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Broadcast in 2011 by the BBC, the eight part series Human Planet featured jaw-dropping images that demonstrated mankind’s relationship with nature across 80 different locations and covering the extremes of planet Earth. Integral to this ground-breaking natural history series is Nitin Sawhney’s lush orchestral score, up to 50 minutes of music for each episode and all written within a hectic two months schedule...
Nitin Sawhney's score for the BBC's Human Planet series represents quite an accomplishment. The fact that Sawhney had two months to deliver up to 50 minutes of music for each of the eight episodes should be impressive enough, but unfortunately the diversity of the music is also this score's downfall. Yes, I know that sounds like a ridiculous statement to make - how on earth can you moan that there is too much variety? The problem here is that the tracks are all incredibly short. There are 40 tracks on this album, which lasts for 1hr, 26 sec. Just as a track starts to get interesting, it's abruptly cut off. So in the end it feels like a quickly thrown together collection of musical styles which are over before you get the chance to soak them up.
Personal favourites include 'Big Wave', 'Jungles End', 'Elephant Futures', 'New Tribes', 'Auk Catching', 'Crossing' and 'Seven Grasses' all of which have that little something that make you stop what you're doing and listen.
In addition, 'River's Credit' has the feel of a Penguin Cafe Orchestra composition; 'Deserts End' reminded me of Karl Jenkins's Adiemus series; and 'New Tribes' has a feel of Dennis McCarthy's music for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I really wanted to enjoy this album, and on balance it is certainly more hit than miss. It's just a disappointment that some of the more beautiful themes are not explored a little deeper.
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