Annette Focks

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News-Archive: April 2013
Musical Composer Award 2013
Musical Composer Award 2013

Yesterday Annette Focks got the Musical Composer Award 2013 in the category “Composition for film”.


Laudatio by Chris Kraus


I can say, dear Annette, that we have known each other ever since you flailed into a concert grand going a hundred forty on a rainy highway eight years ago. Your staccato, which overcame me and would ultimately form the heart of our film Four Minutes, thundered from the sound system. Back then, when I heard your composition on the highway, we had not yet met in person, and the image I have of you will always be linked to the moment I sat at the wheel and imagined what kind of person can be so brutal to an innocent instrument while simultaneously eliciting something so beautiful. I braced myself for a marvelous orc, maybe even an angry dwarf, but in the end I met a very even-tempered elf.

Your most striking feature, dear Annette, is the dignity you radiate, a certain Massai-like reserve in which a great will glows, encased in a presumably enormous cerebral cortex with more than 100 billion melodies. Not always, but very often, they end in a minor key, in quiet melancholy, deep pain, but also in wild drama. You have a gift for expression. You treat insanity with tenderness, not only musically. Since you have learned a lot of technique, you are capable of anything, but you know that does not matter. What matters is becoming completely empty. You said that once. Sometimes the Polish vodka helps. A lack of satisfaction, which inspires and wears you out, often helps. You are always helped by the point of total exhaustion, which you work towards with cheerfulness by asking the screenplay over and over how in the world it should sound in the end. Never do you do anything on the side. You always give it your all, driven by the concern that the decisive element could be overlooked. You are an extreme musician, and every one of your 80+ movies, from the 18-million-euro blockbuster John Rabe through Bille August’s Night Train to Lisbon all the way to the Ireland documentary for a viola da gamba, was an eight-thousander that you scaled in the end.

If you look at a movie as a human body, the soundtrack might be the skin that stretches around the organs of the plot, the cast and the images. This skin is tattooed by Annette Focks with her own life. There is not much more you can do as an artist. I admire you greatly, Annette, for your talent, for your dedication and for all that other boundlessness. I am so happy that we know each other. I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for today’s award and would now like to ask you to come on stage.



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