Documentaries are becoming increasingly popular amongst television audiences, it seems also that documentaries or series on wildlife or animals in general are also being viewed more and more in recent years. Maybe it is a growing awareness of the way in which we as human beings treat animals and of the now urgent knowledge that we are in fact poisoning this wonderful planet we share with the amazing creatures that were here before us and because of the way in which we disrespect the Earth and the environment we are indeed causing all animals hardship and distress. The Horse is a beautiful creature and one that is in my opinion is man’s best friend alongside the dog. Horses have been around for thousands of years, they have worked with us, fought alongside us, loved us, died with us and been innocent victims of so many conflicts that humans have engaged in, likewise they have been the target of cruelty and neglect. But, no matter how cruelly we as a race treat these magnificent creatures they still trust us and are devoted to us. It’s a pity that we or at least some of us do not consider them or respect them as they truly deserve to be. A recent television series is EQUUS-STORY OF THE HORSE, which explores the horse and its role alongside humans and the lasting relationship between, man, women children and the horse. To underline and support this gracious and compelling series composer Darren Fung (THE GREAT HUMAN ODYSSEY, JUST BURIED) has written a suitably majestic yet humbling sounding musical score. The work is overflowing with a powerful array of themeatic material and has an impressive and lingering sound that tantalises, excites and inspires one when listening to it. The emotive and poignant leitmotifs weave in and out of the work, at times they can be soaring or sweeping and grandiose and on other occasions the composer employs a more intimate sound and style, which is delicate and purveys a fragility and near celestial mood. Choir is also employed throughout and gives each cue a warmth and a sense of strength. The score is symphonic in the main, piano and woods are at times utilised in conjunction with solo violin that in turn is embellished by voices to fashion a touching and elegant musical persona. There are also cues with relay a comedic or lighter sound and style as in THE EMOTIONAL LIVES OF HORSES, which is understated but affecting. I love the way in which the composer uses piano and subdued strings to weave haunting tone poems, but there is far much more to this score in the way of interesting instrumentation and orchestration. The composer adding percussive elements and ethnic instruments for key tracks on the soundtrack as in MONGOLIA and powerful brass and booming percussion on cues such as HORSEPOWER to which he adds choir and driving strings.
Then we have THOROUGHBREDS, which initially starts in a semi-Coplandish style with Americana sounding strings, these soon melt away and allow a softer more subdued style to take centre stage but this too is short lived with the cue altering direction as the track begins to build with percussion and strings that slowly gather pace only for them to give way to plaintive sounding piano and underlying subtle strings. The composer also utilises cymbalom from time to time which is a nice touch and one that keeps the work fresh and vibrant. EQUUS-STORY OF THE HORSE for me is a joy and a delight, it is a beautiful and wonderous and varied musical journey and a score that I know will attract much attention.