“The Snow Walker” Original Motion Picture Score
Limited Edition of 500 copies
Label: KMRCD 037
Film Date: 2003
Album Date: 2015
Written and directed by Charles Martin Smith, The Snow Walker is based on the fiction of Canadian author and environmental activist Farley Mowat (of Never Cry Wolf fame). The story follows the trials of veteran bush pilot Charlie Halliday (Barry Pepper) and Kanaalaq (Annabella Piugattuk), a sick Inuit girl who needs medical attention. When they crash land in the middle of the wild, the tables turn and Kanaalaq becomes the one who provides help and gives survival tips to her companion, going as far as sacrificing herself in the process…
The score is a collaboration between Oscar-winning composer Mychael Danna and Paul Intson who assisted Danna in dozens of scores in various capacities. As Danna is best-known for incorporating elements of ethnic music into his scores from his gamelan-inspired work on The Ice Storm to Armenian music in Ararat or Indian influences in his Academy Award-winning Life of Pi, it was only natural that the two composers would try to place elements of Inuit music into this score, including throat singing, percussion and the sonoran (a Native American flute).
These exotic additions nicely blend in with the rich symphonic underscoring reserved for the Canadian wilderness whose majesty both enchants and scares Charlie. Ranging from the tribal savagery of “Mosquito” and “Caribou Hunt” to the expansive “Charlie in the Wilderness” which plays without dialogue in the film, The Snow Walker is an epic tableau of the Northwestern Territories that should delight every fan of Danna’s ethnically-inspired compositions. The CD comes with 8-page liner notes by Gergely Hubai discussing the film and the score based on original interviews with both composers.