The Musical Language of Human Planet

by Nitin Sawhney, Composer for Human Planet

Well… Life working on “The Human Planet” has been quite revelatory.

Since working on Human Planet I have been repeatedly astounded by images of
human resilience from around the globe…  stunning visuals of men taking casual strolls on seabeds (without breathing apparatus!),
stick fighters, Arctic hunters and rainforest bridge builders have
filled my computer screen daily with inspiration.

As it is my job to score this wonderful 8-part series, I find myself
constantly suspended between disbelief at the possibilities of
environmental adaptation and exhilaration at the prospect of scoring
arguably the most profound documentary narrative ever broadcast.

Creating the musical vocabulary for such disparate programmes is no
easy feat, however.  Besides attempting to musically express the arc
and nuances of each individual episode, it has been my task to also
find a cohesive musical language for the entire series as a whole.
Over the next few months I will be scoring and orchestrating epic
scenes for the National Orchestra of Wales, various specialist
musicians and singers and most importantly attempting to find the soul
of this beautiful tale of human determination.

Dale Templar, series producer, is acting as my guide and mentor over
this period, helping me to navigate my way around the individual needs of directors, the meticulous executive review process and that search
for motifs, ideas and a musical vocabulary worthy of such classic

I will be updating you as I go, not only on all of this but also the
ongoing discussions over Human Planet – Live!



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