THE ELEPHANT QUEEN is a film about loss, love and courage but seen within a herd of Elephants that have to make a journey across the African savannah after they are forced to leave their Waterhole. It is down to the Queen of the herd to lead them, re-assure them and get them through the arduous and fretful journey. Narrated by Chiwetel Ejiofor, it is a story that will engage and involve the watching audience and have them crying as well as applauding the animals as they take this epic journey. The film is aided greatly by a fitting and highly emotive musical score which is the work of composer Alex Heffes, who in my opinion is one of the most talented music-smiths in film and TV music around at the moment. It is sad at times that a talent such as this is often, not ignored but how can I put it, yes Overlooked by collectors. His scores have a lasting quality to them, and he is consistent in producing scores that support and give greater life and depth to every project he works on. He has more talent in one of his little fingers than many other composers I could mention (but I will not). His music also has an appeal to it that gives it a life away from the film or TV show it was written for. THE ELEPHANT QUEEN is no exception to this rule, it is a score that is refreshing and vibrant, the composer at times utilising African voices to give it a greater depth and authenticity. But he also makes effective use of the conventional line up of instrumentation as in Strings, woods, percussion etc. It is an exhilarating and wonderfully entertaining work, which I have to say will keep the listener occupied and entertained throughout it running time. He incorporates musical references and gentle nods to music that is from other genres of film, such as the western film in the cue, BEETLE SHOWDOWN, in which he puts to effective use trumpet to open the cue, then it segues into a kind of madcap chase theme but still retains a western music flavour. Given the subject matter there is also music that will inevitably tug at ones heartstrings, TRUNK GREETING for example, in which the composer writes a beautifully poignant theme which is performed on solo piano underlined by soft and warm sounding strings, which give it an aura that oozes melancholy. This type of scoring is also evident in A MOTHERS ENCOURAGEMENT, piano again but this time woodwind enhances and underlines the central theme which too is further enhanced via subdued strings, the result is simply stunning and affecting. I like this score a lot, it is well written and has to it an alluring and theme laden persona. It purveys a richness and also an underlying apprehensive element, which in turn gives way to a subtle but at the same time powerful musical heart. There is joy, sadness and a sense of hope within this score. A score that in my opinion is at times Barry-esque in places.  One for you to check out, no CD at the moment, but we live in hope.

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