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.