Sam Cardon's

Whales IMAX

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Have you had your new score discovery today???

This page is to promote the amazing score to the IMAX documentary Whales (and other works), by Sam Cardon.

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Whales CD cover
  • Composer - Sam Cardon

  • Performance - Salt Lake Sinfonia

  • Length - 37 minutes

  • Label - Jazz Ranch Records

  • Recording - 8 out of 10

  • Rating - 10 out of 10

I am proud to voluntarily promote Whales, by the most promising 'new' composer I have heard in a while, Sam Cardon! Information about the 50 minute doco-movie can be found at To see the movie, here is a list of locations!

Sam is now online, and got in touch, smiles!

About the composer

Sam Cardon
The official Whales site doesn't even list the music credits which is quite sad. So here is my appreciation of such a brilliant talent.

"Sam Cardon is an EMMY winning composer whose credits include 3 other large format films: Enchanted Castle at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California; Treasure Of The Gods at Zion National Park, Utah and The Secret Of San Francisco at Pier 39.

In addition, he has written or co-written such well-known themes as National Geographic Explorer, ABC Sunday Night at the movies, Good Morning America and provided three hours of original music for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary."

He hails from Utah, USA.


My experience

I love music, all forms of music, and at this point in my listening maturity, movie scores are paramount. However, as some of you might know, recent movies and their scores haven't been too inspiring. In my recent visit to the wonderful Omaha zoo, I experienced an IMAX movie for the 2nd time. I love all aspects of cinema, especially the technical side, and sound mixing.

The 6 channel digital system was playing full range synth beat music before the presentation, and I was getting primed for the visuals and sound effects.

What blew me away was the opening, especially the score! Okay, Yanni's presence with a few seconds of Santorini may give you a brief thrill, but for me, the staying awe of Sam Cardon's score left my senses tingling for the first time in the last 2 years! And I was ready to shoot someone if the CD had not been available (took me a few phone calls to find out; the IMAX staff prolly won't know diddly).

To use some sort of score analogy, it is probably the same feeling a score fan had when hearing Star Wars for the first time.

Purists may whinge about apparent likeness to other composers, but Sam's creation here is not only apt, it is far unique in its own right, and puts to shame any other 'new' composer, let alone the established ones of late.

Kudos to Sam for using all his influences to present the best score I've heard in a while, and it doesn't happen often folks. For those that know me, I normally reserve such praise for Hans Zimmer, who amusingly is probably the only influence not present here.

I recommend this score without reservation, for its orchestration, themes, melodies, evocation of emotions and images, and 'tribute' to influences such as Yanni, John Williams, James Horner, John Barry, Ennio Moriconne and Enya.

I'm willing to bet that you'll love this too.
If you can, do see the edu-taining movie! Quaint narration is provided by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame. At least you'll get your money's worth from IMAX - sound, visual and content-wise, as the summer movies have been rather lame, and sound presentation has been abominable due to lack of quality control in their rush to get as many prints out at once.

I also recommend the score to Treasure Of The Gods (RA clips below), which I bought without even having heard it, solely because I love Whales. It has a normal action movie score feel to it.

Furthermore, there is another Sam Cardon project called Innovators, in conjunction with his best mate, Kurt Bestor, and commissioned by the WordPerfect Corporation. He and Kurt first teamed up as university students. It encompasses a variety of styles such as Jazz and New Age, of which the African elements appeal to me the most. RA clip below!

I reckon this guy deserves an opportunity for a major Hollywood production, and you agents out there better get cracking! Sam Cardon, remember it well! I reckon he can go very far......

Contacting Sam!

Go here for the Official Composer Site!

Have a listen! (judge for yourself...)

Since the official site does not contain any samples of the wonderful score music, I have selected the 8 representative themes for your preview enjoyment (gotta leave some for you to discover for yourself!). This listening post holds ENTIRE sound clips from the album, in the Real Audio 3.0 format . Of course the CD sounds heck of a lot better, and don't sell yourself short by being content with these clips.

You have a choice to listen (pseudo)-streamed (faster playback, possible clipping) - recommended for 28.8 or higher users,
or unstreamed (wait for download copy, which plays back unclipped) - recommended for 14.4 users.


1. Hawaii/Dolphins (2.32) - I'll leave the joy of this one to be heard on CD.

2. Blue Whales (2.27) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Stereo 350k) - along the lines of John Barry.

3. Peninsula Valdez (1.38) Streamed or Unstreamed (ISDN Mono 450k) - simply amazing.

4. Mother and Calf theme (4.18) - along the lines of Ennio Moriconne.

5. Sea Lions and Penguins (0.41) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Mono 70k) - a bit of fun.

6. Power Theme/Manta Rays (1.45)

7. Power Games (1.58) Streamed or Unstreamed (ISDN Mono 520k) - simply amazing.

8. Across the Gulf of Species (3.32) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Stereo 500k) - along the lines of Enya.

9. Searching (4.17)

10. Migration (3.00)

11. Alaska (1.35) Streamed or Unstreamed (ISDN Mono 440k) - simply amazing.

12. Mother and Calf theme Reprise (2.04) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Stereo 290k)

13. Power Games Reprise (2.24) Streamed or Unstreamed (ISDN Mono 680k) - simply amazing.

14. Whale Songs (4.00) - Whale sound effects.

Treasure Of The Gods

Themes from Treasure of the Gods (3.15) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Stereo 470k) - lovely piano solo.

Native Uprising (3.38) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Mono 430k) - a choral/action score range, composed by Kurt Bestor.


Sage Of Lamberene (4.35) Streamed or Unstreamed (28.8 Stereo 670k) - African styled choir with superfluous keyboard melody, topped off with classical European choir.

How to obtain a copy

You can obtain a copy of this wonderful experience on VHS (movie), CD or Cassette at the official Whales Order Form online.
CD including postage totals $21 in the US, more for international. Or order from Sam's official distributor Jazz Ranch Records, at the official site.

Whales and Zion are now available widely!

What people are saying so far...

For info on other wonderful IMAX scores, treat yourself to Uwe's IMAX Score database.

General introductory and past information available at home page.

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