in and among the higher-pitched strings, steadily and somewhat stealthily approaching until, slightly ominously, they’re right beside the listener.
Music For Film continues on from Glimmer (2012) and KWIATY (2017). Its suitably dark and cinematic tone ensures a reverie shot entirely in black-and-white. Bubbling up to the surface are more intense moments, building up to something with squeals of increasing tension. ‘The Iron Bridge’ is a perfect example of this, with its wailing strings and clanking metallic sounds growing louder and more prevalent before finally snapping. Creepy and pressing, the rising tension is palpable. Even in the face of the tension, though, Jacaszek understands the deep need for space and exploration; he’s able to find room even in the tight, repeating phrases.
Some sounds carry an ethereal quality to them – disembodied voices fill up the sacred reverence of ‘Christ Blood Theme’. The chorus of spirit-voices lifts the music up, just as Jesus lifted and then carried His cross to Calvary. ‘Encounter Me in The Orchard’ is a gothic apparition. The orchard’s fruit should be ripe, but the piano’s off-coloured and strangely-anglular notes are shrouded in some kind of mist, and its ascending arpeggios are like a moonlit sonata manifesting at midnight. It’s a pitch-black segment, and the surroundings transform to feel more like a cemetery from Castlevania and less like a serene grove.
Music For Film further explores Jacaszek’s love for the cinematic while wondering just how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Throughout the record, distant voices, groanings, and murmurings enter in and fade away. Their proximity isn’t obvious, and they could be near or far, flitting in and out of the frame, and matching the music with its half-seen shapes and indistinct forms.