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MovieScore Media: The Lost Empire [2014] - John Altman

MovieScore Media expands its acclaimed Discovery Collection with its fourteenth entry: the world premiere recording of The Lost Empire by John Altman, written for the 2001 Hallmark mini-series. The colorful adventure score may have been written for a television mini-series, but its rich sound, symphonic palette and great application of exotic instruments such as the erhu or Chinese flutes makes it more akin to a full-fledged feature film score. Fans of the genre will be delighted to hear echos of such composers as Maurice Jarre and Ron Goodwin in the adventurous score. From the first threat of "The Tiger" through wacky hijinks of "The Mini-Monkeys" to the Star Wars-inspired "Through the Indestructible Gates", each fantastic episode of The Lost Empire features a suitably bombastic accompaniment. These epic highlights are balanced by haunting lyrical moments that lend the story its heart ("The Devastated Village", “Goodbye to Goddess”). The soundtrack features 75 minutes of music from the two hours’ of score.

Composer John Altman has an incredibly versatile career in the British film and television scenes. Some may know him as the conductor of the 007 adventure GoldenEye ((where he wrote the score’s musical highlight, the tank chase), while others may know him as the historical music advisor/producer/arranger of the period music on James Cameron’s Titanic or the arranger of the musical numbers for Mark Herman’s Little Voice and Peter Chelsom's Shall We Dance. Despite his 100+ credits, Altman is woefully underrepresented on CD and we can only address this problem with one title at a time…

The Lost Empire (also known as The Monkey King) is based on the popular Chinese legend A Journey to the West. The 2001 television mini-series by director Peter MacDonald offers an exotic blend of Oriental mysticism with an Indiana Jones-like archeological adventures. The main hero is Sinologist researcher Nick Orton (Thomas Gibson) who is recruited by a Chinese goddess to save the world from the Demon Master Shu and the Five Traditional Masters. Aided by the Monkey King, the humanoid Pigsy and Friar Sand, the small but determined group of misfits must battle dragons, demons and the heavenly legal system in order to save Earth from being thrown to the Dark Ages.

MovieScore Media |

Sneaking one or two more great scores from "MovieScore Media" comes a treat from composer John Altman, something I just find epic. I throw that word "EPIC" around too much I think.. though that is how I would share my thoughts on this score. It starts out strong holding you to what to hear the next track and so on... it's along the line of any blockbuster film.
Jeremy [Howlin' Wolf]

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