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Winged Migration
Album Cover Art
2003 Higher Octave
2012 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Orchestrated by:
Bruno Coulais

Conducted by:
Deyan Pavlov

Produced by:
Paul Lavergne
Labels Icon
Higher Octave Music
(April 22nd, 2003)

Varèse Sarabande
(October 30th, 2012)
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Both albums are regular U.S. releases.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you relax to expansive orchestral and vocal creativity with an extremely optimistic personality and international flavor for an IMAX-like setting.

Avoid it... if the dominant sounds of bird calls and other nature effects in the mix of several cues, as well as the lack of a satisfyingly dominant thematic presence, deters you from a truly unique experience.
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WRITTEN 4/21/03, REVISED 3/3/13
Winged Migration: (Bruno Coulais) Among the contenders for an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Feature" in 2003 was Winged Migration, a film of several years in the making about the migration habits of several bird species around the world. The French production (which experienced a limited opening in America in April of 2003) used several pilots and cinematographers, as well as state of the art technology, to achieve breathtaking visuals and the authentic sounds of the birds during four years of their northern and southern flights. Following countless species of animals, the film shifts to each continent during the journey, creating a truly international flavor for French composer Bruno Coulais to emphasize in his music for the project. Prolific in Europe, Coulais was likely an unknown for many American film score collectors at the time, though not even the composer's Academy Award nomination for The Chorus not long thereafter really changed that fact. His dynamic score for Winged Migration, however, is a work that did gain him significant international attention. He assembled for the project an ensemble of vocal and instrumental performers greater than those of most other scores, akin to the kind of collaborative efforts put forth by Hans Zimmer during the same time period. Coulais' performers include a moderately-sized orchestra, specialized quartets of strings and woodwind instruments, a typical small chorus, several solo and group vocalists, and an array of sound effects that often features bird calls and ocean waves (among other sounds of nature). The eclectic nature of Coulais' music for Winged Migration separates it from mundane, generic film scores (and is more striking than many of George Fenton's more grandiose takes on nature) and classifies it closer to the Benoit Jutras, "Cirque du Soleil" genre of large-scale orchestral adventure for non-traditional applications. The unconventional employment of the human voice competes in the score with more familiar tones that listeners will recognize from the layers of singing in The Chorus. Almost every instrumental use is creative in its performance aspects, and the resulting score for Winged Migration is fascinating at the very least and enjoyable in some of its more accessible parts.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.4 Stars
***** 145 5 Stars
**** 152 4 Stars
*** 143 3 Stars
** 85 2 Stars
* 60 1 Stars
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Winged migration - Bruno Coulais
Neocema - July 26, 2006, at 2:29 p.m.
1 comment  (1602 views)
Patrick Bodin - December 28, 2003, at 10:27 a.m.
1 comment  (1618 views)
Winged Soundtrack   Expand >>
Mark Chenoweth - October 1, 2003, at 8:07 p.m.
2 comments  (2852 views)
Newest: October 1, 2003, at 8:21 Mark Chenoweth
winged migration
Raznor - April 25, 2003, at 2:21 a.m.
1 comment  (2045 views)
It's great that Bruno Coulais at last found a place here
Tomek - April 24, 2003, at 11:28 a.m.
1 comment  (1529 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Both Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:25
• 1. To Be By Your Side - performed by Nick Cave (4:04)
• 2. Masters of the Field - performed by Robert Wyatt (3:22)
• 3. Northern Bound - performed by A Filetta (2:25)
• 4. The Crossing (2:04)
• 5. The Highest Gander - performed by Robert Wyatt (3:14)
• 6. Beating Drums - performed by A Filetta (3:33)
• 7. The Return of the Cranes (2:34)
• 8. The Blue Thread (1:18)
• 9. The Red Forest - performed by Robert Wyatt (2:25)
• 10. Like a Breath of Air - performed by A Filetta (2:04)
• 11. The Takeoff (1:23)
• 12. Amidst the Factory Smoke (1:31)
• 13. The Glider (2:01)
• 14. After the Hunt (2:55)
• 15. The Paper Parrot (1:06)
• 16. The Swans Flight (1:21)
• 17. Feathers and Stripes (2:48)
• 18. The Wounded Dove - performed by Gabriel Yacoub (3:05)
• 19. Off Camera - performed by Robert Wyatt (2:03)

Notes Icon
The inserts for both albums include extensive notes and lyrics regarding the score and songs. The enhanced CD portions of the 2003 product contains a film trailer, facts about birds, links to bird sites, and an opportunity to enter a now defunct contest for a bird-watching trip; you'll definitely satisfy your craving for bird-related entertainment.
Copyright © 2003-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Winged Migration are Copyright © 2003, 2012, Higher Octave Music, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/21/03 and last updated 3/3/13.
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