October 7th, 2007

Lazarus (Galaxy Quest) (by mimisoliel)

Soaring Through the Skies

I started playing around with a few tracks last night and ended up making a new mix. Its title also serves as its description: Space Opera! It turned out to be an exciting album with some very pretty sequences on it as well. More details to come.

It's a nice mix... but it meant that I didn't get any sleep at all, so I'm off to catch some Zs.

Hopefully this stiffness in my shoulders will be gone when I wake up.
Gurney (Dune)

"When I volunteered for this mission, I never thought I'd end up playing straight man to a tin can."

This was a mix that kind of took me by surprise and changed very little from the inception to final draft. I had been thinking a lot about science fiction, what with Babylon 5 and Firefly, not to mention the represented scores in my previous mix, the David Arnold compilation Myth, Faith, Belief. I had a conversation with melancthe that dwelled heavily on The Empire Strikes Back and The Black Hole. Then I listened to Craig Safan's The Last Starfighter, and it was on. In the most geeky way imaginable, of course.

The idea here was to essay the general sound of this particular subgenre, which meant that I had to exclude some material I was considering including from Firefly, Serenity, The Fifth Element. The selections on this disc all bear some form of influence of John Williams' Star Wars trilogy; most of them are in that broad, Romantic idiom and are often full of lietmotives. I then decided that I would not include anything from Star Wars itself, as I feel that if you want to know my take on that music, listen to the original trilogy and prequel mixes I made for them. I did, however, decide to put on a track from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, feeling that, as a prime example of space opera (both the film and the score), it certainly deserved inclusion (although it is not one of the tracks included in the Silver Screen Star Trek).

I knew that this kind of disc would be different from the previous genre mixes I've made because I wasn't going to be able to really explore the represented scores so much as represent them in the most basic manner. With that perspective, it actually became relatively easy to cull through the scores and find suitable selections. And I won't lie, the disc came together like butter. This is the closest I've come to making a "themes" album, although the need to allow the album to develop its own shape meant that I culled most of the material from score sections, although I made exceptions if I felt that a more formal statement was needed for the sake of the album. That's why there are even some concert arrangements popping up from time to time.

One thing I did have to make a note of, though. While the music is bold, colorful and emotive, a lot of these movies are just terrible. As a film music fan, one often ends up loving a score even if the movie isn't any good (I am, after all, a Jerry Goldsmith fan, and his career consists primarily of drek movies with a few scattered gems). There are some decent pictures here - and a few sentimental favorites - but it's really not a genre known for being taken seriously by filmmakers.

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