Szamanka Soundtrack

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Andrzej Korzyński’s soundtracks for Andrzej Zulawski are one of the key ingredients to the films that they collaborated on, while also being entirely listenable on their own, removed from the images. Andrzej Korzyński has, in the 2010s, begun to get the credit he deserves.  In 2014 the Finders Keepers record label reissued Korzyński’s soundtrack for Andrzej Wajda’s much acclaimed masterpiece Man Of Marble (1976). Man Of Marble is such an effective and reflexive film that one isn’t aware of the range or scope of Korzyński’s musical stylings. Along with the soundtrack to Possession (1981), Man Of Marble represents a diverse melding of sounds, from Euro-disco to hard rock to synthesizers. Every track on these two Korzyński soundtracks is tailored to the world of the image they were composed to accompany, but without ever being subject to them; without sound being synonymous to picture. However, the exact opposite could be said of Korzyński’s score to Zulawksi’s Szamanka (1996). Every track, every thunderous percussive blast in Korzyński’s music evokes an image, a mood, from Szamanka.

Szamanka is Zulawski in overdrive. The film is manic in its moving camera, expressionistic in its acting, and consistently either violent or extremely erotic. Korzyński’s compositions reflect this attitude. The percussion on this soundtrack is fantastic and immediately evokes the image of Iwona Petry walking determinedly in her provocative dress. Just as evocative are the more subdued cuts, with their undulating synths, that summon up images of Boguslaw Linda sweating, towering over Petry while simultaneously surrendering to her will. 

Where the music in Man Of Marble and Possession accented the world of the narrative, the music for Szamanka functions more like a series of themes. Each character has their own sound in Korzyński’s hands. And it is in the inner lives of these characters that Korzyński extracts his sonic textures and motifs. 

The soundtrack to Szamanka has been made available as the second disc in the limited edition DVD release from Mondo Vision. This is an amazing package that I highly recommend for any cinephile with a taste for Zulawski. Mondo Vision has done a number of these deluxe packages for Zulawski’s films, each comes with a booklet, a copy of the soundtrack, interviews and commentaries with Zulawski, and five postcard sized lobby card reproductions.