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I Dreamed of Africa (Soundtrack) by Maurice Jarre

Composed and Produced by Maurice Jarre
Performed by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin Orchestra;
Knaben des Staats und Domochores Berlin Boys Choir
Released by Varese Sarabande Records- May 2000

A Different Rhythm
Review by Christopher Coleman

I Dreamed of Africa (Soundtrack) by Maurice Jarre

Movies set in the continent of Africa have given film music fan’s some of the best music to come out of Hollywood.  One doesn’t have to think too long before film’s such as Out of Africa, The Lion King, or The Power of One.  Some might even throw The Ghost and the Darkness and Endurance into this batch.  Even the 2000 release of Dinosaur with its Africanesque score by James Newton Howard, might come to mind.

Amid all of the Hollywood-Hub-Bub of the Summer of 2000, I Dreamed of Africa, will sneak into theatres and entertain a fair amount of moviegoers.  Accompanying the film is composer Maurice Jarre’s somewhat surprising score.  This score is surprising in that it foregoes the many of the stereotypical expectations for a film set in Africa.  

The ethnic flavor is left of to the contributions of  two Real World Record artists, Ayab Ogada and Geoffery Oryema.  They contribute three tracks (2, 4, 7), to the Varese Sarabande soundtrack release.  Indigenous instruments and tribal vocals make sure the listener remembers the setting and helps add a bit of charm to the soundtrack as a whole, but certainly don’t come close to the majesty of composer/lyricist Lebo M (The Power of One, The Lion King, Dinosaur).

Track 3, bearing the title, A Different Rhythm, aptly sums up each of  the lengthy a orchestral tracks.  Each of the four tracks exhibit a number of tempos and styles- some a little more seemless than others.  Jarre works in the memorable main theme into each of his pieces and probably realizes its fullest potential in the closing track, Kuki’s Determination. The five score tracks of Jarre are above average in length and, if nothing else, provide an adequate sampling of the diversity in Jarre’s composing style.  Track 1, Arrival in Africa is a strange collection of styles that really keeps the listener off balance.  Just as one feels they understand where this music is “coming from” or where it is headed, the music abruptly changes.  

Initially, this score may be disappointing but it does manage to grow in its embraceability over time.  In a year of outstanding film scores, I Dreamed of Africa, falls into the category of the average.  Maurice Jarre does deliver a number of enjoyable moments, but they are usually interrupted by not-so-enjoyable moments…and usually within the very same track.   


I Dreamed of Africa

I Dreamed of Africa (Soundtrack) by Maurice Jarre


Originality 6
Music Selection 6
Composition 5
CD Length 8
Track Order 7
Performance 6
Final Score 6/10

 Track Listing and Ratings

 Track  Title  Time


1 Arrival in Africa 8:44  **
2 Ondiek (Ayab Ogada) 4:03  ***
3 A Different Rhythm 10:55  ***
4 Kel Kweyo 4:08  ***
5 The Storm 8:58  ***
6 Death and Misery 11:16  ***
7 Obiero 5:36  ***
8 Kuki's Determination 6:06  ***

Total Running Time


Referenced Reviews:  


Quick Quotes

The nine-minute opening cue sums everything up: there is a marvellous, sweeping, romantic theme (so typically and unmistakably Jarre, yet possibly lacking that extra touch of magic that some of his other themes possess), but also various ethnic twinges; there's something that sounds like a didgeredoo (I'm not sure what that's doing in Africa), and various exotic percussion instruments. The theme sounds quite strange when it's backed with the peculiarly-rhythmed percussion section. ***

James Southall - Moviewave

Maurice Jarre


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I Dreamed of Africa (Soundtrack) by Maurice Jarre





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