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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old August 16 2011, 12:23 AM   #61
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Yeah, I'd be much more interested in a release of the rest of the music from Star Trek than further Star Trek: The Next Generation scores. I'd also be happy to hear a set like this surveying the music Star Trek: Deep Space Nine or Star Trek: Voyager. Neither have enough notable music (as far as I can remember) to support something comprehensive like the Ron Jones box set, but would be perfectly suited to a 3-CD release of about 4 hours of music.

Enterprise, I thought, had plenty of music that would be worth listening to on CD. But as the least popular series in the franchise, that might be a lot to wish for.
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Old August 16 2011, 12:30 AM   #62
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

The important thing right now is that the sets that are out already sell. If these sets don't sell, then it stands to reason that more will not follow.

That being said, I definitely would love a set like this TNG one that covers DS9, particularly episodes like "Our Man Bashir," "Badda-Bing-Badda-Bang," and the finale.

As for Enterprise, another thing to remember is that there are several leaked scores already floating around on the internet. The more those things circulate (likewise the shameless bootlegs of the Ron Jones set ), the less likely we are to see new albums produced.
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Old August 16 2011, 12:37 AM   #63
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

With only 3,000 copies, and a price tag much lower than the Ron Jones set (not that that set is unreasonably expensive, given the quantity material, but it is high enough that I haven't been able to purchase it yet), I wouldn't be surprised if it sells out rather swiftly. I've already done my part and purchased a copy.
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Old August 16 2011, 05:29 AM   #64
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Harvey wrote: View Post
With only 3,000 copies, and a price tag much lower than the Ron Jones set (not that that set is unreasonably expensive, given the quantity material, but it is high enough that I haven't been able to purchase it yet), I wouldn't be surprised if it sells out rather swiftly. I've already done my part and purchased a copy.
The Ron Jones set was released individually for digital download, as well, so I've managed to spread the cost out over a couple of months. Obviously, not everyone is keen on doing it that way, but I for one am glad the option exists.
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Old August 16 2011, 07:47 AM   #65
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

It is nice to have that option, but I for one prefer physical media, so I have no choice but to save the money and make one big purchase.
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Old August 16 2011, 06:59 PM   #66
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Just got the set. The case was smashed but luckily I could salvage it and replace the case with a similar one I had lying around. None of the discs were damaged.

I immediately popped in disc 2, since Chattaway is my favorite composer, but was not impressed. The selection of cues clearly demonstrates the unimaginetaive and bland scoring of the final years of TNG. There are few standout cues. While listening to it, it did exactly what Rick Berman intended it to do.... dissolve into the background. A crying shame.

I'm also entertained by the booklet with its highly revisionist notes about the evolving "style" of the music on TNG, stating that the blandness of the music was a creative decision on McCarthy's part that was more in line with the producers wishes rather than Berman's costcutting and total lack of musical vision. We all know Rick Berman can't tell music from white noise.

Off to listen the other discs. Have higher hopes for discs 1 and 3.
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Old August 16 2011, 07:34 PM   #67
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

I'm also entertained by the booklet with its highly revisionist notes about the evolving "style" of the music on TNG, stating that the blandness of the music was a creative decision on McCarthy's part that was more in line with the producers wishes rather than Berman's costcutting and total lack of musical vision. We all know Rick Berman can't tell music from white noise.
Something I've learned from working in scripted television -- and my interactions and observations from the entire post-production process -- is simply that I think most fans just assume composers get a copy of the episode and are given a carte-blanche assignment to go write their music however they see fit and then that's that.

Unfortunately, it isn't.

If my experience thus far has been any kind of indicator of how composing for weekly television series goes, what would typically happen would be the following:

1) Post sends the composers a VAM copy of the episode. (A VAM is a video-assembled-master, where everyone agrees that, at least in terms of editing picture, the episode is done. Music, visual and sound effects, titles, etc. will all be done based on the VAM)

2) The composers (the people responsible for any original music created specifically for the show), music supervisors (in charge of any existing songs, tracks, music or songs with lyrics that already exist which will be included), the editor and assistant editor, the head of post-production, the episode writer(s) and showrunner will meet for what's called "Music Spotting."

During Music Spotting, they'll go through the episode and try to decide what type of music/song works best for each scene, where it should start and end, how loud, will it punctuate or overpower a scene or line of dialogue, etc. Everyone will offer suggestions, but it's almost always the showrunner who will dictate how it goes and have the final say about what the music will sound and "feel" like.

3)Based on these notes, the composers and music supervisor will go off on their own and get to work. In the case of the music supervisor, they will go searching for songs to use in the show. In the case of the composer, they will go off and compose, perform/conduct a "rough draft" of the episode score to be presented as "score previews" for the showrunner. Again, the showrunner will give notes if there's anything he wants done or (gasp!) if there's anything he doesn't particularly like.

4) Finally, the composers will make a CD that is delivered to Post, containing all the tracks for the episode that have been composed and can be dropped in to the the AVID or Final Cut system to be implemented (and, if need be, reused later) in to the episode.

The reason I've typed out all of this is primarily to demonstrate how little creative control composers have in this process at times, and also to point out/demonstrate that television shows are run by showrunners. It's their voice that speaks for the show, it's their style and temperament that will influence the tone, sound and feeling of a show. Rick Berman could be the foremost critic and mind about music or he could be a dumbass, in terms of personal taste. But his personal taste either way plays in to his job as showrunner, and the (sad, lamentable) fact of the matter is that a showrunner, he didn't want music that was too "musical." Whether he has/had a "total lack of musical vision" is up for debate, but its important to consider the entire process I outlined above when looking at this particular issue.

Likewise, the studio/production company/whoever would still be paying composers to write new music (however similar or rehashed it eventually would become) for every episode, so I don't see how it could be seen as Berman "cost-cutting."
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Old August 16 2011, 09:50 PM   #68
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Scotty wrote: View Post
I'm also entertained by the booklet with its highly revisionist notes about the evolving "style" of the music on TNG, stating that the blandness of the music was a creative decision on McCarthy's part that was more in line with the producers wishes rather than Berman's costcutting and total lack of musical vision.
I don't see why you'd think that's what the booklet says. As I read it, it makes it very clear that the evolution of McCarthy's style was in response to Berman's wishes. Yes, it says McCarthy "chose to view" Berman's guidelines "as a creative challenge," but that certainly doesn't mean he wasn't obligated to follow Berman's instructions. It just means he tried to be as creative as he could within the limits he was required by his employer to observe.
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Old August 17 2011, 08:20 AM   #69
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

^ Also, the liner notes's author goes out of his way to describe how nice and wonderful Berman was about his criticism of McCarthy's music, and how he basically put on his best cologne and took him out to a sexy night downtown when he broke the news. Seemed a bit ridiculous, s'all.

I've listened to the complete set now (kudos to screenarchives.com for getting it to Germany in just four days), and here's the gist:
  • CD 1 starts out very strong with Haven, the cue from The Big Goodbye is just wonderful - the rest is sonic wallpaper. Also, the track from All Good Things... was on one of the two best-of soundtracks a decade ago. Why waste disc space on pre-released material?
  • CD 2 is boring.
  • The Steiner and Davis scores are brilliant! (I always loved Davis's work on Beauty and the Beast, btw.) Debney is meh. The polka version of the TOS main theme is just too awesome for words.
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Old August 17 2011, 01:44 PM   #70
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
^ Also, the liner notes's author goes out of his way to describe how nice and wonderful Berman was about his criticism of McCarthy's music, and how he basically put on his best cologne and took him out to a sexy night downtown when he broke the news. Seemed a bit ridiculous, s'all.
Well, you're exaggerating, but how do you know it wasn't amiable? I disagree with Berman's views about music as much as you do, but people you disagree with can still be completely reasonable, well-meaning individuals.

And doubleohfive pegged it: there's nothing unusual about this. It was McCarthy's job to do the kind of music that the showrunner told him to do. That's not a matter of controversy or some big melodramatic struggle. It's the way it normally works. You may have big ideas of your own, but if someone is paying you to enact their ideas, then that's what you do. Berman's a professional, McCarthy's a professional, so there's no reason to assume there was any browbeating or hostility involved, anything other than the boss saying "Actually, what I want is this instead of that" and the employee saying "I understand now, and I'll work within those parameters from now on."

And sure, naturally the liner notes phrased it in a diplomatic way, and I don't see a problem with that. There's no reason why the liner notes should be some muckraking tell-all book. Where's the benefit in taking a negative view of the very music you're presenting? The compilers of this set chose this music because they thought it was worthwhile. So they're going to focus on what they think is good about it. They acknowledge that the musical approach was guided by the showrunner, but they still think the composers did worthwhile work within those limits and that's what they're going to focus on in their discussion. Why would you expect anything else?
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Old August 17 2011, 02:05 PM   #71
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

^ Agreed on all points.

I just wish McCarthy had phrased it a little less uber-diplomatic. What's wrong with saying: "It was a damn shame I had to work under these restrictions, but this is the way you have to roll to work in the business."

It's not as if such a statement would label him an unhireable rebel. But in the liner notes, he sounds almost grateful for Berman's intervention. At least Ron Jones had cojones!
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Old August 17 2011, 02:43 PM   #72
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
At least Ron Jones had cojones!
Dennis McCarthy had steady work for 18 years.

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Old August 17 2011, 06:46 PM   #73
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
I just wish McCarthy had phrased it a little less uber-diplomatic. What's wrong with saying: "It was a damn shame I had to work under these restrictions, but this is the way you have to roll to work in the business."
Maybe he just doesn't feel that way about it. After all, he stayed with Berman and the Trek franchise for eighteen years. Does that strike you as something he would've done if he'd been unhappy working under Berman's guidelines? He was a talented and experienced composer and he worked on the most successful first-run syndicated drama in television history. If he'd wanted to leave for something more creatively challenging, he would've had plenty of opportunities to do so. But he chose to stay for the long haul. Which pretty strongly suggests that he had no problems working with Rick Berman and composing music in accordance with Berman's tastes.


But in the liner notes, he sounds almost grateful for Berman's intervention.
I don't know where you're getting that. All it says is that he chose to see it as a creative challenge.
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Old August 18 2011, 01:42 AM   #74
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

It's worth pointing out that the liner notes quote McCarthy from an interview conducted in 1998. He scored Trek from 1987-2005, and that interview fell right in the middle of his long employment -- not a great moment for critical perspective.
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Old August 18 2011, 04:27 AM   #75
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Re: La-La Land Records Releasing a 3-CD Set of TNG Scores at Comic-Con

Art Vandelay wrote: View Post
^ Also, the liner notes's author goes out of his way to describe how nice and wonderful Berman was about his criticism of McCarthy's music, and how he basically put on his best cologne and took him out to a sexy night downtown when he broke the news. Seemed a bit ridiculous, s'all.

I've listened to the complete set now (kudos to screenarchives.com for getting it to Germany in just four days), and here's the gist:
  • CD 1 starts out very strong with Haven, the cue from The Big Goodbye is just wonderful - the rest is sonic wallpaper. Also, the track from All Good Things... was on one of the two best-of soundtracks a decade ago. Why waste disc space on pre-released material?
  • CD 2 is boring.
  • The Steiner and Davis scores are brilliant! (I always loved Davis's work on Beauty and the Beast, btw.) Debney is meh. The polka version of the TOS main theme is just too awesome for words.
According to the LaLa Land producer, Michael Gerhard, those two cues from "All Good Things..." were included at Dennis McCarthy's specific request, because he really liked those cues. This one disc runs the gamut of his music on TNG, so he might have decided that including these two cues made for a nice, creative arc to the disc. Anyway, if the composer you're working with wants to include those cues, then you are obliged to do so.

And in talking to Dennis two weeks ago at his signing, he still seemed pretty positive about his entire tenure of composing music for Trek. During the years of TNG and beyond, it was a very big deal that a weekly show was having its score performed by a 40-50 piece orchestra. It's extremely expensive and continued to disappear rapidly from the television scene. Dennis said in past interviews how much he still appreciated being able to stand in front of and conduct an orchestra of such great L.A. based players.
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