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Nowhere in Africa
(2002)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:
Niki Reiser

Performed by:
The Baset Symphony Orchestra
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Higher Octave Music
(May 6th, 2003)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but out of print by 2008.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek to hear a rare, strong mix of African and European sounds in a harmonically and thematically coherent score.

Avoid it... if the thought of native African chants and source-like songs sprinkled throughout an otherwise somewhat mellow orchestral score album deters you.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #768
WRITTEN 4/24/03, REVISED 3/4/09
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Nowhere in Africa: (Niki Reiser) Making waves by winning the 2002 Academy Award for "Best Foreign Language Film," Nowhere in Africa is a true love story that depicts the 20-year tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi's in 1938 and takes refuge on a farm in Kenya. The film's beauty blossoms out of the relationships that the parents and their daughter establish with the people and land of Kenya during their long stay. Directed by Caroline Link, the acclaimed German film continued her collaboration with composer Niki Reiser, with whom she had collaborated with to produce multiple, popular arthouse projects over the previous two decades. American film music fans will likely be unfamiliar with Reiser, a Swiss composer and flute performer whose formal musical education includes study with several contemporary stars of the field. His dozen or so film scores of note by 2003 were accompanied by his flute recordings with several well known European artists. The score for Nowhere in Africa would require a merging of two distinctly different world sounds: the classical, orchestral lyricism of a European orchestra and the authentic employment of the ethnic vocal chants and songs of the local Kenyan culture. Such scores aren't a new concept, and Reiser produces an enormously effective combination of Western and African styles in a work that is both serviceable for the context and listenable on its own. Most importantly, the often dynamic score never becomes awash in its own melodramatic weight (such as Gabriel Yared's The English Patient), nor does it lose its base in terms of simple authenticity (a circumstance which plagues much of Hans Zimmer's African-related music, including the concurrent Tears of the Sun). Parts of the ethnic material will remind of James Horner's Bopha!, though packaged in a far more palatable format. Rather than uniformly following any of these paths of prior exploration, Reiser pays close attention to the actual rituals and sounds in native Kenyan songs and integrates them into his orchestral material very well. As expected, the Kenyen elements do alone carry the torch in some of the cues, serving as source-like material for several scenes in the film.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
362 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.01 Stars
***** 66 5 Stars
**** 78 4 Stars
*** 82 3 Stars
** 67 2 Stars
* 69 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
4 TOTAL COMMENTS
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a condescending and simplistic review of 'Africa'   Expand >>
Susan K J. - May 7, 2003, at 4:22 p.m.
3 comments  (3564 views)
Newest: May 8, 2003, at 6:26 p.m. by
Mark Kindler
A good review to see at Filmtracks.com
Mike K. - May 5, 2003, at 2:14 a.m.
1 comment  (2119 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 56:50
• 1. Loreley (1:23)
• 2. Daddy is Back! (0:54)
• 3. Nowhere in Africa (3:40)
• 4. End of War (2:41)
• 5. Journey Through Kenya (5:30)
• 6. Africa-Europe (2:50)
• 7. Regina's Melody (1:02)
• 8. Hansel and Gretel in Africa (0:49)
• 9. Goodbye from Regina (4:47)
• 10. Jettel's Melody (2:43)
• 11. Toto (0:49)
• 12. Ritual (2:05)
• 13. Nowhere in Africa II (4:30)
• 14. Poland Means Death (4:16)
• 15. My Brave Angel (1:07)
• 16. Closing Frame (1:55)
• 17. Visiting the Camp (1:24)
• 18. Reichkristallnacht (3:37)
• 19. Love Scene (1:38)
• 20. Reunion (0:59)
• 21. Celebration of the Pokot/Home Country (5:17)
• 22. Grasshoppers (2:45)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2003-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Nowhere in Africa are Copyright © 2003, Higher Octave Music and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/24/03 and last updated 3/4/09.
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