I will never forget the summer of 2009, when my unique band, The BSG Orchestra, rocked out on a crowded stage in San Diego during Comic Con, performing my score for Battlestar Galactica, just months after the epic series finale aired. The venue was bursting with my brilliant musicians, many of the cast, crew, writers, producers, and executives, as well as fans from around the world. Together, we experienced a collective euphoria, because we all loved the show with the same intense passion. After the last encore, the crowd erupted into an unprompted chant of “So Say We All,” a moment that remains one of the most magical and memorable of my life. As the house lights came up and the crowd dissipated, I collapsed into a sweat-soaked heap on the couch in the greenroom and realized that, for the first in my life, I had no new cues for the show to write. Battlestar Galactica had been the most significant part of my life for six years, and now, with this concert complete, it was over.(more…)
Hey all you lucky European BSG fans, you’re about to get an exclusive look at Battlestar Galactica Orchestra concert footage! Five songs are being released today as part of the Battlestar Galactica Season 4 BluRay release in Europe!
The BluRay bonus feature includes complete performances of “A Distant Sadness,” “Baltar’s Dream,” “Fight Night,” “Apocalypse,” “Wander My Friends” and “Prelude to War.” Here’s a sneak peek (click the images to play video):
“Wander My Friends”
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“Prelude to War”
This summer I will conduct the largest and most ambitious “Battlestar Galatica” concert yet. The “Battlestar Galactica Symphony” will premiere in Tenerife, Spain, headlining a concert in Fimucité: The Tenerife International Film Music Festival.
This hour-long work incorporates musical material from the entire series, performed by a full orchestra, choir, taiko ensemble and select members of my own Battlestar Galactica Orchestra.
This unique combination of the symphonic, ethnic, rock and percussive realms will make this concert the most complete and authentic performance of the “Battlestar Galactica” score ever, and it’s all taking place in the idyllic Canary Islands of Spain. (more…)
ONE NIGHT ONLY: On October 24th, the Golden State Pops Orchestra will perform a special tribute to composer Stu Phillips to commemorate his 80th birthday. He will conduct his scores from the original Battlestar Galactica, as well as several other projects. Richard Hatch and other new and original BSG alums will be there, and I will be there as a special guest, conducting my new arrangement of Stu’s classic theme!
My piece will be a combination of the various moments in my scores in which I quoted Stu’s timeless melody, drawing from “Colonial Anthem” from Season 2, “Husker in Combat” from Razor and, of course, “The Heart of the Sun” from the final episode. Some of my own, original BSG themes will weave in there as well.
If you missed the summer concerts in downtown Los Angeles, San Diego, or my ballet, Prelude to War, in Germany last spring, this is your last chance this year to hear my Galactica score performed live in concert. Since the concert program also includes Stu’s “Theme from Battlestar Galactica,” I want my “Colonial Anthem” to have all the unique qualities and sounds that set my score apart. So, the orchestra will be joined on stage by BSG Orchestra superstars Paul Cartwright on electric violin, Chris Bleth on duduk and M.B. Gordy on taikos and ethnic percussion. (UPDATE: The line-up has changed. See the bottom of this entry).
And even if you did see any of the previous shows, this one will be entirely different, since it involves a full orchestra! This concert will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the classic and re-imagined Galactica scores together on one program. There will also be a drawing to win CDs and other goodies signed by me and Stu.
“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.
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! 🙂
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?
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.
What a week! I’ve been in final rehearsals for tomorrow’s big free concert in Downtown LA. If you’re in the area, don’t miss this incredible event under the stars. There will be some VERY EXCITING surprises that I wish I could spoil for you now, but it’s only a day away… might as well save it for tomorrow.
You are all welcome to bring a video camera or take photos at tomorrow’s concert. If you get some video or stills, I’d be grateful if you could share them with me: the higher quality the better. After the concert, just leave a comment below and we’ll coordinate with you.
UPDATED: Photography is fine, but DO NOT USE A FLASH! Thanks!