|1.||For A Thousand Years||1:13|
|3.||Welsh Noble Families||0:48|
|5.||Ballad of Death||2:27|
|8.||Lady of the Lake||0:33|
|11.||Prepare For Battle||2:17|
|12.||Battle of Badon Hill||1:09|
|18.||The Legend Grows||1:00|
|20.||At the Dawn||0:56|
|23.||Quest for the Holy Grail||1:07|
|26.||The Round Table||0:32|
|27.||At This Point||1:02|
|33.||The Battle is On||1:00|
|Total Album Time:||43:49|
|by Mike Brennan
October 29, 2004
Recent archaeological evidence has shed light on possible origins for the legend of King Arthur, some of which spawned this summer's historical action film King Arthur. Airing on the History Channel a month before the blockbuster's release was "The Quest for King Arthur", which explored some of these inquiries into the truth behind the legend. The show featured music by Gary Pozner. Few documentaries such as this ever see an album release, but Whirled Music - Pozner's own production company - has given this score a commercial treatment.
For a cable television documentary, Pozner's music is above-average. The score only needs to be basic supplementary sounds to the images on screen: themeless, ambient music often works fine. In this case, however, Pozner went further and created an authentic soundscape for medieval Britain with heavy percussion ("Battle of Badon Hill"), ethereal vocals ("Lady of the Lake"), and Celtic dances ("Peasant Dance"). The vocals are interesting, as some of them, particularly "The Chaos" and "Quest for the Holy Grail" are written to sound like Latin. Other cues, such as "The Britons", resemble rhythms from Holst's "The Planets", similar inspiration for Hans Zimmer's Gladiator.
While attempting to create an authentic sound, the synthetic composition is obvious, with some cues sounding like midi files ("Everything Changes", "Camelot"). Other parts resemble 1990's video game scores with synthesized brass cues, as in "At the Dawn" and "Arthur's Legend". Some motifs are repeated in cues, but there is no theme to this score. One such motif, heard in "Merlin" and "Quest for the Holy Grail" is reminiscent of Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream. In general, this score is better than expected for what it is - a documentary soundtrack. It effectively creates the required soundscape, but its release on album is questionable, as it comes across more as a new age album than a score. Each of the 35 tracks is short, most under two minutes, and with the lack of thematic material, it is quickly relegated to background music. Nevertheless, Pozner's work is better than average for such an assignment.
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