To commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of Vasco da Gama's historic 27,000-mile return voyage of discovery to India, an international co-operation led to a fascinating four-part television documentary on the Portuguese's adventurous campaign to discover a sea-route to the East. 'Into The Rising Sun' success relies on a combination of spectacular nautical images complimented by a magical score from Belgian composer, Guy Cuyvers. Guy Cuyvers, a renowned classical guitarist, has already been involved with music for sea-stories with two short films Sea Fever and Sea Power to his credit.

The soundtrack is an eclectic collection of styles encompassing the sounds of Portugal and destinations such as Spain, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, India and China. Each of these countries has its own version of the theme, played with due deference to appropriate national sounds. The main theme has a magnificent march-like quality that grows through flute, trumpet to a rousing choral finale. 'Lisbon Sunrise' introduces the Portuguese theme with a delightful female vocal. 'First Steps' is the Spanish theme and is centred around haunting classic guitar music, while totally in contrast, the Guinea theme, 'Terra Do Encontro', the Mozambique theme 'Terra Da Boe Gente' and the Kenyan theme, 'Malindi Bus' are all light-hearted ethnic sounding pieces, which add a charming diversity to the score. Indian is represented, naturally, by a stimulating sitar cue and the Chinese theme uses harp and traditional sounding cello (played in the thumb position) in a delicate sonata. This multiplicity of sounds and themes are interlaced with a selection of magnificent orchestral cues which range from slow, pensive romantic cues like 'Reflections' and 'Full Sail' through to the stirring 'Premonitions'. These ten or so cues are highly charged and full of emotion and imagination. The score ends with a return to the main theme, played as a more sombre and sentimental rendition.

The score for 'Into The Rising Sun' is a fascinating combination of solemn, majestic music describing ship and sea with varied, ethnic music describing the ports of call on these historic voyages of discovery. The music of Guy Cuyvers is wonderfully diverse, yet the score has a comforting thread of continuity. This is a score for all those who enjoy serious film music.