Press Release from Dragon’s Domain:
Dragon’s Domain Records presents NORTH STAR/THE GREAT ELEPHANT ESCAPE, featuring music composed by Bruce Rowland (THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER, PHAR LAP) for two films from the composer’s lengthy filmography. Australian composer Bruce Rowland’s music is noted for its expansive orchestral melodies and use of solo piano as a primary instrument in the orchestra. Rowland is a self-taught musician who spent many years as a songwriter and creator of commercial jingles before the opportunity arose to score films.
NORTH STAR is set during the gold rush of the late 1800s in Nome, Alaska. The film is loosely based on a 1956 Western novel by Henry Wilson Allen. In his efforts to gain control of a small mining town, Sean McLennon (James Caan) begins to buy up every available mining claim. One of the miners targeted by McLennon is Hudson Saanteek (Christopher Lambert), a half-Indian hunter. Hudson manages to escape McLennon’s thugs and return to town, looking to re-establish his claim and get revenge. McLennon and his men have the advantage of numbers and weapons, but Hudson has his survival skills and knowledge of the Alaskan wilderness.
Released in 1996, NORTH STAR is an American Western set in Alaska but filmed in Norway and helmed by Norwegian director Nils Gaup (PATHFINDER, Disney’s SHIPWRECKED) . The initial release of the film in Europe featured an original score composed British composer John Scott; for uncertain reasons, the American release commissioned an original new score by Bruce Rowland, presented here for the first time.
Released in 1995, THE GREAT ELEPHANT ESCAPE is a Disney-esque adventure drama filmed on location in Kenya and tells the story of a boy’s fight to save a young elephant. Beverly (Stephanie Zimbalist) takes her son to live with her in Africa. Matt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his new Kenyan friend Jomo (Adetokumboh M’Cormack) befriend an orphaned baby elephant and then help it escape from an African animal orphanage when unscrupulous American wildlife buyer Harlo Ethridge (Leo Burmester) intends to make her the centerpiece of his tourist exhibit in the USA. Thus begins a wild chase across the grasslands of Kenya. THE GREAT ELEPHANT ESCAPE is presented here for the first time.
Bruce Rowland’s fascination with music began as a child. He grew up in a musical household in Melbourne, and as a teenager studied piano and played with various pop bands. He worked with pop group The Strangers during the 1960s, and toured with international artists including Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys. Bruce developed much of his early skill as a composer on the popular teenage television series THE GO SHOW, where he was responsible for playing keyboard and writing arrangements for guest artists including Olivia Newton-John and Billy Thorpe. Later, he worked for five years as the composer for children’s television programs MAGIC CIRCLE CLUB and ADVENTURE ISLAND. His career spans a multitude of motion pictures, cable movies, mini-series, series, animations and special live events. Bruce is the proud recipient of multiple awards, including a 2006 APRA International Achievement Award for his services to film. In 2000, Bruce wrote and conducted the music for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games, which included a special rendition of Bruce’s score for THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER.
Dragon’s Domain Records presents the world premiere release of NORTH STAR/THE GREAT ELEPHANT ESCAPE, mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland, featuring liner notes written by author Randall D. Larson.