2002 Film Music CD Reviews
Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Lights of Liberty
The Original Musical Score and Songs of the Revolution Performed by
the Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra
TRIKE MUSIC TM-9901
This is something we wouldn't normally feature here in the film music review
world. Composed and conducted by John Debney, it lies on the periphery of our
subject however, especially as he's approached much of the material as a film
score. Lights of Liberty is the city of Philadelphia's interactive museum
exhibit chronicling the American Revolution. Perhaps inevitably, some of the
original music's style recalls James Horner's Glory, but it's only a
passing familiarity. There are too many distractions from staple American patriotic
tunes ("Yankee Doodle") to be bogged down by soundtrack comparisons.
Debney has done a fine job of weaving this in between his own bombast and pomp
(e.g. "Turmoil in the Colonies" and "On the Brink".
The Musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Lights of Liberty Choir
seem to have had enormous fun on the project, putting immense feeling into their
performances. They must be absolutely delighted by this album release, since
the actual intended use of the music was to be piped through tinny headphones
and lost under narration. It's great to be listening to something of Debney's
outside the film world too, showing him to be a versatile writer beyond the
confines of filmic timings. Hopefully this review will make a few more listeners
aware of the album's existence, since it doesn't seem to be widely available.