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Dylan Henner

22nd March 2024

The Shepherds [official soundtrack]

Acclaimed experimental ambient composer Dylan Henner releases his first ever film score, a soundtrack of woodwinds, brass, harp, piano, synthesis, and processed voice to accompany the hand-drawn animated short The Shepherds by NYC filmmaker Woody Ray Tucker.

The Shepherds “tells the story of a displaced mountainside village and its peoples' attempt to understand a startling new environment,” writes director Woody Ray Tucker. “The film works to convey the impact of losing one's physical and emotional home. The piece gestures towards the ways in which the climate crisis connects us all, even in parts of the world that may not witness its damage directly.”

Resonating closely with Dylan Henner’s core values (he has released a number of records focusing on the climate crisis and urbanisation), the film - a gentle but profoundly stirring animated short, lasting 11ish minutes, hewn in deceptively detailed pencil drawings - is a perfect setting for his soundtrack. As we have come to expect from Henner, the score carefully intertwines organic and digital sound-design, blurring the boundaries between them, in much the same way as the film depicts its village’s gradual dissolution into bustling metropolis.

Having scoring the entire length of the film, Dylan Henner’s 11-minute composition was conscientiously edited and spliced by the filmmaking team to elevate and underpin specific moments. However, this soundtrack collates the entire work, allowing a listening experience differing from the final cut of the animation but rewarding in its own right.

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