Allow me to paint a picture for you. A book inspires a film and the film inspires a soundtrack. Yes, dear reader, I am one of those people that explores every element surrounding something that interests me.
10,000 BC, despite receiving mediocre reviews, remains one of my most beloved films. Sure, I could talk about the technical and historical inaccuracies along with the quizzical hypothesis, but I’d much prefer to be drawn into the mystique, a mystique which opens my mind and allows me to explore other possibilities than those expressed in the mainstream history books. Yes, you could probably call me a little gullible, but to be honest no one really knows exactly what happened all those millennia ago and subsequently there are a lot of educated guesses. Hence, I like to remain broad-minded and after watching 10,000 BC, I wanted to know more.
Thanks to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, I found out that director extraordinaire Roland Emmerich based the film partially off Graham Hancock’s exceptional Fingerprints Of The Gods. So, I had to read the book. The film captivated me and I needed to know more. It’s a stellar read and one that I highly recommend if you are interested in Pseudoarchaeology. No, dear reader, I’m not a crackpot, I just like to keep an open mind. Plus, it makes for great dinner conversation!
Anyway, I have a tendency to listen to music as I read. While reading a music biography will have me going through the entire works of a particular artist, other non-music related non-fiction or fiction books are generally accompanied by whatever I feel in the mood to listen to. Well, in this case, I thought I’d try the soundtrack to 10,000 BC and while it’s logically disconnected from the book, it kept the interest in the book and the subject paramount in my mind. That said, the book is a page-turner, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little encouragement along the way.
The problem is, when I finished reading Fingerprints Of The Gods, I also stopped listening to the soundtrack and while I have watched the film numerous times since, I can’t recall if I actually liked the soundtrack on its own, or if it was the connectivity of media that compelled my interest so many years ago. Therefore, I’d like you, dear reader, to join me on a journey of re-exploration as I take a look at the soundtrack and decide whether or not it can be appreciated on its own, outside of the influence of the film and Fingerprints Of The Gods.
Opening is, for lack of a better term, cinematic. It is the kind of audible introduction that ensures the filmgoer knows they are about to experience something special, something captivating, and something that will encapsulate them in sound and transport their senses to another world. I love it!
Mountain Of The Gods started out bold but the vocal incorporation that is included in the film detracts from the musicality. A shame in one way, but as a soundtrack it is somewhat understandable.
Speech is simply stunning. It is one of my favourite tracks on the soundtrack and is glorious when presented in the film. Yes, I hear a little influence from the Transformers soundtrack and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it shifts my focus.
Evolet is a beautifully relaxing and uplifting composition. If only all music could be this good!
Mannak Hunt radically shifts the styling of the soundtrack, but it is, of course, in line with the film’s chronology. Mannak Hunt isn’t inherently bad, but I feel it was somewhat unsuitable for the film’s scene as I felt it didn’t accurately capture the hunting aspect of early man. Of course, I’d recommend you check out the film and ascertain this for yourself as it is highly subjective.
Celebration simply exists. Nothing to write home about and while applicable to the film does little for allowing the soundtrack to be experienced independently.
I Was Not Brave returns the soundtrack to a more relaxing, perhaps sombre, tone. It is this style that I thoroughly enjoy.
Night Of The Tiger is a fantastic score for the associated scene. While the random listener may not be able to appreciate it, the scene in the film, with the musical accompaniment, is edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
Lead Them is a lovely composition and one that is inspirational. Although, I feel it could have been even bolder than it is as I feel it was being held back a little.
Terror Birds has a terrifying entrance. This soundtrack really is a collection of sonic elements that are complementary when viewing the film, but are seriously disjointed when listening to the soundtrack in the film’s running order. Yes, that is how soundtracks are generally made, but it would be nice to see a soundtrack go down a less linear route, thereby allowing it to be appreciated as a piece of standalone musical art.
Wounded Hunter is a sombre, but uplifting, piece of music that is simply beautiful.
Food has a very nice vocal element that will appeal to individuals who appreciate World Music. Musically, however, it is limited and likely won’t appeal to the classical-minded listener.
Goodbyes was another sonic element that worked perfectly in the film but doesn’t sit well on its own here.
Sea Of Sand is epic!
Wise Man is elegant but sombre. Perfect for the film.
He Was My Father is another composition that merely exists and is nothing to write home about.
Mark Of The Hunter is a perfect score for the film but does nothing to evoke emotion within the listener.
Free The Mannaks was a great scene in the film, but the epic nature of it fails to reach the listener of this soundtrack. Nevertheless, perhaps that is what a good score is all about, enhancing the film and not standing alone as a composition on its own. It would be nice if it could be both though.
Not A God portrays the same thought as Free The Mannaks.
You Came For Me is stunning and connects with Evolet in tonality and purpose. I love this composition.
The End follows on beautifully from You Came For Me. It is compositions like this that make this soundtrack so appealing, if only it had been presented in a non-linear manner.
10,000 BC/End Credits closes the soundtrack out nicely, reminding me just how much I enjoy the film and encouraging me to go and watch it. While I don’t necessarily feel captivated to listen to the soundtrack again, there are some compositions here that are simply out of this world and perhaps the best approach for me moving forward would be to create a playlist of the songs I wish to hear, in the order that I wish to hear them.
Overall, the 10,000 BC soundtrack is very much a soundtrack and unlike Dances With Wolves is not likely to be appreciated as a piece of classical-inspired music on its own. However, fans of the film or the works of Kloser and Wander will undoubtedly be captivated. There are certainly high and low points to be found throughout, but the music is captured so elegantly that you’d be hard pressed to be disappointed as it is sonically beautiful. While I’ll likely always keep this soundtrack in my digital library, never seeking out a physical copy, it will be appreciated whenever I simply want to audibly reflect on the film or read the follow up to Fingerprints Of The Gods; Magicians Of The Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom Of Earth’s Lost Civilisation.