report from concert rehearsal – holy frak!


Tuesday night was the rehearsal for this Saturday’s upcoming sci-fi music concert paying special tribute to composer Stu Phillips.  All I can say is wow.  Hearing a live orchestra belt out those first few notes of “Exploration” from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack sent a shockwave through me!  I’ve listened to that music gods know how many times but last night it really pounded through my soul – in a good way.  It was also a treat to watch Stu conduct and give direction to the musicians – he may have written this music three decades ago but the passion, energy and dedication on display last night were that of a proud father making sure his newborn child is in good hands.  The guy may be 80 but he demonstrated more gusto that anyone in the house!  In addition to getting a preview of Stu’s set, we heard the suite from Star Trek: First Contact and a piece from composer John Ottmans’s upcoming Astro Boy, but it was Bear McCreary who provided total shock and awe with his newest composition…

As Bear mentioned in his blog, he’s written a completely new piece of music that combines elements from both the original series and reimagined version to create an “ultimate Battlestar theme.”  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this, maybe a mish-mash of stuff we’ve heard before – but what Bear has done is far more than cut and paste – he’s created a BSG masterpiece.

It begins with his moving rendition of the “Colonial Anthem” as heard in the second season episode “Final Cut,” (which gives me goosebumps every time I hear it), but then morphs into a swirling, mysterious and intense version of “Exploration” ( including the There Are Those Who Believe music).  This version retains the familiar middle eastern flavor of the original, but amps it up to the level of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”  I don’t want to spoil where it goes from there, but suffice it to say that Bear has somehow managed to distill the entire series of Battlestar Galactica into one epic, violent, mysterious, melencholy and bittersweet piece of music.

Yes, I’m serious.  All the emotion you felt while watching four years of Galactica are encapsulated in his new composition and the only time it’s every going to be played is this Saturday night by the Golden State Pops Orchestra (with members of Bear’s band) in San Pedro.  You really have got to be there.

Click here for more info and tickets.

8 Responses to “report from concert rehearsal – holy frak!”

  1. 1 ety3
    October 22, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Dammit, Bear. Put that thing on iTunes and let us buy it! (After the show, of course.)

  2. 2 darthmojo
    October 22, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Sadly, due to union rules and restrictions with the orchestra, it’s unlikey that this concert will be available in any post-show format. Yes, just like the old days, it means only people who actually come to the concert will get to be part of something special!

  3. October 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Man, I’ve got goosebumps just from reading the descriptions! So wish I could be there, it’ll be an incredible event. Have fun!

  4. 4 Colonial Warrior
    October 22, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    one would think that they would want to have a recording of this for posterity for one and sales alone would benefit the orchestra house and arts, which would not be a bad thing in todays economy. Such a loss of an evening for the rest of the world. I’m sure that there are at least a couple of thousand fans of the composer(s) and this sort of venue alone that for whatever reason are not able to attend and that, is a shame. At the least, they could do, would be some form of Simulcast. They have done that before. Granted the quality would not be at 100% but they could still experience something at least. Ya just gotta question the rules that folks make but thats another topic for another time. The Baltimore Symphany Orchestra at the Meyerhoff with George Takei doing a similar venue a few months back was available on CD’s ( at a rather reasonable price too boot..) They even had a Laser show going on synchronized with the music totally awesome but then again you had to be there to enjoy that..

    ( arrrghh rules arrrgh…)

  5. 5 darthmojo
    October 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Well, you can look at it two ways: firstly, business is business. The orchestra is only getting paid to do one live performance; if someone wants to record and sell it, there has to be a whole new contract ahead of time. We all know it’s easy to record something and say “we’ll work out the details later” and then nothing comes of it but a few months later, guess what? The recording shows up online. And some of these musicians are part of a union which protects them, but in turn asks them to follow certain rules as well (such as don’t play if they are recording it and there is no contract for it).

    On the other hand, it USED to be that if there was a cool concert you wanted to see, you either went to it or YOU DIDN’T SEE/HEAR IT! And that was that. It may have sucked, but that’s the way it was and we accepted it. Today, we’ve gotten so spoiled by technology and the *ability* to instantly see or hear any event that there is almost a sense of entitlement about it – like if it doesn’t show up on YouTube the next day, people are not only disappointed but SURPRISED.

    If I were in charge of the concert, sure, I’d want to record it and “find a way” to get it out there… but once I was presented with the reality of contracts for each member of the orchestra, how much they have to get paid, and then the publishing rights for all the composers whose work will be presented (and the likelihood that they would all want seperate deals), it might just be enough for me to say “frak it, I just want to focus on putting on a good show Saturday night!”

    And yes, because of all this it’s easy to say “that’s why we have to change the rules! All this entertainment business is too complicated and limiting and stops US from hearing the good stuff!” And while I agree with that, think about it – yes, changing the rules would be great, but shouldn’t each member of the orchestra get paid, no matter what happens? And if you say “ok fine just pay them one fee and it covers everything, including CD sales,” that sounds great on paper, but where is all that up-front money going to come from? And if we make their fee really low and the CD makes a million bucks, isn’t that unfair to the musicians responsible?

    And then what about the people who wrote the music being performed to begin with? Don’t they deserve something?

    So you see, even if we all agree copyright laws are too complicated and should be changed, once you get to the very basics of it, we start to see WHY it’s so complicated and then scratch our heads and run away.

  6. 6 Star
    October 23, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Awesome! My sweetie and I are attending (both big BSG geeks here, old and new)… it sounds like it will be well worth the price of admission + babysitting fees ;->

  7. October 24, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I’m insanely jealous of this, but there is no way I can get out there across the country…

  8. October 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Mojo that was the greatest. Thanks for having me as a VIP to the show. It was awesome to meet all of you guys. It was well worth the 400 mile drive just for the show alone. Thanks again.

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October 2009

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