As many of you probably already know, this week is the second and final BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AUCTION, May 8 – 10, 2009 at the Pasadena Convention Center: your last chance to own a little piece of BG history… at least until half the stuff ends up on eBay again for ten times as much in a few years!
(This piano is up for auction, however Slick’s piano from Joe’s Bar was sadly destroyed because it was deemed damaged beyond repair. Too bad.)
Thursday May 7th is PREVIEW DAY and there are some very special events happening (all the details are available at the official site).
At 6pm, I’m taking part in the Production Executive Panel. The official line-up also includes sound designer Daniel Colman, producer Harvey Frand, VFX superviser Gary Hutzel, co-producer Paul Leonard, director Michael Nankin, director Wayne Rose, editor Andy Seklir and the dynamic writing due of Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. I will screen an exclusive sneak-peek at the Music Documentaries included on the forthcoming Season 4 Blu Ray and DVD sets.
I have exciting news! NBC Universal recently announced the “Battlestar Galactica” Season 4.5 DVD and Complete Series Blu Ray releases. These will include TWO documentaries about my work: “The Evolution of a Cue” and “The Musicians Behind Daybreak.”
These two docs were directed and co-produced by Matthew Gilna, who did our last film, “Inside the Secrets of the Behind the Making of the Music of Battlestar Galactica: Revealed.” I know many fans who enjoyed that movie, but were disappointed that it didn’t actually reveal anything about how my music team and I work. 🙂 You will all be pleased to know that both of these films are serious documentaries and run a combined 60 minutes!
“The Evolution of a Cue” (DVD and BluRay) will walk you through my entire process of scoring, from the editor’s temp score, through sketching, writing, recording and the final mix. “The Musicians Behind Daybreak” (BluRay only) features interviews with each principle musician and goes into further detail of the Daybreak score, including several music videos like this one that went up on Hulu recently:
Battlestar Season 4.0 is finally released on DVD this week. I’m thrilled to announce officially what many of you have suspected since early reviews of the DVD leaked out: This DVD set includes my original documentary “Inside The Secrets Of The Behind The Making Of The Music Of Battlestar Galactica: Revealed.”
This is a film I produced with Matthew Gilna and Kristina Maniatis that premiered last April at our Los Angeles Battlestar concerts. If you missed our shows last spring, here’s your chance to catch up. And since you’re reading my blog, I’m assuming you’re already a fan and will be checking out the DVDs at some point anyway. 🙂
Many people came together to help make this film a reality, but there are several without whom it would never have existed:
Getting any series from script to air is a complex process, and along the way, people make little mistakes, ideas change and sometimes we lose track of things. After all, we’re only human (or are we Cylons?).
Here’s an amusing mistake that no one noticed for years: a pivotal scene in Season 1 has been floating around with two distinctly different scores! After all, we had multiple Main Titles and multiple DVD releases. Why not have multiple scores?
If you live in the United States, pull out your Season 1 DVD set and cue up Kobol’s Last Gleaming, Part I. The episode’s climax is where Kara disobeys direct orders and jumps away in the Cylon raider, heading back to Caprica. As you can hear, the score for this moment is a bed of drums lifted from the miniseries soundtrack (click on the screenshots for video, you’ll need Quicktime):
However, this is not how the scene was originally broadcast. Indeed, the US broadcast version and all foreign DVD releases, were subtly different. I also found the score was different on the Season 1 box set that Best Buy sold in the States as “The UK Version,” released prior to the official Season 1 set. (more…)
Anyone going to Comic Con this year?
I’ll be among the 100,000 that take the pilgrimage to the Geek Mecca that is San Diego this July. On Thursday July 24, I’ll be appearing on the Battlestar Galactica 30th Anniversary Panel (11:15 – 12:15, Room 6B), hosted by original Apollo / Tom Zarek himself, Richard Hatch! The panel will also include Tom DeSanto and science advisor Kevin Grazier. If you haven’t been to any of our recent Comic Con panels, you should definitely check it out. Richard has some great footage to show, and we may screen some selections from my recent Music of Battlestar Galactica documentary.
And stick around until Sunday night, July 27th. I will perform at an exclusive double-bill concert, featuring the Singers of Battlestar Galactica. I’m playing with Raya Yarbrough and Brendan McCreary, in two sets of their own original material. These artists frequently sing on my scores, but you can’t truly appreciate their talent until you’ve heard them perform their original songs (although, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few Galactica songs popped up in there as well… perhaps a Dylan cover?). Other Galactica musicians, such as violin maestro Paul Cartwright and guitarist Steve Bartek will also share the stage. And we’ll have some surprise Galactica guests as well!
This melody, almost always accompanied with snare drums, was originally scored as a bansuri solo, set against Apollo briefing the viper pilots in the first episode of Season One. It quickly developed into a theme for all military aspects of the colonial fleet, becoming especially associated with the friendship between Bill Adama and Saul Tigh.
Up to this point, I’ve discussed many of the small musical “building blocks” I use to build the eccentric log cabin that is the Galactica score. Duduk, electric fiddle, bagpipes, taikos, yialli tanbur, bansuri, erhu, rock band and more have all contributed to the sonic texture.
But, occasionally, the score will open up to include the symphonic string orchestra. These are the pieces I will discuss in detail here. While the duduk solos and fiddle melodies are easily lost beneath the dialog and sound effects, these orchestral pieces are unmistakable and stand out as bold musical statements.
After Unfinished Business, almost any episode would feel like a break, and in many ways, this week’s The Passage is a more straightforward Galactica score. However, I did get to write one new theme, for Kat’s descent into depression and ultimate redemption. Kat’s theme was cobbled together, almost cannibalized, from elements of different themes I’ve written for the series, in order to help connect her personal struggle with the bigger problems facing her shipmates, even the entire fleet.
But rather than go into too much detail about The Passage, I’ll present instead a third collection of themes written for Battlestar Galactica.
Well, you asked for it! Here is the second part in my exploration of thematic material in Battlestar Galactica. If you missed part one, you’ll find it here. As for this week’s A Measure of Salvation, I don’t really have much insight to offer. After last week’s wacky solo piano craziness, the music this week plays it pretty straight. The only musical oddity is the re-appearance of the long-dormant…
This simple chordal pattern was written for 33, and was designed to express Helo’s dread and fear as he was pursued and captured by the Cylons. It was performed with strings, synths and a dark choral, vocal texture and is comprised entirely of shifting minor chords, ending with a major chord.
This week’s episode, “Collaborators,” is one of the best of the entire series. However, I don’t really have much insight to offer, since it uses a relatively minimal amount of score — a welcome change of pace after the epic grandeur of the first four shows. This decision was made because the drama functioned so well without music, there was no reason to over-saturate it with unnecessary emotion.
So instead, let me introduce a performer whom you’ve heard on virtually every episode of Battlestar Galactica, since the very first episode.