I keep finding myself continually impressed with the MacGillivray Freeman Films IMAX movies. Starting with To Fly!, which I saw during a trip to Washington D.C. years ago, I then caught The Living Sea and Everest - the latter of which blew me away. The peppy Dolphins soon followed, and now Journey into Amazing Caves. The score to Everest was emotional and dramatic, and composed by Steve Wood and Daniel May. These two fellows have come back for Amazing Caves, and with the help of The Moody Blues, provide a dramatic and upbeat contemporary score to the film.
Beginning with heavy epic drama, "To Extremes" plays up the big-screen vistas and wonder of it all with choir and orchestra. An excerpt from the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin" makes an appearance as well on this track. In "Search For Daylight", it's a bit more upbeat with lots of guitar - it also uses the MB's "Question". A dramatic choral hit, and then a child singing "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" add to the new orchestral arrangements of the before-mentioned songs.
There is plenty of mystery and wonder conveyed in the score. Full choir with Latin (accentuated with a bit of guitar) in "Crystal Chamber" leads to a more contemporary orchestral rendition of "Your Wildest Dreams", with flute and "ooh" choir. "Blue Cathedral" uses a traditional Native American chant (or so it seems) in the midst of the orchestral score. "Home of the Mayan Gods" contains a lot of atmospheric effects, and a tender acoustic guitar solo.
Two other Moody Blues songs are included here, "Water" and "We Can Fly". They are certainly upbeat numbers, and while "Water" doesn't have any vocals, "We Can Fly" is a full song. I think the integration of the Moody Blues' songs into the score worked well, and allowed there to be a consistent flow throughout the score. However, like with Sting's work on Dolphins, I felt that the seemingly random spurts of vocal lyrics that would come in briefly and cut out just as quickly would leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied. After all, you would just get a taste of the song!
Nonetheless, May and Wood did a wonderful job (once again) with this IMAX film, and their fusion of contemporary band work with orchestra and choir worked very well. It's an enjoyable album that runs about 42-minutes long. Even if you're not familiar with the Moody Blues, don't let that detract you from this enjoyable work.
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