Revered solo artist and film composer David Bridie announces the re-release of the soundtrack for the 1999 feature film ‘In A Savage Land’, directed by Australian screenwriter and producer Bill Bennett. The soundtrack is built from samples of musicians and ensembles of Trobriand Island (PNG) recorded by David and his collaborators and is accompanied by a full orchestra and electronic textures. Awarded Best Soundtrack at the Australian Film Institute awards (1999), the film is now available for viewing on streaming platform STAN and the soundtrack for the first time since it’s initial release on CD in 2000, is now able to be purchased via Bandcamp.
Set in the 1930s and 40s, ‘In A Savage Land’ is an epic love story that explores the relationship between two newly married anthropologists who travel to the Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea to study the sexual mores of a village. Their relationship begins to break down when the woman starts to question the validity of her husband’s work. She travels to another island to do her own research with a village of headhunters – but needs the help of a pearl trader to get her there. They begin to fall in love as war breaks out in the Pacific.
Of the soundtrack David says, ‘Bougainville drummer Ben Hakalitz and I wandered around the Trobriand Islands, recording stringbands, conch shells and old men and women singers, and these amazing loloni flute players-blowing through hollowed out paw paw stems. The other part of this soundtrack was fully orchestrated..big strings, oboe and clarinet and French horn wafts, chords and melodies. The third element was working up sound textures with cut up electronica bleeps and kundu rhythms. Director Bill Bennett and acclaimed sound designer Wayne Pashleigh pretty much gave me free reign. I assure you this is not always the case with soundtracks.’