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Nat Geo’s Incredible Animal Journeys Previews Three Globe-Spanning Tracks (EXCLUSIVE)-TGN

Summary

  • National Geographic’s Incredible Animal Journeys showcases the incredible lengths animals go to survive in different biomes, with a soundtrack that captures the beauty and danger of the natural world.
  • Composer Jake Monaco creates a diverse and captivating soundtrack for the series, featuring sweeping orchestral textures, vocal choruses, and African percussion.
  • The series explores all aspects of the animals’ lives, from migration to mating to mealtime, capturing the triumphant highs and terrifying lows of life in the wilderness. The soundtrack will be released on November 17th.


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National Geographic’s Incredible Animal Journeys details the amazing lengths creatures go to to survive and thrive across the world’s disparate biomes. The series is narrated by Jeremy Renner, marking the Hawkeye and Avengers: Endgame star’s first foray into the world of nature documentaries. The series airs on November 17th on National Geographic.

Like many of the best National Geographic specials, Incredible Animal Journeys features a soundtrack that helps express the beauty and danger of the natural world. In this case, that soundtrack was provided by composer Jake Monaco, whose other work includes Eva the Owlet on Apple TV+ and who has contributed to films like Dumplin’ and Keeping Up With the Joneses. Screen Rant is happy to present a three-track sampler of Monaco’s work from Incredible Animal Journeys; take a listen below.


Listen To The Incredible Animal Journeys Original Series Soundtrack On November 17th

The sampler teases three key themes from Incredible Animal Journeys: the title track, “Elephants II – Relief of the Rain”, and “Humpback Whales II – The Great Feast”. The range of Monaco’s instrumentation is on full display, with “Incredible Animal Journeys” featuring sweeping orchestral textures, and “Elephants II – Relief of the Rain” showcases tribal vocals and an African bullhorn. “Humpback Whales II – The Great Feast” incorporates Hawaiian legend and vocals, showcasing the truly global nature of Monaco’s music. Jake Monaco broke down all three tracks, starting with “Incredible Animal Journeys”:

Jake Monaco: The title sequence features the series’ main iconic theme that is woven throughout all seven segments. It encompasses sonic elements from each episode’s palette representing the fact that all these migrations are happening concurrently throughout the globe.

There’s a very distinct harmonic change we hear at the top of the track that accompanies the theme to immediately grab the listener’s ear. This recurs each time our narrator speaks about our characters’ ongoing journeys and what trials still lie ahead. Leaving the theme unresolved helps create a sense of forward, on-going motion – vital in a show about migrations.

“Elephants II — Relief of the Rain”:

Jake Monaco: For months, these massive mammals travel through some of the most arid regions on earth searching for water; the elephants’ plodding thematic soundscape reflects their endured exhaustion. The recurring combination of tribal vocals and African bullhorn is akin to a distant call, beckoning the giants to continue trudging forward. The choral tension begins to amass just as the sky darkens and clouds begin to form and then finally… the release… of tension, of rain and the chase. The main title’s motif leads us into our long-awaited full statement of the rain’s thematic call and soon thereafter, the once arid land is now teaming with new life.

“Humpback Whales II — The Great Feast”:

Jake Monaco: One key device used across the series is to build harmonic tension and release; the longer the build, the greater the tension, the more satisfying the release. The humpback mother has just endured a 6,000 mile roundtrip migration and has not fed for three months. Every step of her incredible journey has led to this moment; she finally gets to feed.

This track showcases the moment of this long-awaited great feast in all its celebratory, anthemic grandeur. Post-feast, our attention is refocused upon the mother and her calf with whom we have followed throughout their journey. Upon writing the humpback’s theme, I reached out to a native Hawaiian vocalist, Pua Perkins, who was able to help refine some text from a legend about the whale (or koholā) to work with the melody I had previously written. “Hanau ka Palaoa noho i kai” translates to “born is the whale living in the sea”. It is Pua’s voice that represents their relationship and how the young calf will continue to make this journey every year for the rest of his life.

Previews like this Incredible Animal Journeys clip show the intense life-or-death drama that plays out every day in the animal kingdom, but that is just part of the scope of the series. Incredible Animal Journeys is set to explore all aspects of its subjects’ lives, from migration to mating to mealtime. As heard in the sampler above, Monaco’s contributions to the show fit the triumphant highs and terrifying lows inherent to life in the wilderness, whether that life belongs to a zebra, a humpback whale, or an elephant.

Incredible Animal Journeys premieres on National Geographic on November 19th. The Incredible Animal Journeys Original Series Soundtrack by Jake Monaco will be released to digital platforms on November 17th.

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