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Tim Story - Caravana - 2005

Caravan - A Journey to WorldApart ”, is a documentary co-production of the factories El Deseo and Transglobe Films that narrates in images the story of two ten-year-old boys who live in two of the most inhospitable regions on the planet; the Tenere desert and the Himalayas. Separated by thousands of kilometers, they have something in common: for the first time they are going to accompany, on a long and dangerous journey, their families who have been engaged in the salt trade for generations.

"Caravan" is the true story of these two trips told through Wahid and Tashi, the protagonists. The first will cross the desert of Tenerife - Niger - with a caravan of forty camels to the Bilma salt flats and the second, the Himalayas - Nepal - with fifty Yaks, to the Dabriéuna salt flats.

Gerardo Olivares, director of the film, has an extensive curriculum in documentaries of this nature, who during the filming of the film was accompanied by Tim Story's music at all times. So much so, that for the setting of the film the production team had no other soundtrack in mind, and contacted the composer himself directly.

Tim Story is a prominent name in the world of new music from the 90s (or new age, according to some trends), and specifically, from that magnificent group gathered by the Windham Hill label at its dawn of glory (Paul Winter, George Winston, Nightnoise, and many others).

The reader should note that the review of this soundtrack is based on artistic criteria outside the usual of film music, since “Caravan” offers a filmic transposition of the creative concepts of Story music. Don't expect the reader or listener to have powerful orchestral sections or giddy rhythmic developments; But don't be mistaken and expect an easy new age concept with bland endless chords, predictable harmonies and comfortable electronic sounds ...

If Tim Story's music is characterized by anything, it is its melodic and harmonic richness, built from a very personal, stimulating and deeply intimate sound. The composer fuses the acoustic with the electronic (generally, with the use of acoustic soloists in piano, oboe and cello), with a unique elegance in the genre. "Caravan" is an example of this chamber music, with some obvious ethnic touch due to the theme of the film (which is perhaps the least successful point of the work, falling a bit short on strength and personality).

Focusing on the recording edition, we have 22 tracks (plus a bonustrack) of short duration and without interruptions, a concept resulting from the composer's own later work. Artistically the progression of the CD seems to evolve from an initial section of exposure to a climax in the last five tracks (18 to 22), to which I will make a special mention later.

Already from the beginning, in “Caravan (Opening)” Story subtly immerses us in its sound, with a soft rhythmic ostinato performed on piano, and a sweet melody sung by the cello and the oboe in subtle counterpoint, which serves as a leitmotiv to the work (We can find it in "UncertainInterlude" and "Caravan (Closing)".

Throughout the CD we find intimate melodic cuts of remarkable beauty, "The High Dolpho" (with its distant harmonies and electronic games in opposition to the melodic delicacy of the oboe), "The Setter" (cut that outlines another beautiful melody, which seems born from the musical concept of the main theme), “Always the Same Dream”, “So Nearthe Clouds” (in that same intimate line), etc.

To this group of tracks are added more incidental ones, which are completed with the use of percussion in a rather peculiar way, and sometimes, the mixture of a choir of Tibetan monks (“Hidden Country”). I highlight in this block "Cloud of Sand", whose darkness is somewhat out of tonic, with an oriental percussion ostinato and very interesting electronic backdrops.

I stop especially from "Monster in These Mountains", the first of the block of last five tracks. In this cut a beautiful cello melody is developed accompanied by an electronic harp, with a soft folkloric air. The counterpoint of the oboe, once again characteristic of the composer, immerses us in a wealth of sensations already outlined by the previous themes.


"Lost Caravan" is another of the darkest pieces on the album, without aggressiveness but with deep emotional introspection. Sounds that prepare us for “Dusk”, for me one of the most interesting tracks on the CD. Built on the basis of an atonal rhythmic ostinato of prepared electronic piano sounds (or similar), which lead us to a beautiful section of oboes, accompanied by electronic pads and subtle percussions with cello counterpoints. Harmonies in delays, not obvious, complete an original and intimate soundscape of deep emotion.

"The Orchard and the Well" and "Caravan" close the work in a melodic and calm way, recapitulating the main themes of the score. A closure that unites the work, from the formal and emotional point of view (we also have a bonustrack, acoustic recording of folk songs).

Tim Story does a wonderful job in “Caravan”, transmitting a very personal identity stamp. A unique artistic work in the genre, which for those not initiated into Story music can mean finding highly recommended new emotional landscapes, an essential complement to the essential solo works "The Perfect Flaw" or "Shadow play".

1. Caravan (Opening) (02:07)
2. The High Dolpho (02:50)
3. Swimming in the Desert (01:42)
4. The Letter (02:16)
5. Tende (01:24)
6. Nomads (01:54)
7. Uncertain Interlude (01:22)
8. A Story in the Rocks (01:38)
9. Always the Same Dream (01:58)
10. Hidden Country (05:08)
11. So Near the Clouds (02:19)
12. Tomorrow Another World (00:51)
13. Doors of the Tenere (01:38)
14. Again Appear the Storms (01:25)
15. Cloud of Sand (01:19)
16. Amulet (02:11)
17. Emerald Lake (02:06)
18. Monster in These Mountains (02:32)
19. Lost Caravans (02:08)
20. Dusk (03:50)
21. The Orchard and the Well (02:19)
22. Caravan (03:12)
23. Bonus Track (00:37) 



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