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Soundtrack Review

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The Life of Earth
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Richard Blair-Oliphant
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 December 2019

Coinciding with the release of its new Discovery Collection title When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, MovieScore Media presents the latest documentary score of Emmy-nominated composer Richard Blair-Oliphant: The Life of Earth. Created for the Smithsonian Channel, host Ronan Summers guides viewers through the history of our planet, highlighting how new research adds to our perception of what happened in the 4.5 billions of years that shaped Earth into the home of mankind...

Richard Blair-Oliphant delivers yet another rich and theme laden score. The music for The Life of Earth is emotive and beautifully engaging. There's a nod and a wink here and there to the music from the Star Trek shows, the occasional homage to Holst's The Planets suite, but it's mainly packed with original, epic, hero-esque themes.

The opening track, 'Earth', begins with a similar theme to one housed in 'Through the Window' from James Horner's score for Cocoon (1985), before quickly shifting to what sounds like 'Prologue (Through The Wall)' from Ilan Eshkeri's soundtrack for Stardust (2007). 'Earth' houses the score's main theme, which is echoed throughout the 17 tracks (27 min, 50 sec). There's also another theme running throughout that reminded me of Mike Vickers's score for Kevin Connor's 1978 movie Warlords of Atlantis.

'Microbial Life' stands out as being a little more lighthearted and mellow when compared to the other more "epic" sounding themes. And finally, we end on 'Remarkable Time', which is arguably this album's most beautiful track.

Talking about the music, Blair-Oliphant said: "The Life of Earth looks back at the Earth with the perspective gained from the voyage into space, which I already covered in my 2008 score When We Left Earth. The music had to reflect both the awe-inspiring and often violent nature of that story. It then moves on to the more recent history of how humankind has influenced the planet over the last few million years. The score explores some bleak themes here, but also there is hope for our future, for truly we live in a 'Remarkable Time' (the final track of the album)."

While it's a little short, it's still worth owning as it represents an emotionally charged collection of beautiful themes.


Darren Rea

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