After I came on board, we have been discussing a few ideas for the recording, but the atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty related to the first cases of COVID-19 in Poland and issues with travelling have meant that the music has been eventually created entirely at home, using only a small amount of equipment (including the irreplaceable Minibrute 2s). I have had more time than usual to write and produce the music due to a rather long post-production period and delays resulting from the pandemic situation. In terms of production, it has been the most demanding score I have had to work on – the session files have been gigantic – I have divided the film into 6 reels, each of which after the capture contained about 500-600 tracks; in the session files, the tracks have been often far over 1000.
For a long time, I have been wondering how the music should sound and how it should lead the audience through the world of Iwo – I do not mean the timbres or the themes (more on that subject in the further part), but some form of structure. In the end, the simplest possible idea enlightened me – sitting in the studio one evening, watching, for probably the hundredth time, the moment when Iwo jumps over the gate of ‘Black Mill’ (‘Czarny Młyn’), I have been struck by the fact that this unusually vividly painted moment of ‘crossing the threshold’ changes everything – it starts a series of mysterious events, changes Iwo’s relationship with Mela, with his mother and friends – it is the beginning of the character’s journey in every possible sense. As I had read ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ (‘Bohater o tysiącu twarzy’) a few months earlier, I have taken a decision to stick to this simple, inspiring clue and assumption – the music at the moment of the first jump through the gate changes along with the whole world and nothing will be the same anymore.
The initially mellow sounds (the boy choir in the scene with Iwo riding his bike) and electronics inspired by classic 80s and 90s synths (that is probably why so many people mention the spirit of Stranger Things, which is a huge compliment for me!) transform into modern, aggressive electronic and orchestral music by the end of the film. Furthermore, the music begins to anthropomorphise evil powers with electronic sounds imitating human voice – synthesizers scream and whine (‘Metamorphosis’ / ‘Metamorfoza’ or ‘Rise’ / ‘Powstań’).
Finally, on the ruins of the Mill, when Iwo`s arc is completed, the gentle sound of a choir returns with triumph.