Friday, July 10, 2009

My first interview with a Soundtrack composer, or How awesome it would be to be in San Diego between July 23-25

So, as many of you know, I've been a soundtrack / film score fiend for as long as I can remember. I collect scores (on CD and vinyl), and I used to do some soundtrack copywriting for Muze, before they were bought by Macrovision. That little void was what prompted me to pitch an idea to Examiner - to allow me to share my knowledge and passion for soundtracks with the masses via their site. Soon after, in addition to being Heavy Metal Examiner, I became Soundtracks Examiner.

It's been a rough road, because soundtracks are like the red-headed stepchild of the music industry - unless it's a Broadway musical, a Disney production, or Twilight, most people don't really care about soundtracks. It's definitely been an uphill battle to share the joys that film scores bring me.

However, today is a banner-day for me, as I have posted my first interview with a composer...and not just any ol' lacky from Media Ventures / Remote Control Productions (though they do seem to nab a lot of the high-profile movies these days). I was given the opportunity to spend some time with Battlestar Galactica / Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles / Eureka music-meister Bear McCreary.

Here's a taste:

On the subject of Battlestar Galactica, word is out that you’ve completed compiling the music for the Season 4 two-disc set. How did this project grow beyond the confines of one disc?

Fans have been bugging me for a two-disc album since the beginning of Season 4. I’ve honestly been fighting it. I wanted to compose a nice companion piece the ever-expanding BSG universe. I don’t like having filler on my soundtrack albums, so if a cue isn’t good enough for me to put it on CD, I don’t put it on for the sake of filling space. So I really didn’t think I could fill two CDs, but when I got to the end, I realized that the finale alone had over 60 minutes of scoring that I thought was really good. There was maybe 100 minutes of music in that episode, but there was about 65 minutes of it that was worth putting on CD. So it was then that I realized that we really did have to do a two-CD set to do the show justice. I mentioned it to La-La Land Records, and I believe their words to me were, “well, duh!”

Regarding your latest release, Caprica, it sounds to me more emotive and character-centric than the Battlestar scores, which are very atmospheric, encapsulating all the action and drama of the environment.

Well, Caprica has a much smaller cast, and that cast can essentially be divided into two families – The Adamas and the Graystones. So I wrote two themes, one for each family, and they serve as the thematic thread that ties the Caprica score together. Battlestar, as you mentioned, tends to be attached to arcs, subplots, and sometimes thematic ideas. There are also themes for every single character on the show, and there are at least 50 of those alone, not that they all get used all the time. So Caprica was a very different approach.

Check out the full monstrosity here!


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