“What you’re going to hear tonight are the musicians that have literally given us some of the finest music the world’s ever heard.”
– Edward James Olmos
I’m back from a whirlwind week in San Diego for Comic Con, and have lived to tell the tale! I’ve collected here just a few of the memorable highlights from our Battlestar Galactica Orchestra concerts…
First of all, the interview above is among my most vivid memories of Comic Con ’09. Edward James Olmos was being interviewed by NBCSanDiego.com and literally pulled the mic out of the host’s hands. He immediately took over the production, interviewing me and the two vocalists in my band, Raya Yarbrough and Brendan McCreary. This would be just one of countless surprises I experienced during these shows.
The long-awaited soundtrack for Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 is finally out, and rocketed up the sales charts on Amazon. In fact, La La Land Records was forced to scramble to print more discs after their initial run sold out in pre-orders alone. For the past week, it has been in the TOP TEN MUSIC SALES (peaking on the day of its release at #4), as well as the #1 selling TV SOUNDTRACK and, surprisingly, the #1 selling MOVIE SOUNDTRACK!
Immediately following our successful concerts at Comic Con last week, this phenomenal reaction to the album release is, of course, a welcome surprise. However, I must confess that my greatest sense of achievement comes from simply getting this music out there. My work on Season 4 began almost exactly two years ago, and since then, I’ve given every ounce of my passion, energy and dedication to the singular goal of writing and producing the best music I possibly could for Galactica‘s swan song. Watching fan reaction to the episodes was satisfying, but it was maddening having the score cues simply sitting in my studio for so many months (or in some cases years), and not being able to share it with all of you.
Wow. So much going on at Comic Con here. The first day was INTENSE! Richard Hatch’s panel was amazing and I think the first live concert we played was easily the best show the Orchestra has put on yet. Eddie Olmos was an amazing MC, and the surprise visits from Richard Hatch, Luciana Carro and Michael Hogan brought the house down… not to mention the surprise duet with me and Katee Sackhoff playing All Along the Watchtower on piano.
I’ll eventually write an entry about the shows, and put up some photos and media clips. But, in the meantime, check out our official Twitter (@bsglive) and the blog that we’re running on the official band website (bsgorcestra.com). Percussionist Jonathan Ortega is writing it up and he has great insight, cool photos, and a wicked sense of humor!
The only thing that bummed me out tonight: I saw some General Admission audience members being turned away from the signing after the show and it just made me crazy (I always wanted to do a big signing for everybody in the first place). Starting tomorrow, I’m going to make damn sure that EVERYONE at the concerts can come to the signing afterwards. I want a chance to meet all of you! Consider this an official announcement!
Besides, we’re selling the Season 4 CDs and every other record I’ve done as well as limited edition posters, including this killer design by Andrew Craig. You can all pick them up and get them signed by the entire orchestra!
Hey gang, I’m getting ready to head down to San Diego for Comic Con tomorrow night. It’s going to be a crazy week, but I’m looking forward to rocking out the House of Blues with all of you on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’ll also make a few appearances at the convention and wanted to let you know about them. If you’re around, stop by and say hi!
THURSDAY, JULY 23rd:
Richard Hatch: Battlestar Retrospective Panel
Comic Con Convention Center – Room 6A
12:30 – 1:30PM
Moderated by actor/author Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, Capt Apollo), this panel includes writer / producer Michael Taylor, science advisor Kevin Grazier and myself, providing a review, discussion and Q&A of Battlestar‘s past four seasons and dramatic ending.
The Music of Battlestar Galactica
Live Concert Performance Hosted by Edward James Olmos
7PM (doors open) to Midnight
House of Blues San Diego, 1055 Fifth Ave.
Tickets Available from Ticketmaster
(the promotional password is “frak” for a cheaper rate!)
Each night of our shows will be a little different, but the THURSDAY NIGHT performance will be extra special. Not only is it the first place on Earth to get autographed season 4 CDs, but you’ll hear world-premiere performances of new Galactica music from “The Plan” before anyone else.
Oh, and the Thursday night show will feature an EXCLUSIVE SURPRISE PERFORMER: a guest pianist who will join me onstage for a duet of the pivotal piano music from Someone to Watch Over Me that she… well, I don’t want to spoil it. 🙂
UPDATE 7-22: We just confirmed another surprise guest for Thursday, and a few more for Friday and Saturday. I’ll give you a hint: One of them is a Cylon and another one was a suspected Cylon! 🙂
Hey guys… My inbox is suddenly flooding with emails because of a rumor on Twitter that I didn’t submit a “Battlestar” Score for Emmy consideration.
Let me put this false rumor to rest right now: Yes, SyFy submitted my work for consideration for an Emmy nomination for outstanding score for a television series, as they have every single year I’ve worked on the show.
The Music Branch of the Academy selects the nominees and my “Battlestar” score isn’t on the short list. But these things happen. There are many outstanding composers working in the medium, and one certainly can’t complain about the scores that did get nominated. They are all by outstanding, established composers.
Hot off the press… Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 soundtrack CDs! (I took this picture 5 minutes ago.)
This album is currently in the TOP 100 MUSIC SALES on Amazon, and has actually been the #1 selling TV soundtrack for over a month. I just learned that La La Land Records has SOLD OUT of their initial printing, two weeks before the official release date, and are rushing to get more discs manufactured to meet demand.
As you know, I am performing live in concert with The Battlestar Galactica Orchestra at the House of Blues San Diego on July 23rd, 24th and 25th, the week of Comic Con.
A few months ago, I asked all of you for suggestions for the Season 4 soundtrack album, in a blog post called “The Season 4 CD: What do you want to hear?” Well, I need your ideas again! What do you think should be on the set list for our big HOB concerts?
I was interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered tonight. You can listen to the complete segment on the NPR website.
All Things Considered
June 21, 2009 –
“Insurgency, religious fanaticism, technology run amok: a few of the themes explored in Battlestar Galactica, the science-fiction TV series about a civilization running for its life from human-like robots. The series has been honored with a Peabody, as well as awards for acting, visual effects and sound design. But its unsung character has been its music — until now.
I wrote my first cue for Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 in August, 2007 and finished scoring the series finale in February, 2009. Earlier this year, I posted a blog entry asking all you fans what you wanted on the album. And, wow, you guys certainly responded!
I kept that blog post handy while I was making my selections for the album. In fact, several of the tracks that made the final cut were ones I wouldn’t have considered were it not for an astute fan mentioning it here on this blog.
Narrowing the selections down to only two discs was difficult enough, but then my entire team and I spent months recording, mixing, editing and compiling that two years’ worth of effort into the ultimate listening experience. I even composed or expanded several pieces specifically for the album, and spent weeks compiling material for the expanded 20-page CD booklet that will accompany each album. And I spent this week at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, putting the finishing touches on this epic journey, in preparation for a July 21, 2009 release date! (UPDATE: The release date is now July 28th.)
Now, I can finally announce the official album track list and provide a glimpse of the cover:
A big thanks to all the fans who turned up at the California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles, last Saturday! The evening was a complete success. BrEndAn’s Band opened first, finishing their set with Brendan McCreary’s original song “When Will the Work Be Done,” that was featured in the “Battlestar Galactica” finale. As the sun set, the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra took the stage…
For the last song, Kara Thrace herself, Katee Sackhoff, joined me on stage at the grand piano to play “Kara Remembers” (from the forthcoming Season 4 Soundtrack Album). I played the left hand part, and she plucked out the Final Four Theme, just as she did in the climax of Someone to Watch Over Me. Once we had the Final Four Theme going on the piano, the band snuck in, building to “Heeding the Call” and finally “All Along the Watchtower.” The writers and director of Someone To Watch Over Me were in the audience, so this was a very special moment for Katee and me.