“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” is not the first David Attenborough project which Steven Price scored, but this is the most different. The Netflix movie is not your typical nature documentary, but rather Attenborough’s “witness statement” of how humanity has harmed the planet in its 93 years on Earth alone.
“It was the first time that David really wanted to sit in front of the camera and give his take on things. It was a totally different and very intimate approach. And for him, he’s a very private man who isn’t really known for expressing his own opinion on things, that’s a big deal at the age of 93 like he was when he did this. film, ”Price told Gold Derby during our meeting with CSI: Composers panel (look above). “It was an amazing honor to be asked and then you are faced with, how are we going to make this as good as we all want for David and the message he’s giving and for the world as well?”
An average nature doc would call for epic, sweeping music behind stunning visuals or animals in their element, but Price, who won an Emmy nomination for his score “A Life on Our Planet”, used the “less” approach. it’s more “with a ladder – down, sparse pieces, usually just in the form of a cello or piano. While the subject of the documentary is grand, it is ultimately very intimate and personal as Attenborough chronicles his life and how the planet changed during this time.
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“The key thing for me from the start was that it has to be music that resembles its story and how to do it,” Price shares. “I would ask the people around him who work with him a lot, ‘What does David like to listen to?’ And the answer was that he had a library in his house and there were heaps and heaps of chamber music vinyl records. He likes intimate and detailed bedroom stuff, which immediately means we weren’t going to do the big orchestral stuff. It was going to be a low-key and detailed thing. It meant I could go over the musicians I have worked with a lot over the past few years… and write pretty much specifically for people I know very well who are trying to capture a feeling of David.
In this sense, the voice of the revered nature historian has been Price’s main instrument. “I definitely consider Sir David’s voice to be my main instrument and everything has to work around him. He speaks in this really beautifully musical way, ”he notes. “There are gaps and the way he sort of digs into his ideas is really musical and you find yourself playing the game and like magic takes you to places you wouldn’t normally have been to. I was lucky on this movie that a lot of its narration was already recorded before I saw the movie and I could really build around that.
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