”...you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot…”
A Beautiful Film by Joe Pontecorvo about the plight of the orang-utans of Sumatra in the face of continued habitat loss as oil palm plantations march steadily across the country sweeping all before them. The film is for the PBS ‘Nature’ series in the US and National Geographic and Sky internationally and David’s music won the Emmy in the music category at the 2016 Emmy Awards. The soundtrack for this film is designed to give the viewer the feeling they are in a special, magical place, somewhere unique and extraordinary. David was given a fine-cut to work with that already had a minutely crafted sound effects track and an almost final guide narration so music could then be created of just the right density and transparency to allow the narration and sound effects through. He used various means to achieve a magical feel, not just in the kind of music written but in the choice of instruments and voices used. A key element in the sound of the music is the use of a female vocalist - this part is taken by the amazing Alison Limerick. Her voice loosely represents the spirit of the forest - the forest that supports the life and health of the orangutans - a habitat that is threatened by fire and machines, which are relentlessly sweeping it away to make way for palm oil production. Other lead voices include the bamboo saxophone, ethnic guitars, the liquid sound of the clarinet (played by Michael Whight), a live ensemble of strings (performed by Richard Curran) and bells and gongs. The music helps heighten the emotion of the story as we move along the dramatic line of the film, and ultimately celebrates the foundation of a new home for this most expressive of animals. The full version of the main theme is held back until the arrival of the young orangutan at the lost world-like sanctuary of his new home.