It occurred to me the other day to wonder what the regular Trek composers have been doing since Trek ended. And it seems that neither McCarthy, Chattaway, Bell, nor Baillargeon has done much for the screen since 2005. McCarthy's been active in minor projects -- scoring a short-lived TV series on The WB, a DVD movie, a TV movie, and a number of short films, as well as working as an orchestrator or conductor on a few projects. But Chattaway's only post-Trek composing credit is an episode of Masters of Horror
, Baillargeon's only credit is for a song in a French Canadian movie, and Bell's got nothing. The only modern-Trek composers who still seem to be working in film/TV are the ones who had relatively short tenures on Trek -- folks like Ron Jones (who unfortunately has only done those Seth MacFarlane cartoons I can't stand), Gregory Smith, John Debney, and the four composers who worked solely on ENT: Velton Ray Bunch, John Frizzell, Brian Tyler, and Kevin Kiner.
It's quite a change. Before Trek, McCarthy and Bell were both very active TV composers, and Chattaway did quite a few motion picture scores. But post-Trek, they've virtually disappeared. It makes me wonder if all those years of operating under the "wallpaper music" rules of Trek got the big four composers typecast -- maybe producers don't realize what else they can do. (If you listen to David Bell's pre-Trek work for things like Murder, She Wrote
, it's really rich, impressive stuff.) Or maybe working for one set of producers for so long kind of took them out of circulation in the industry.
Then again, maybe it's simply a matter of the passage of time. These guys spent a large chunk of their careers doing Trek. Bell's the only one of the big four who's under 60; Baillargeon is about 70. Maybe once it was done, they decided to retire, or to shift gears to composing for other venues than the screen -- although it's hard to believe three out of four of them would've done so at once. And McCarthy's clearly still working, but only on small projects, not the bigger stuff you'd expect from a composer of his stature and experience.
Either way, it's a shame. I would've liked to hear more of what these guys could do outside of the restrictions of Trek music. I guess the best way to do that would be to track down their older, pre-Trek works.