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Brian Katona – ‘The Red River Flood’

  • 2 min read

In 1997, North Dakota was ravaged by the Red River Flood, the most severe flood in Manitoba's Red River Valley since 1852. A tragic event, the flood necessitated the largest civilian evacuation since the Civil War, caused $3.5 billion in damages, with floodwaters reaching more than three miles inland and affecting the cities of Fargo, Winnipeg, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. In the wake of the disaster, the cities struggled to recover, and the impact was felt right across the United States.

To commemorate the flood, a feature-length documentary entitled ‘The Red River Flood’ has been created, taking viewers on an extraordinary journey through a community's attempts to come together as the Red River threatened to erase two cities from the map. Most importantly, the film explores not only the destruction wrought and subsequent rebuilding but also how this once-in-a-century event changed those who were there.

A key element to the documentary, the musical score was created by Emmy Award-winning composer, orchestrator, arranger, and conductor Brian Katona, a true musical talent whose previous credits included work on ‘The Builder’, ‘A Hope For Hartly’, and ‘My Spirited Sister’. An artist who tends to stand out from what’s considered trending these days, Brian’s work on ‘The Red River Flood’ perfectly encapsulates the raw power and enduring tragedy of the event, building a brilliant wall of sound that heightens the impact of the documentary,

Offering highlights such as the captivating ‘Main Theme’, Brian’s soundtrack is sharp, sensible, and wonderfully accessible, ensuring everyone will be able to connect with the emotion behind the film. Opening with a descending chromatic bass line with pizzicato arpeggios rising above, the ‘Main Theme’ beautifully layers sweeping piano keys with the lyrical melody, artfully representing the people of the town and their struggle against the raging waters.

A brilliant and complex score that taps into multiple themes including a haunting theme for the flood itself, Brian’s work is unmatched and undeniable. You can find more information about the documentary here,while the soundtrack’s main theme can be heard above and on our annual Spotify playlist.

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