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Label: Nepenthe Music & Publishing
Release Date: February 2005
Genre: Soundtrack, Ambient, Electronic, Minimalist
Track Count: 23
Running Time: 49 minutes
Catalog No.: AMC05004

From the production company of award-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Caravan is a feature-length documentary set in Nepal and north Africa. A unique glimpse into two seldom-seen cultures, the film traces the compelling journeys of two adolescent boys: Pemba in Nepal, and Rabdoulah in Niger. Each will embark on an adventure that few of us Westerners will ever experience - the centuries-old salt caravans.

For followers of Tim Story's elegantly introspective 'ambient chamber' music, Story might seem an unconventional choice to score a film set in such exotic locales. Steadfastly evolving his own unique palette of Western classical instruments and subtle electronics, Story was never seduced by the "world music" flourishes that have become so commonplace. But as Caravan's music supervisor Alán Cantos enthused, "I saw a thousand adventures, dunes, sky, stars, and empty spaces… and I was only two-thirds into {Tim's} first CD!"

Discovered one day on a Madrid radio station, Story's music had stayed with Cantos, prompting him to share it with Caravan's director Gerardo Olivares during one of the film crew's shoots in Niger. It became a kind of soundtrack for their long days and nights in the desert. When the time came for the filmmakers to commission a composer to score the film, the choice was already becoming clear.

There are the occasional geographic cues in Story's music for Caravan: the tongue drums deftly played by Louie Simon, the oriental flute in one piece, or the chants of Tibetan Buddhist monks in another, all of which conjure for the listener a vivid sense of time and place. But this soundtrack is no world music travelogue. Caravan is a film about people, and Story's music searches for the nuances and truths of human nature. Always a particular strength of Story's solo work, moments of sheer beauty and unsettling dangers intermingle in this music, deepening the film's tone with uncommon delicacy. Beautifully articulated by Kim Bryden's oboe and Martha Reikow's cello, Story's spare yet rich themes map for us the emotional terrain of Pemba and Rabdoulah's journeys; and in doing so, give us a recording that is strikingly haunting and surprisingly cohesive - even when removed from the context of the film itself.

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