Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Danny ELFMAN Instinct   OST     VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD 6041 [38:38]




From the cold crystalline world of A Simple Plan, Danny Elfman turns, in his new score for Instinct, to the hot-house, exotic atmosphere of the jungles of Rwanda to create a warm and colourful score which celebrates the wild and the free. The music is preponderantly warm-hearted and compassionate, mystical even (especially when the women's wordless chorus is used) moving slowly but with deliberation, propelled by intriguing cross-rhythms. It often employs ethnic percussion instruments, drums and sticks etc for colour as in the Main and End Titles and 'Into the Wild. Well into this latter cue there is some sublime writing for divided strings and harp

The music would seem to be working against the screenplay. Advance publicity (the film has not arrived here in the UK yet) tells us that the Anthony Hopkins character, a brilliant primatologist, had been living with and studying gorillas in the jungles of Rwanda. He is accused of murder and thrown into a brutal prison for the criminally insane. The Cuba Gooding character, a psychologist, tries to uncover the dark secrets in the mind of Hopkins. What he encounters is a series of perplexing mysteries, questions with chilling answers and shocking psychological truths.

Elfman's music gives little hint of this turbulence. Most of the score unfolds serenely as if floating, swaying or gliding on the humid jungle air - you can visualise the song and flight of spectacularly coloured insects and birds and sense the fragrance of the tropical plants. You have the distinct impression of peace and beauty undefiled. In 'Back to the Forest' Elfman introduces the first but brief note of disquiet and eerieness but this quickly dissipates and there is another lovely passage employing complex slow moving rhythms that suggested to me speckled patterns of shower drops. Again in 'Everybody Goes' and especially in 'The Killing', violence is brief and subordinated. 'The Riot' is the wildest cue with terse rapid-fire staccato brass notes but the brutality is brief. The music becomes tranquil and almost mystical in 'Escape.'

An enchanting album. If you liked Randy Edelman's score for Six Days and Seven Nights, you'll like this album. Very enjoyable


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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