Tall Ships: The Privateer Lynx

Composed By: David James Nielson

Distributed by: Moviescore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Tall Ships: The Privateer Lynx is the first episode of a thirteen-part documentary series airing on The Sailing Channel that focuses on America’s greatest sailing ships.  The Tall Ships adventure/history series takes its viewers on a journey into the seafaring days of old while connecting with today’s environmentally conscious youth.  This particular episode focuses on an authentic interpretation of a privateer class ship that one might have seen in the early 1800s, sailing the seas surrounding an America preparing for a war with England.

            The musical score of Tall Ships: The Privateer Lynx was created by Canadian composer David James Nielson.  Beginning his musical journey playing piano at the age of six, Nielson eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Calgary.  He served as the Composer in Residence at Calgary’s Pleiades Theatre/Vertigo Mystery Theatre, composing the musical score for various theatrical plays.  In 2003, Nielson earned a certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television from USC.  Since then, he has either created the scores or provided music for such films as Reclaiming the Blade, Dated, A Timeless Journey, Tales From Beyond, Haunting Villisca, Overlap, The Big Table, Man vs. Woman and The Little Documentary That Couldn’t and television series such as Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller.

            The musical score of Tall Ships: The Privateer Lynx takes the listener on a breathtaking journey through the history of the Lynx.  It opens with an exciting theme filled with wonderment and adventure, representing the boat’s history through the use of trumpets, military drum marches and the like.  The beauty and spirit of the seas is demonstrated through woodwinds and strings and this theme is expressed numerous times throughout the sixteen track album.  My favorite track, Our Precious Mother Earth, features a guitar piece that lovingly expresses the beauty of a world at sea.

            The Lynx’s times at war are made known with horn fanfare and military drum cadences in the track The Last Battle of the Revolution.  It’s sailors’ battles with the elements are thrillingly reproduced in The Forces of Nature in which Nielson employs the use of Asian percussion and heavy drums to give the music a sense of action and suspense.  The introduction of sailing life to inner city school children and the extraordinary sense of adventure, wonderment and oneness with the sea they experience is heightened by the music of the track entitled Learning the Ropes.

            According to David James Nielson, “Overall, the specific requirements of the score were to evoke the romanticism associated with sailing, as well as to provide a sense of the wonder, beauty, and mystery of nature.”  He has achieved this beautifully.  Tall Ships: The Privateer Lynx is an excellent accompaniment to the visuals of the documentary and a beautiful stand alone album that any music connoisseur will enjoy.


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