Category: Episodes

BG4: “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”

QUIET SPOILERS AHEAD: After the shock and awe of the last episode, A Disquiet Follows My Soul marks the beginning of the final story arcs of this series.  This episode is all about picking up the pieces and getting back to the journey at hand after debilitating setbacks.  The tone is fitting, because it was the first episode written and produced after the WGA strike crippled the show during production of last week’s episode, threatening to end the series early. 

After many months of anxious waiting, production resumed in March 2007 and all of us working on Galactica breathed a collective sigh of relief.  I will always remember these emotions when I see this episode’s opening scene. 

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BG4: “Sometimes a Great Notion”

“Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in the town.  Sometimes I get a great notion, to jump in the river and drown.” 
From Ken Kesey’s novel “Sometimes a Great Notion”

EARTH-SHATTERING SPOILERS AHEAD:  Last April, the mid-season cliffhanger Revelations ended with my rousing “Diaspora Oratorio,” a musical orgasm for choir, orchestra, percussion and ethnic soloists that accompanied the fleet’s arrival at the end of their long journey.   Picking up immediately where that episode left off, Sometimes a Great Notion is the tonal opposite: the darkest, most grim and foreboding episode of Battlestar Galactica ever produced. Our heroes have found their promised land, Earth, a desolate nuclear wasteland.  But, that’s just the beginning. 

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BG4: “Revelations”

SPOILERS ABOUND:  My journey scoring Battlestar Galactica has been long and arduous, but intensely rewarding.  I’m only now realizing how deeply it has affected me, on both musical and personal levels.  Many experiences stand out as having an incredible impact on me: scoring the destruction of the Olympic Carrier as my first cue on my first professional credit, composing endless drafts of “Passacaglia,” scoring Kara’s literal and figurative self-destruction in Maelstrom.

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When I first watched the rough cut of Revelations months ago, I suspected that scoring it would be another such experience.  But I had no idea what I was in store for.

Throughout my life, I’ve written only four pieces that redefined what I’m capable of, compositions that stand above everything else I’ve ever done: works that changes the way I approach my craft.  While these transformations are often painful, they are the growth that all artists strive for.

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BG4: “The Hub”

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MORE SPOILERS: The Hub is an exciting episode because it resolves several story lines, and begins new ones as well.   The episode focuses on the battle to destroy the Cylon Resurrection Hub, but also on Laura Roslin, who is among the most complex and interesting characters on the show.  As a result, I was able to write an usually expressive and dynamic score.

The music introduced several new ideas to propel the story forward.  Most importantly, I wrote a new theme to represent the Resurrection Hub:

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The Hub Theme plays throughout the entire battle sequence, an usual choice since it is inherently not energetic action music.  Replacing the expected raging percussion and searing ethnic soloists that typically accompany space battles, this piece is instead introspective and spiritual, because I wanted the music to underscore the incredible importance of the event.  The destruction of the Resurrection Hub completely redefines Cylon existence, and levels the playing field in their war.  The score is underlining these essential truths, while allowing the bullets and spaceships to speak for themselves.

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BG4: “Sine Qua Non”

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SPOILERS BEYOND: Sine Qua Non features the return of two of my favorite characters from Season 3… Romo Lampkin and Jake, the canine hero of the New Caprica resistance!  The episode covers a lot of ground, but essentially is about two plotlines: Lee and Romo’s search for a new president, and Adama’s gradual realization that he can not leave Laura Roslin behind.  As a result, the vast majority of the score is built from two musical themes, one for each storyline.

Although Romo was first introduced in the final episodes of Season Three, his character was not given a musical theme… much to the dismay of actor Mark Sheppard.  I later bumped into Mark on several social occasions, and he consistently asked when I was going to write a “Romo Lampkin” theme, and I consistently promised him he’d get one before the series ended.  When I saw the rough cut of Sine Qua Non, I knew it was my chance to make good on my promise.  So, Mark… this theme’s for you, man!  🙂

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