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Monday, May 04, 2009


Icy Killers: Secrets of Alaska's Salmon Sharks
Music by Alan Williams
Silverscreen Music SMCD 024 (US)
18 Tracks 39:28 mins

Latest release from Alan Williams' Silverscreen Music label is his score for the recent National Geographic documentary, Icy Killers, which follows the annual events in the Gulf of Alaska when thousands of salmon sharks gather to take advantage of the millions of Pacific salmon en route to their spawning grounds. Williams is of course no stranger to scoring documentaries, having written fine scores for the likes of Kilimanjaro, Amazon, Mark Twain's America, In Search of Lewis & Clark, Dead Sea Scrolls and more.
Williams begins his score in fine style with the savage, percussive title theme. "Melting Ice" is much gentler fare, at least to begin with, but the same savage percussion brings the track to a menacing close. Inspirational synths herald the arrival of "Spring," which is followed by the easy-going guitars and synths of "Journey to Prince William Sound," but even this takes a darker, percussive turn as it proceeds. A variation even breaks through the bleakness of "Icy Waters" at one point. "Orcas" is a more driven variation on the "Journey" music, and is followed by the ever increasing menace of "On the Prowl." "Warm Blooded" brings a brief uplifting synths interlude, but we are quickly brought back to earth. However, the playful piano of "Sea Otters and flowing warmth of "Harbor Seals" brighten things up again. There's a Native American feel to "Salmon," which leads us to the gently bubbling "Leaping Salmon." Things however take a much darker turn in the following "Feeding Frenzy," the longest track on the album, where Williams really lets loose in a tour de force of percussive action. The questing "Humpbacks" follows, with more percussive action featured in "Group Hunting." The plodding, grimly resolute "Winter Hunt" follows, with the sparkling "Jelly Fish" bringing another light moment to proceedings. Guitar and piano bring a feeling of hopelessness to "Only a Matter of Time," while subdued threatening percussion circles beneath. The concluding track, "Survival/Finale" initially continues this feeling of doom, but a ray of hope enters, with synths building to a satisfying guitar-lead climax.
In conclusion, another fine score from the dependable Alan Williams, particularly if you like savage, percussive action writing, which fans of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica might well appreciate. Check out this and his other available albums by visiting his website at, where you can listen to samples before buying.


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