Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee/George S. Clinton

August 11, 2007

wounded-knee.jpg

First shown on HBO in May of 2007, the film starring Aidian Quinn and Anna Paquin is based on the Dee Brown novel which recounts the tragic and horrific treatment of the Native American people in the late 1800’s leading to the Sioux massacre in 1890. Not only will the film become available on DVD on September 11th but Clinton has been nominated with an Emmy for music in a miniseries for his contribution to this project. Two hours is certainly not enough time for the powerful novel but HBO and the director Yves Simoneau give it their best effort.“Wounded Knee Main Title” incorporates not only the Lakota flute of John Two-Hawks but a choir and full symphony orchestra in a powerful moving theme beginning and ending with the flute. “The Feather”, at least in the very beginning sounds like what ears expect to hear with flutes, chanting, and the beat of the tom-tom. It seques into a quiet piano passage with a more traditional sounding flute and soft strings. “Spotted Eagle Song” by Darryl McDonald is sung in Lakota by the male choir to the constant beat of the tom-tom and definitely lends a certain amount of authenticity to the score. “Assimilation” has that piano style that Thomas Newman has used so effectively, nice melody with good harmony from the strings. In fact while quite pleasant to listen to it really seems out of place. “Red Cloud” is a funeral dirge, quite solemn featuring the lower register of the strings in a simple melody with the flute providing some harmony and Indian identification to the track.Overall this score is very dark offering little or no hope, exactly what the tragic situation historically was. Upbeat in the major key is not in the composition. Clinton has been able to achieve a correct balance between traditional sounding and newer landscape material, giving it a rather unique sound which this reviewer approves of. It is this blend that sets this soundtrack apart from others. We have all heard both styles of music but rarely together.

At this particular time the release is only available as a 30+ minute promo released by HBO. Perhaps there will be an official release to coincide with the DVD release in September. One would think that the Emmy nomination would push one of the record companies to introduce all of the soundtrack material to this fine score.

Track Listing:

1.    Wounded Knee Main Title (4:41)

2.    The Feather (2:03)

3.    The Train-Civilized (3:12)

4.    Cedar Creek (1:56)

5.    Spotted Eagle Song by Darryl McDonald (1:41)

6.    Assimilation (2:22)

7.    Red Cloud (2:28)

8.    Charles (1:43)

9.    What To Believe (2:11)

10.  White Horse (3:16)

11.  Ears For It-Cross and Feather

Total Time is 30:24

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