“Many people ask me about him. When Kieslowski shot the movie, he originally wanted to use some of Mahler’s music, but this proved too expensive to licence. He asked me to compose something original in Mahler’s style, and we were looking for the name of a composer – something different, something to be taken seriously as ‘proper’ music. Both Kieslowski and I liked Holland, and the name Van den Budenmayer looks as if it comes out of Holland, so we chose that. Afterwards, we got thousands of questions about Van den Budenmayer. We gave him my birth date but 20 years earlier and he even started appearing in music encyclopaedias! At one point, someone wanted to take me to court accusing me of stealing his music! Nowadays, if I write bad music, I accredit it to him!”
Van den Budenmayer is a fictitious 18th-century Dutch composer created by Preisner and director Krzysztof Kieślowski for attributions in screenplays.Preisner said Van den Budenmayer is a pseudonym he and Kieślowski invented “because we both loved the Netherlands”. Music “by” the Dutch composer plays a role in three Kieślowski films – The Decalogue (1988), Three Colours: Blue (1993) (Song for the Unification of Europe – its E minor soprano solo is prefigured in the earlier film The Double Life of Veronique (1991), where circumstances in the story prevent the solo from finishing), Three Colours: Red (1994).