July 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / July /

Frank Herbert’s "Children of Dune"  
Score composed by Brian Tyler
  Available on Varèse Sarabande (VSD-6454)  
Running Time: 77.22
Crotchet   Amazon UK

children of dune

Composer Brian Tyler continues to make promising strides, exemplifying all that one would expect from an individual whose effort and ability deserves to do well in the west coast climate. His appointment as composer of the Children of Dune mini-series, following the successful reworking of the original Herbert novel two years ago, comes as no surprise. For with him he brings musical sensibilities that demonstrate an intimate knowledge of the subject matter and recalls the awe with which infuses David Lynch’s re-telling of the Dune story, whilst developing a new and intriguing sound-world.

The album, consisting of some thirty-six tracks, presents atmospheric material that is predominantly more rhythmically and harmonically interesting than previous efforts by composers on these spice plains (See "Leto Atreides II" and "The Impossible Wager", tracks 5 and 13 respectively). Tyler also finds time to demonstrate his suitability for grander designs – it would be wonderful to see what he could bring to efforts to film the writing of an author like Philip Pullman, for example – particularly with his use of intensive swirls of colour, complimenting dark string part writing through muted brass clusters.

Tyler really finds the musical viscera here and duly sets about burning them to shreds like a fifteenth century executioner. There’s an underlying ferocity that pervades the score and this helps ensure that its distinctly alien nature is never once compromised. With The City of Prague Philharmonic displaying great musicianship, alongside that of the composer himself, Children of Dune is a welcome sign that the art of scoring doesn’t need a defibrillator just yet.

Glen Aitken

**** 4

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