IFMCA members Jon Broxton and Craig Lysy presented the award in Los Angeles:
This is Aaltio’s second win, from his second nomination, maintaining his 100% record in this category. Aaltio previously won the Best Original Score for a Documentary award in 2012 for the score for Metsän Tarina [Tale of a Forest], the first film in this series. The other nominees in the category were Paper Lanterns by Chad Cannon; Planet Earth II by Hans Zimmer, Jasha Klebe, and Jacob Shea; Les Saisons [Seasons] by Bruno Coulais; and Spain in a Day by Alberto Iglesias.
Aaltio’s score is full of rich orchestral textures that capture the serenity of Finland’s lush landscape with music of real beauty and depth. The anchor point of it all is Johanna Kurkela’s breathy voice, which binds the score together, and provides an almost religious overtone to much of the score. IFMCA member James Southall called the music “serene, spiritual and very moving,” while IFMCA member Peter Simons called it “magnificent” and a score which “takes us on a little journey from the pastoral to the majestic and the playful.”