Long Walk Home: music from The Rabbit-Proof Fence

The Rabbit-Proof Fence soundtrackPeter Gabriel has always turned out fairly interesting soundtracks, whether they’re built on the same blocks as his solo non-film releases (Birdy) or completely original material (Passion: Music From The Last Temptation Of Christ, or, arguably also a soundtrack, OVO). Long Walk Home manages to fall under the latter category while also delivering a very tantalizing preview of Gabriel’s seventh solo album, Up.

The preview element comes from the fact that many of the musicians who lent their talents to this film score – perhaps most notably the legendary gospel group, the Blind Boys Of Alabama – are also playing a part on Gabriel’s next solo album. On its own, Long Walk Home is a hauntingly atmospheric accompaniment to an Australian film about three Aborigine children kidnapped and sold into servitude. They escape, using the rabbit-proof fence that divides the country to find their way back home. Given the movie’s subject matter, the emphasis on dijeridoo on the first half of the CD is appropriate, but it’s also beautiful. Gabriel has become so well known for using elements of Middle Eastern music in his own works that it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of other styles we haven’t heard him employ, and this redresses the balance nicely.

Toward of the score, the Blind Boys of Alabama take center stage, gradually beginning to add a soulful, wordless vocal to the music, and the effect is breathtaking. On the first listening, I was thinking to myself, “Well, that’s an interesting choice. Now it almost sounds more like music from a movie about the American civil rights movement.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the parallel is utterly appropriate, and either way, the music is strikingly beautiful and haunting. It’s not background music. It still stops me dead in my tracks whenever the voices of Blind Boys of Alabama rise into the mix.

4 out of 4Now I’m starting to wish that The Rabbit-Proof Fence, the movie for which this music was composed, were available on this side of the equator. Ah well…I suppose that’s what multi-region DVD players are for. In any event, the soundtrack is a must-hear, even if you’re slightly disappointed that it’s not Gabriel’s new solo project. Once you hear Long Walk Home, I think you’ll get over any such disappointment.

Order this CD

  1. Jigalong (4:03)
  2. Stealing The Children (3:20)
  3. Unlocking The Door (1:58)
  4. The Tracker (2:47)
  5. Running To The Rain (3:19)
  6. On The Map (1:00)
  7. A Sense Of Home (1:59)
  8. Go Away Mr. Evans (5:15)
  9. Moodoo’s Secret (3:03)
  10. Gracie’s Recapture (4:40)
  11. Crossing The Salt Pan (5:08)
  12. The Return, Parts 1, 2 and 3 (10:26)
  13. Ngankarrparni (Sky Blue – reprise) (6:01)
  14. The Rabbit Proof Fence (1:07)
  15. Cloudless (4:50)

Released by: RealWorld
Release date: 2002
Total running time: 58:58