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  • Composed by Éric Neveux
  • MovieScore Media / 2013 / 32m

A French tv movie, Dignity (aka Les Pirogues des Hautes Terres) tells the story of Senegalese independence (from France) shortly after the second world war.  The score is by Éric Neveux, best-known for music released on a couple of previous MovieScore Media albums, Hideaways and Flight of the Storks, as well as the tv series Borgia.  The strong score is a fine blend of traditional symphonic scoring with some African elements, an approach which has worked very well and produced fine results a number of times in the past.  It’s hard to say why, but there’s something about the simple melodies and raw power of the percussion which are always ingredients in western-eyed views of African music that’s so appealing (the other ingredient that’s often there, choir, isn’t present on this occasion).

The score opens with the very appealing opening title theme, with the strong melody accompanied by just that, the percussion.  It’s quite a brief album but neatly skips around various ideas during its running time – from traditional action music (“Call in the Army”) to achingly beautiful dramatic themes (one, possibly based on a folk song – either that, or Neveux has crafted something which sounds remarkably authentic – introduced in “Abdu”, also a lovely flute theme in “Narsen’s Delusions” and a touching piano solo in “Through Yvonne’s Eyes”).  There’s some dissonant, distinctly uncomfortable music here as well, which is a key part of the listening experience but is obviously less inherently appealing.  It’s a really solid album, with nice variety and some beautifully touching moments.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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