La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Harvey, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, she was certainly more pleasant to listen to than Napier.

    It still boggles my mind that Charles Napier, who became the go-to guy in movies and TV if you wanted a grizzled, stern, hardnosed authority figure, ever played someone as completely opposite to that type as Adam. Of course, I knew him as Adam long before I saw him in Rambo or DS9's "Little Green Men" or any of the rest, but that later persona came to define him so indelibly that now when I look back at him as Adam, it seems incongruous. And knowing that he actually co-wrote those hippie-ish songs? Wow.
     
  2. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3zxDHsyKvs[/yt]
     
  3. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I could be disappointed in anything, it's is the liner notes. After hearing about a 100+ page booklet by Jeff Bond (later divided up into the seasons), I was expecting a lot more indepth writing than we received. Very little on the evolution of the project, the restoration of the music, real alaysis of said music and so on. Half of the contents are pictures and musician lists. Granted, maybe a lot of this were in the web interviews, but I generally look for this stuff in the notes of the albums. His "Music of Star Trek" covers some things, but not in regards to this particular project.

    A small niggle, considering the awesomeness of this set. It's my only complaint. I'll live.
     
  4. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I totally agree. I actually think the liner notes are very well-written: it takes a lot of work to be punchy and fit something informative & appropriate into that small space. But the space just isn't there, to go into what I would have liked to read.

    If anyone is listening, I would shell out for an e-book comprised of the stuff you mention, plus cue sheets for all the episodes. I dunno how much, 10 or 20 bucks I guess, but I would buy that.

    .
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's the problem. The space is there. There's a much higher ratio of pictures to words than I'd prefer, and on the text pages there's a significant amount of empty space. Those 100 pages could've easily held twice as much text and still had room for a reasonable amount of artwork.


    But yes, I definitely want a companion book from Jeff Bond.
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Got home about an hour ago to find that IT'S HERE!!!

    I'm going to start listening to it within the next few minutes.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, finished listening to the first three discs comprising "The Cage," "Where No Man Has Gone Before," "The Man Trap," "The Naked Time," "Charlie X," "The Corbomite Maneuver," "Balance Of Terror" and "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"

    There is terrific stuff in this. I like turning the lights way down, closing my eyes and letting the music take me to so many places. Soon enough you recognize cues and sequences that were used in later episodes in particular scenes. Yet beyond that is the wonderful evocative sensibilities of this music, wonderfully orchestral and yet still conveying that sense of being far off in deep unknown space and on truly alien worlds. The music could easily have been used in feature films and belies the fact it was composed for a (comparatively) regular television series production. Alexander Courage really establishes a good overall tone in the beginning that later composers would follow and build on with their own distinct touches. Courage's work in the beginning does sometime seem a tad more dated with some of the otherworldly sounds to his compositions, something of a '50s and '60s spacey sic-fi vibe to it. Fred Steiner's work builds on Courage's and yet feels more modern without that aforementioned sound. I must admit that while Courage set the original tone and style I think I prefer Steiner's work as it feels more timeless.

    That said I like Courage's original Star Trek theme in "The Cage" to the later electric violin version heard in the earliest episodes. The next orchestral version of the main tile theme sounds more familiar and somehow right while also connecting back to Courage's original "The Cage" version.

    I can't wait to listen to the following discs, but I think that's enough for tonight.
     
  8. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Agree. That's an editorial decision though, not Jeff's. Right? And I guess I understand the decision. Producers like to put pics in this material. Witness the James Bond soundtrack CDs.

    (This is one of those things that seems plausible, but breaks down if I think about it too much. Producers put pics in there to make the whole thing more attractive to, I guess, the casual buyer? But how was "the casual buyer" ever a factor for this set?)

    Does Jeff read here?

    Also, we should track down that Library of Congress article that we learned about in the interviews, the article that Steiner wrote that contained interviews with all the composers.

    Yet I wonder, the student who provided Bond with the transcripts of all those interviews, which she found among Steiner's papers – I want to read those, but are there publishing rights involved? Does Bond have to wait until she publishes her paper, or whatever?
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, I just finished the last two discs, and I feel this perverse impulse to give Warped9 a spoiler warning... :D

    The last two discs include George Duning's three contributions to season 3, and... oh, my gods, "The Empath." Just amazing. Gorgeous, passionate, soulful, moving music, possibly my favorite TOS score. One of the best finale cues, too, with the triumphant rising strings just before the fanfare. I've had the Steiner/Varese Sarabande "Empath" suite for ages, but the original sounds so much better. Oh, and "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" is good too. The two have a lot of similarities, and it doesn't surprise me that they were recorded back-to-back (although that must've been one long day for Duning and most of the performers).

    "And the Children Shall Lead" is a better score than I remembered. It has some excellent bits at the beginning and end, particularly "Triacus," "Triacus Burial," and the finale. There's a lot here that I'm not too familiar with, since most of it wasn't tracked and I don't watch the episode that often. How wonderful that I can now listen to the music without having to put up with that awful, awful episode!

    Oh, and the Ivan Ditmars Brahms paraphrase from "Requiem for Methuselah" is nice too. The Wilbur Hatch presidential fanfare from "Savage Curtain" is more mediocre -- mainly just a historical curiosity, as the last bit of TOS music recorded.

    The library cues on the final disc were a little underwhelming. I recognized a few of them -- another case where I've been aware of the differences all along but wasn't consciously sure I was hearing differences. Others I'm not so sure of, and on the whole they just sounded like inferior versions of the original cues, as if they were rushing through it or didn't have performers of the same quality.

    Also, I have to wonder, are these selections of library cues not exhaustive? Because I'm sure there's at least one "Where No Man..." cue that was in "The Lights of Zetar" but wasn't heard here, namely "Force Field." So either that was re-recorded but not included on the box set, or the episode used the original recording in violation of union rules. (And come to think of it, the same goes for "Vina's Dance" in "Wolf in the Fold." That wasn't included in the second-season library cues. And the version in "Wolf" did sound like the same performance from "The Cage," though as I've learned from this set, I'm not necessarily good at discerning the difference between performances.)



    Although there are inevitably some quibbles -- mainly regret that the liner notes weren't several times as extensive -- this is still an amazing piece of work from Neil and the folks at La-La Land, and they have my deep thanks. This is something I've wanted for most of my life and never thought I'd get, and now it's sitting on my dresser. And all 15 discs are unscratched and glitch-free, and hopefully will stay that way until I can get them "ripped" into my computer.


    I found it interesting to notice the various themes the main characters and entities in the series were (or weren't) given. Let's see:

    Captain Kirk had three themes: Courage's 4-note "Captain's Theme"; Steiner's 9-note leitmotif that he used in every one of his TOS scores; and Fried's extended theme that he used in all his second-season scores, forming the basis of "Captain Kirk/Mace Fight" in "Catspaw." Other composers just used the Courage fanfare for Kirk.

    The Enterprise had two themes: the Courage fanfare and Steiner's inversion thereof which was introduced in "Kirk's Command" in "Charlie X." Maybe three, since Steiner introduced a new variation of the "Kirk's Command" melody in the third season. (I'm not sure if any movie composers have come up with themes specifically for Kirk or for the Enterprise; usually they just seem to use the movie's main theme for both.)

    Spock, surprisingly, only had one TOS composer write thematic material for him, Gerald Fried in "Amok Time," although George Duning adopted Fried's "Mr. Spock" cue as his Spock theme. This is particularly surprising considering how many different leitmotifs Spock has been given in the movies (by Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Cliff Eidelmann, and Michael Giacchino at least).

    Conversely, Janice Rand made only a few appearances but had two distinct themes. Sol Kaplan gave her a burlesque-styled motif in "The Enemy Within" -- a bit tasteless considering she was the victim of an attempted rape there, but then everything about that is tasteless by today's standards -- and Steiner featured a Janice theme (or maybe a theme for Charlie's obsession with Janice) in "Charlie X."

    Other semi-regulars: Fielding's "A Matter of Pride" from "Tribbles" served as a Scotty theme. And Courage's "The Naked Time" gave us a Sulu theme in "D'Artagnan-san" and a Chapel theme in "Medicine Girl." But of all the semi-regulars' themes, Scotty's was the only one that was used for the character more than once. (Movie-wise, Chekov got a Russian-styled theme for the aircraft carrier chase in The Voyage Home, courtesy of Leonard Rosenman. I think that's about it.)

    The Klingons were given themes by two TOS composers: Fried gave them a 12-note motif which was used throughout "Friday's Child," and Steiner's "Elaan of Troyius" gave us a powerful Klingon ship motif and related Klingon battle motif. Ditto the Romulans: Steiner's "Romulan Theme" (repurposed for the Mirror Universe and Henoch) and Courage's 4-note motif from "The Enterprise Incident" -- along with his love theme for the Romulan commander, which I still think is an homage to Steiner's Romulan theme. (Later Klingon themes were contributed by Goldsmith, Horner, and Eidelmann in the movies and Ron Jones in TNG, though Jones's was based on Goldsmith's; later Romulan themes were provided by Jones and Don Davis on TNG and Goldsmith in Nemesis.)
     
  10. cbspock

    cbspock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  11. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, I want the cue sheets too... but I want actual reproductions of the typed sheets, not molested See-BS re-typeset junk.:techman:
     
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    After reading the Season One booklet I just had to jump ahead and listen to the library of cues to be used throughout the season. Fantastic stuff where so much of it is instantly recognizable. There are also pieces recorded but never used(!)---they sound like they could have been in TOS and yet they're also unfamiliar. Very cool.
     
  13. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Have you bothered reading this thread yet?
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    No, not all of it. It is, after all some fifty plus pages long (and counting). I know unused pieces of music were to be included in the set, but knowing it and actually hearing them are two different things.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's one other shortcoming of the liner notes -- usually when soundtrack albums include unused cues, they notate them as such, but these notes only specify that in some cases. Of course, those of us who are lifelong TOS connoisseurs can mostly tell which were used and which weren't, but for others, and just for the sake of scholarship, it would be worthwhile to have that information.
     
  16. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Tone.
     
  17. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    Ok, my favorite "new" score so far: Elaan of Troyius. That thing rocks.
     
  18. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The music used in Lights of Zetar and the Vina Dance in Wolf should be the original cues. Lights also used some Doomsday Machine music without rerecording it, so there was some flouting of the rules here and there (just the fact that these tapes still exist at all is one example of ignoring the rules). This is going by ear, and mine is pretty good at detecting differences between the originals and the library stuff, as well as being assured by Lukas Kendall that every cue has been accounted for on paper. There is nothing missing. Which really has to be a first. Amazing how it all survived.

    It's interesting to know that Wilbur Hatch composed the first and last original music for the series. He did the first Vina's Dance "pre-recording" and then the presidential music for The Savage Curtain. Nice way to bookend the music (Sandy Courage did the first and last full scores).
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Thanks. I guess it's not so bad that they reused a few original cues, since they did at least record new music and paid musicians to play it, even if they didn't use it. I mean, that was the reason for the rules against reusing tapes from prior seasons -- so that the musicians could be assured of getting work on a continuing basis. In the case of "Wolf in the Fold," they did pay the orchestra to record a dance piece for Kara, so it didn't really matter that they replaced it with a recording from the first pilot (since I don't think the individual musicians would've gotten royalties anyway). The reuse of "Force Field" in "Zetar" is iffier, but at least the orchestra got paid to do all those library cues they didn't use (and which it's just as well they didn't use because they're not very good).

    Kind of a disappointment that the third season doesn't have any "pure" library cues like the first two had -- just new performances of episode cues. So there aren't any "Wow!" discoveries like in the first two seasons -- "Oh, that was actually written by Mullendore/Hatch/Courage instead of who I thought!"


    I had been wondering why "And the Children Shall Lead" ended up on disc 5, after the other Duning scores, even though it was recorded before them. But looking over the whole five discs, that was kind of the only place it could've gone. Disc 2 was all the Steiner material, with only 12-13 minutes of library cues (not enough to swap out for "Children"); Disc 3 paired the Courage scores; and Disc 4 had the two Duning scores that were recorded back-to-back, so it made sense to keep them together. Disc 1 had two unrelated scores, but they were both from very early in the season, so it wouldn't have made sense to push one back to disc 5. Which means that disc 5 was the only open slot left for "Children."

    It's interesting. George Duning was one of the two major TOS composers who didn't work on season 1 at all (Jerry Fielding being the other -- I don't think Samuel Matlovsky counts as "major"), but in season 3 he did more music than any other individual composer. Let's see, for season 1, in terms of total minutes of music, Courage did the most (if you count the pilots as part of the season, which, musically, they effectively were), and in season 2 it was Fried.
     
  20. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm surprised that, even after four decades of loving this music, that I'm enjoying the third season scores as much as I am. Maybe because most of them never got any kind of representation (except the three suites). Whatever the reason, I am addicted to Spock's Brain and Elaan of Troyius the most. Spectre of the Gun and Is There in Truth No Beauty? are also favorites, and it's still tough to get the suite reorchestrations out of my expectations while listening. The wailing trumpets in Beauty are a little crazy in the episode, but I love them on album. There is a lot of energy and excitement in these third season scores. Yet there was also so much haunting music which gave the season a very spooky quality. This was oddly appropriate for its 10 pm timeslot and the jettisoning of most of the humor.

    Way back in The Man Trap, I was also surprised at the amount of music not used in the episode. I can see why, I guess; it's all so damned lonely and depressing. The "Conference" cue is enough to drive a person to suicide. I want to layer this music over the scene to see how it plays. Man Trap is the perfect score for the episode, but it is SUCH a tough listen. I love it, but for playing in the car, it's inappropriate. Yet his very next score, The Naked Time, is so much different. Still very somber, but a little more lively and upbeat by comparison.

    I'm not one to go back and recreate all the tracked episodes (a daunting task), but I think I'll spend a little time to fill out the partial scores of Corbomite and Balance of Terror with their tracked music. Just for grins (I did some music placement in my playlist for Mirror Mirror to get the fight and Mudd's Perfidy cues in the right spots). A lot of the overlapping will make some of this difficult, but I can see why this was done. It has to be a listenable album first and an archive second. Still, I do miss having the cue breaks in The Cage and WNMHGB. And, since the music of WNMHGB is supposed to represent the unaired pilot, there should be a commercial break pause after Power Man as we go from Kirk calling the ship to the orbit shot of The Enterprise. But there ya go.