Home > Reviews > IN EINEM WILDEN LAND – Karim Sebastian Elias

IN EINEM WILDEN LAND – Karim Sebastian Elias

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

ineinemwildenlandOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

Germany has a surprisingly rich heritage of making films set in the American wild west – not so much spaghetti westerns as sauerkraut westerns – many of them adaptations of novels by Karl May about the adventures of Apache Winnetou, starring Pierre Brice and scored by Martin Böttcher. In Einem Wilden Land is a big-budget TV movie directed by Rainer Matsutani, starring Benno Fürmann, Darron Mayer and Nadja Uhl, which premiered on the German network SAT-1 in November. It follows the adventures of a family of German immigrants making a new life for themselves in the American West in the mid-19th century.

The score is by German composer and actor Karim Sebastian Elias, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, who has been writing for German film and TV projects since the early 2000s, and whose most high profile international score to date was for the 2011 documentary film Im Himmel Unter der Erde. Written mainly for a full orchestra (although there does seem to be quite a bit of synth overdubbing, especially in the brass writing), the central thematic idea, “Die Siedler”, is outstanding, featuring a German-language choir intoning over an expansive, sprawling main theme. The theme re-occurs frequently, in cues such as “Mila im Fernen Land and “In Einem Wilden Land”, but it never quite rises to the heights one might have expected for a project such as this.

There’s some thrusting, sort of Zimmer-esque action music, often accompanied by cool but slightly anachronistic modern electronic percussion, in cues such as “Aufbruch”, “Schicksalsnacht” and “Überfall”, which are interesting but sometimes have some odd meters and rhythmic ideas. Later, cues like “Indianerdorf”and “Indianer” work in some ethnic woodwinds and tribal percussion to good (if slightly stereotypical) effect; these are offset by some gorgeous, lyrical cello writing in the melancholically beautiful “Registrierung” and the warm, emotional “Zum Llano”. However, the almost comically Zimmeresque “Das Gewehr” could have been lifted wholesale from score for The Da Vinci Code, and “Verhandlungen” even uses a variation on the ‘horn of doom’! On the whole, though, this seems like TV music when a lot of other TV scores don’t these days – attractive and serviceable throughout, and occasionally very good, but for the most part limited in scope and ambition.

Buy the In Einem Wilden Land soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Die Siedler (1:51)
  • Aufbruch (4:21)
  • Ankunft Im Fernen Land (1:45)
  • Registrierung (2:43)
  • Hoffnung (2:39)
  • Schicksalsnacht (3:19)
  • Mila im fernen Land (3:47)
  • Indianerdorf (1:26)
  • Der Siedlertreck Zieht Los (1:18)
  • Hoffnung (1:34)
  • In Einem Wilden Land (2:30)
  • Indianer (2:20 )
  • Mila und Buffalo Hump (1:48)
  • Gefangennahme (1:57)
  • Das Gewehr (3:55)
  • Zum Llano (7:42)
  • Verhandlungen (2:18)
  • Skalp (2:18)
  • Überfall (4:08)
  • Friedensabstimmung (3:29)
  • Donnerherz (2:58)
  • Nachtlager (1:57)
  • Massaker (3:20)
  • Friedensvertrag (1:54)
  • Ankunft am Llano (0:53)
  • Finale (4:12)

Running Time: 72 minutes 26 seconds

Alhambra CD-A9015 (2013)

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