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 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

So far, I've listened to the Courage material and some of Steiner form Season 1. Courage uses a very stark post modern sound (except The Cage's Main Theme). Steiner's music is all kinds of angsty and scary for Charlie X.

With all of the editing and tracking that went on in TV at the time, it's hard to get a feel for particular composers, but I already see the difference between these two.

I kind of miss the idea of tracking in TV. While a show like 24, BSG, or LOST may retain the same composer for an entire season or run of a show, nothing creates a signature sound for a show like using the same piece(s) of music to open a show or score a fight.
I was always a little disappointed that the fight music from Amok Time got used so many times, though. That seemed too special to trot out for any old fist fight. But for that, it might not be so fondly remembered.

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

Season 1 Disc 3 is the all Fred Steiner disc and it is incredible. These had all been released previously either as re-recordings or the original tracks on GNP, but it is such a treat to have them all on one disc to enjoy from start to finish. It's also quite interesting to realize that Steiner only used the Courage "Trek" theme once on these specific scores, in a cue from"Balance of Terror". Throughout the rest he instead leans heavily on his own main Trek theme.

In listening to the original tracks for "The Enemy Within", it makes me appreciate even more Tony Bremner's work on the re-recorded suite of this score. His recording is amazingly close to the original tone, intonation and power of the original recording.

Also, I was not very familiar with "Friday's Child" or "Return to Tomorrow" but they are both fast becoming new favorites of mine...

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 7:56 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

Currently listening to Plato's Stepchildren!! smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 9:12 PM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

Currently listening to Plato's Stepchildren!! smile

How did you get to season 3 so fast? smile I was going to try and pace myself, but it's tough...

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 9:25 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

Currently listening to Plato's Stepchildren!! smile

How did you get to season 3 so fast? smile I was going to try and pace myself, but it's tough...


I didnt get there...I skipped ahead because that was one of the episodes I wanted. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 9:40 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

Have SPECIFIC underscore cues for a television series ever been as influential as some of those written for The Original Series, particularly when it comes to the realm of parodies and other such tributes? Other shows may have their theme music quoted (or sound-alike genre music), but Star Trek seems to have implanted specific musical ideas, unrelated to the title theme, deeply into the zeitgeist in a unique way (or at least, to a unique degree). The "Amok Time" fight music is probably the best example, but I've heard the Doomsday Machine paraphrased, as well as the sultry "Captain Kirk make-out" music. I'm sure a lot of this is the result of knowledgeable composers flying their geek flags, but that doesn't make it less remarkable.

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 10:41 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


What I noticed by finally listening to the scores in context is how the show evolved creatively, as reflected in the music. Courage's initial scores were moody, strange, alien—in those first episodes, Roddenberry and co. emphasized as best they could a realistic space travel, with large distances between empty places. Steiner's first-season scores are more romantic but also shorter (in duration) than later full scores in the show; I think the better drama simply needed less music (in episodes like "Charlie X"). Fans of the show know the initial batch of episodes—those first 13—feature more sound effects for the Enterprise, more extras populating the Enterprise corridors, and a lot more emphasis on verisimilitude. The scoring, to me, sounds more psychological and internal.

Most fans probably know this, but Gene L. Coon was the driving creative force from roughly the middle of the first season to the middle of the second. A lot of these episodes are classics, but the show became a slightly different animal. By necessity they used the "parallel worlds" gag so they could reuse Hollywood stages, costumes, etc. and have stuff for the Enterprise crew to do outside the ship without having to build, from scratch, some kind of incomprehensible alien civilization—much easier to have the peasant planet, the Roman planet, the Nazi planet, the gangster planet, and so on. These scores, particularly by Gerry Fried, are more rollicking and adventuresome and characterized a lot of the second season as the show featured a lot of "stuntman fights," as Jeff Bond put it at the event. The show drifted away from some of the initial verisimilitude in favor of its own conventions, largely based around the appeal and strengths of the actors, and '60s action-adventure fisticuffs.

In the third season, as most fans know, the budgets were cut significantly (they had already gone down from season one to two, now they went down even more, even as the stars were getting better paid) and the quality dipped for a lot of reasons not worth getting into here but mostly having to do with the showrunner. There were some superb episodes but a lot of "bottle shows" (filmed entirely on standing Enterprise sets) and cheap workarounds (the half-built western town in "Spectre of the Gun," though that ended up being brilliant) and the black soundstage backgrounds of "The Empath." These scores tend to be moodier and quite lovely, but they sure have to work extra hard to convey the storytelling (and are somewhat longer in duration). As Jeff points out in the notes, most of the second season music would not work in the context of third season episodes.

Anyway, more analysis here at the Church of the Christine Chapel.

Lukas

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2012 - 11:57 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Nice insights, Lukas. It does seem that having all the music, and having it organized like this, will open up a new mental map of STAR TREK for us.

I can't wait.

...and the black soundstage backgrounds of "The Empath."

I love the black stage in "The Empath," but I think LOST IN SPACE, in their color seasons, went to that well maybe a couple of times too many. Even in those cases though, it made for a vivid and dramatic set. It was beautiful in b&w episodes like "The Derelict" and "The Magic Mirror."

LOST IN SPACE was over by the time they filmed "The Empath," and the freezing tubes were rented out:

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 5:45 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

I read that they went to Fox, who was selling off some of their sci-fi props once Lost in Space and Voyage ended. The Trek team came back with precious little, complaining most of it consisted of gauges and submarine control panels.

However, you can see the freezing tubes in the picture you posted, Zap. In the same episode, you see that blueish viewscreen in the Vian lab. That was used on Voyage often as well.

What I noticed by finally listening to the scores in context is how the show evolved creatively, as reflected in the music.

I always felt the same way and even now, wearing out the samples as I wait for my delivery (got my shipping notice yesterday), I am struck by how each season sounds totally different. Even the library cues have a different sound. The Mullendore "Lonely to Dramatic" is SO first season, it wouldn't fit in any other year. The beautiful harp at the end of Mudd's Women is out of place in any other year. Whether this had to do with the feel of each season or the maturity of the composers are they progressed in their craft, each season had a specific orchestration.

What I find interesting about this set is that it points up that, in latter day interviews, nobody ever got Sandy Courage's situation right. According to the producers, Courage didn't come back after the first season either because Roddenberry did the "half money/credit" swipe or because Courage was "too busy." Either way, it was all wrong, he did come back to do library cues in the second season and a few full scores in the third. The of course, there was the whole "we wish we got the soprano back for the theme in the 2nd season" when she was HIRED for the 2nd season. It's so hard to trust 45 year old memories. :-)

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 6:37 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Yes, poor Matt Jefferies must have had next to nothing for sets by S3 (the same situation befell the art directors of "Batman" in their third year).

Back to the music: I think the signal change was a lushness in the scoring brought about by the presence of George Duning (using broad themes, not transformed motifs), a very different, motion-picture-like sensibility, taking the emphasis away from starship and mission and playing straight to character and true emotion. It's interesting to note that all "Trek" composers in year three got in their "romance moments" (even Fielding in "Spectre") and how well this music tracks into other episodes with romantic interludes (i.e.: "All Our Yesterdays").

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 7:16 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

Oh yeah, because so many characters got love stories on season three. It felt like Mary Sue Fan Fiction gone wild in some cases (McCoy got the disease of the month and a love story in one shot).

It is interesting how the show evolved from harder sci-fi (back when Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson submitted scripts) to action adventure and the music went with it. Atmospheric in the first season, emotional with blistering action licks in the second. I love it all. Okay, I Mudd not so much, but for the most part, this will be the biggest collection of "mostly loved" cues I ever had.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

Regarding season two and Gerald Fried in particular, I found listening to "Catspaw" slightly reminiscent at times of Fried's music for "Man From U.N.C.L.E." This is probably due to the jazzy brass, use of tuba and that swinging chase cue for the episode, but it's neat nonetheless to get that vibe in "Trek" as well, since I love Fried's "U.N.C.L.E." scores.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

Regarding season two and Gerald Fried in particular, I found listening to "Catspaw" slightly reminiscent at times of Fried's music for "Man From U.N.C.L.E." This is probably due to the jazzy brass, use of tuba and that swinging chase cue for the episode, but it's neat nonetheless to get that vibe in "Trek" as well, since I love Fried's "U.N.C.L.E." scores.

I was going to comment how "60's" the Catspaw and Friday's Child samples feel. Very, as you say, swinging. Feels like Peter Gunn or something. Maybe it's just because I've been listening to Amok Time for twenty years, but these tracks feel a little edgier, a little less Eddie Murphy. Very cool.

My favorite bits in the movies are usually the big "space ship" cues. The "hey it's the Enterprise, let's boldly go!" parts. I remember an interview with Giacchino where he mentioned that the parts of Star Trek that always worked best for him were the "space is scary and dangerous" parts. Going from the 37 tracks I have I think he's probably right. It was usually more about the danger (or the romance) than about the ship and the mission. Excepting all the wonderful bursts of the fanfare, of course. Then again I have another 600 tracks to listen to.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 8:06 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Oh yeah, because so many characters got love stories on season three. It felt like Mary Sue Fan Fiction gone wild in some cases (McCoy got the disease of the month and a love story in one shot).

It is interesting how the show evolved from harder sci-fi (back when Richard Matheson and George Clayton Johnson submitted scripts) to action adventure and the music went with it. Atmospheric in the first season, emotional with blistering action licks in the second. I love it all. Okay, I Mudd not so much, but for the most part, this will be the biggest collection of "mostly loved" cues I ever had.


I have to say that I quite liked Matlovsky's approach in I, Mudd. The episode was quirky and different and got a score that fit well with the story concept*. Speaking of this score, does anyone recall if cues from it were tracked into any other second season episode? Off hand, I can't think of a single one (even the quirky "Tribbles" score was used in parts of "Assignment Earth").


* - and I love the presentation of it on the Label X recording (and looking forward to hearing the complete score once my collection set arrives).

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   dashrr   (Member)

Can we get a review of Duning's THE EMPATH...especially the yearnful music during Gem's saving of Dr. McCoy that was also tracked in REQUIEM FOR METHUSULAH?

Love that music!

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 9:06 AM   
 By:   OneBuckFilms   (Member)

I haven't heard The Empath outside of the excellent re-recording, but there is this "walking through the dark" music that is really great fro building the sense of mystery.

I might have to listen to that score tonight once I leave work and compare to the rerecording.

There is something poetic about the episode, and the score has some great moments.

Jem's theme in that, when picked up by the horns as Kirk lectures the Vians about their intellect overshadowing common decency (basically), is a great development, and perfectly underscores Kirk's nobility and the Vian's guilt.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I think there may be just a couple of tiny moments from I, Mudd that found there way into a couple of later episodes (similarly, while a number of the comic moments from Fielding's Tribbles score show up later in season two, you rarely if ever hear any of the actual music for the tribbles used again).

I never liked I, Mudd, but it does gain from the great sound quality on this set--on the show it always sounded like a very small group, but there's actually quite a lot of complexity and detail in the music that makes it much more interesting to listen to than I'd anticipated.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   nicholasm79   (Member)

One instance of I, Mudd being tracked is in Gamesters of Triskelion, during the silly "Check... oooof" scene.

It is a funny scene and the music fit very well there. :-P

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 5:40 PM   
 By:   Midnight Mike   (Member)

Some more quick thoughts as I listen…

It’s great to finally get the cue from Amok Time where Spock explains Pon Far to Kirk! I’ve always loved that piece.

Listened to Man Trap and Naked Time last night. Wow, those two scores are light years away from stuff like Who Mourns for Adonais or Metamorphosis, real low key. Of course “The Big Go” is great. Don’t get me wrong, I like them both, but right after listening to second season scores, the difference really jumps out at you.

I think the biggest surprise to me so far is how much I’m digging “Conscience of the King”. There was too much great stuff left off the re-recording. There’s ton’s of stuff from this episode that was tracked into other shows. Can I also just say “Phaser on Overload” is fantastically fun!

Oh yeah, also to finally get “City on the Edge of Forever” and sounding great in stereo too! I’ve always loved the music when Edith is telling Kirk and Spock “how out of place you two seem…” in the basement.

The Alexander Courage Library cues for Season 2 are the cream of the crop too, for me. So much great stuff. I’m going to make a play list of just all the Library cues from each season!

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2012 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Some more quick thoughts as I listen…

It’s great to finally get the cue from Amok Time where Spock explains Pon Far to Kirk! I’ve always loved that piece.

Listened to Man Trap and Naked Time last night. Wow, those two scores are light years away from stuff like Who Mourns for Adonais or Metamorphosis, real low key. Of course “The Big Go” is great. Don’t get me wrong, I like them both, but right after listening to second season scores, the difference really jumps out at you.

I think the biggest surprise to me so far is how much I’m digging “Conscience of the King”. There was too much great stuff left off the re-recording. There’s ton’s of stuff from this episode that was tracked into other shows. Can I also just say “Phaser on Overload” is fantastically fun!

Oh yeah, also to finally get “City on the Edge of Forever” and sounding great in stereo too! I’ve always loved the music when Edith is telling Kirk and Spock “how out of place you two seem…” in the basement.

The Alexander Courage Library cues for Season 2 are the cream of the crop too, for me. So much great stuff. I’m going to make a play list of just all the Library cues from each season!



Edith talking to Kirk and Spock-- I forgot all about that. I don't have the set yet, but this thing is going to be absolutely dripping with diamonds. Moments I've forgotten.

Since the set was announced, and by coincidence since well before that actually, I have stayed away from STAR TREK music so I'd be fresh and hungry when it arrives.

 
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