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

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

  1. Esteban

    Esteban Commander Red Shirt

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    Christopher's thoughtful help got me to thinking how important "curation" is.

    Regardless of how media is delivered, it still takes a human to digest it, analyze it, and index it in only the way a brain can index things.

    I suppose there is a programmatic way, a wiki, perhaps, that could do a pretty good job at accepting questions and delivering answers--

    hey, what's that cue in "Space Seed" as Khan delivers his "will you open your heart" speech to McGivers?*

    --but I would need someone to lower a "Teacher" on my head to figure it out.

    Point is, I have no point. It is indeed a Merry Christmas.

    And to you all....

    * "Lonely to Dramatic" by Mulendore.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, if all the cue sheets for all the episodes were put online, then it would be easy enough to construct a database that cross-linked the scenes with the cue titles. The Music of Star Trek includes a few cue sheets from tracked episodes already, so that's a start.
     
  3. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    I'd love to have the time (and tools) to assemble playlists for "tracked" episodes -- that would be a blast to listen to.

    Actually, I probably have all the tools. If only I had the time...
     
  4. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    Even though it's DRM-free, I'd be very surprised if I actually OWNED the copy.

    Which reminds me. I've been planning on buying an e-copy (I already have the hardcover) of Only Superhuman to read over the holiday break. I'll actually try and track down & read the licensing agreement and report back. Frankly, I'll be gobsmacked if it turns out I actually own it, rather than just license it.
     
  5. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The author and publisher have provided this e-book to you without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied so that you can enjoy reading it on your personal devices. This e-book is for your personal use only. You may not print or post this e-book, or make this e-book publicly available in any way. You may not copy, reproduce, or upload this e-book, other than to read it on one of your personal devices.
     
  6. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    We're getting down to what ownership and even "is-ness" is, here. I feel like I'm in the dorm lounge at 1:00 in the morning again.

    Owning is being able to prevent someone else from having or using "your" thing. Does it also mean being able to use it however you want? Maybe so. I'm processing all this as I write, which isn't the smartest thing to do.
     
  7. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But how about that Hideous Balok? Huh? Or the season 3 re-recordings of Where No Man Has Gone Before? Amirite?
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just listened to Season 2 Disc 3, and it was the first disc of the set thus far I found myself getting impatient with. Nothing to do with the disc itself, but since so much of the Mirror Mirror music is adapted from the music for Balance of Terror it was already feeling stale, and then having library cues of that same material and from By Any Other Name on the same disc right after those partial scores, it was too repetitive so I ejected it.

    On Disc 4 now and all is right with the world. :)
     
  9. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    I think you have a greater chance of drive or online storage failure than a fire or robbery.To be honest, in the past decade, I've heard more complaints of data loss and/or corruption than house fires or robberies, so the odds that CD set being a poor investment drop to a considerable degree.

    All of that aside, this is a one time investment with neverending benefits no matter what you end up doing with the data; its not like the old, expensive Time-Life music cd subscriptions for allegedly "complete" artist collections where one would easily spend hundreds on a few discs of material--most previously released and available just about anywhere.

    The TOS set is a one of a kind--likely once in a lifetime release (the generations with a deep appreciation for TOS ages by the day, andd not many Gen Y youngsters care at all), so this could be as "Holy Grail" a media release as we will ever see.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But there'd be no data loss if those people had remembered to make backup copies, which is what you're always supposed to do with all your data. It's not the fault of the medium if the users failed to take common-sense precautions.

    It's not a zero-sum choice between one or the other. There are virtues to both and drawbacks to both. Which is why it's good to have both, because the virtues of one can make up for the drawbacks of the other.
     
  11. KirkPicard

    KirkPicard Captain Captain

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    Received this treasure trove last Tuesday and have been listening through on my hour long commutes almost every work day since. The music is enabling me to boldly go through the traffic! So impressed with the presentation, audio quality, and comprehensiveness of this set. Such a pleasure to listen to the complete scores of my favorites, "The Enemy Within" and "The Doomsday Machine" by the inimitable Sol Kaplan. As well as "Metamorphosis" and "The Empath" by George Duning and all the marvelous scores and library cues by Courage, Steiner, et. al. The raw emotion expressed through these scores is staggering. Again, thanks to all that have been instrumental in all aspects of the release! Next time I watch an episode, I'm sure I will better mentally identify most if not all the music cues.
     
  12. gottacook

    gottacook Commander Red Shirt

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    With respect to the emotionality of the music: It would be interesting to learn how people who'd never seen the original TV series might react to some of these cues heard in isolation.

    George Duning in his two great season-3 scores for Empath and Is There composed some of the best music of the entire series on the basis of his response to the scripts as filmed; possibly he read earlier versions as well. And those scripts were just weird, even for Star Trek.* I have meditated about this for some 30 years. How was it that scripts that some people would call outright stinkers elicited such music?**

    *An early version of the Is There script that I saw, during my afternoon at the USC library's George Duning Star Trek archive in July 1985, was even weirder; it included (in the opening transporter-room scene) a crewman with a phaser rifle being instructed by Kirk to shoot anyone who accidentally viewed the Medusan.

    **There are some Empath-music-haters around, I know; they've been quiet lately. They wouldn't know poignant if it bit 'em in the ass.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Composers don't score to the script, they score to the rough cut of the film. There's no way the script would give them the information they needed about timing, mood, and the like. Generally the composer sits down with the producer or director for a spotting session -- going through the rough cut, deciding which scenes should be scored and which shouldn't, figuring out the timings, discussing the desired mood and musical approach, and so forth -- and then goes off and writes the score.

    As for why some of the weaker episodes like "Spock's Brain" or "And the Children Shall Lead" evoked such lush scores, part of a composer's job is to fill in the gaps -- to convey the aspects of a scene's mood and meaning that don't come across in the dialogue and visuals alone. So compensating for what isn't there is already part of the composer's job. The weaker the episode, the more the score has to carry it.
     
  14. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    Re. Digital v. Hard copy: Though I think I would prefer a digital download of the music at hand, I wrote and self-published a book and have resisted e-formatting it. I labored so hard over trim size, typesetting, picture placement, page layout, cover, I am not allowing someone's random ereader to undo all that. Control-freakish, I admit. But I visualized the whole thing, the holding, the seeing, where certain icons appear, as an experience. It's not just information.

    (And yes, I realize I did not tell the title, because I think we're not supposed to advertise here. It's a motivational book based on stories from the life of Louis Armstrong with practices and listening links each chapter. It's on Amazon. Message me and I'll tell you more if you're interested.)
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Well, sure, there are going to be works that are more suited to a given format than others. But individual examples aren't universal rules. You're perfectly entitled to want your work to be presented in a certain format if that format is important to the artistic integrity of that particular work; but that has exactly nothing to do with the relative merits of digital vs. hardcopy in general terms.
     
  16. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I really don't think I was trying to make a general comment on the relative merits of digital v. hardcopy. Just throwing another example into the mix.

    Remember, I said I think I'd actually prefer download of the Trek music. I don't generally buy cds at all, thanks to Grooveshark. But I do buy old vinyl for the historicity, aesthetics, and (frankly) conditioning from my youth associating pleasure with vinyl records. But if I want pristine sound, I am skipping the plastic and going direct to data stream.
     
  17. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm. Any cues in particular?

    (My TOS familiarity comes mostly from the Blish novelizations; I've seen all of season 1 at least once, as well as I believe with season 2, but it's been a while and I certainly don't have strong memories of most of the cues. So while not a "pure" TOS virgin, I might be close enough for government work. ;))
     
  18. gottacook

    gottacook Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, I know all that and didn't mean to suggest otherwise. But I cannot believe that Duning came up with the Empath score in only a matter of weeks (while working on Is There for the same deadline, the early-September scoring session). Filming of The Empath didn't conclude until early August; somewhere I have the exact date (the call sheet in the USC archive for the last day of filming specified CLOSED SET for the 4th act; that, I remember).

    The main theme - and especially its long extension in the 4th act - has a rhythmic suppleness that is most unusual and likely involved a lot of trial and error, trying different combinations of note values to achieve the desired flow of melody and the corresponding harmonic rhythm. That is, the main theme has no "pulse" or definite upbeat/downbeat pattern; the meter seems always to be changing.

    Yet the music that develops from this is coherent anyway because of frequent use of the first notes of the original statement of the Gem theme, with the second note a minor third up from the first note (just like the first two notes of the main themes of Metamorphosis, Return to Tomorrow, and Is There) and, like those other scores, continuing with many additional skips up and down by a third, as is characteristic of Duning's melodies; indeed, the first five notes of the Return theme are nothing but upward motion by alternating minor and major thirds - for example, A-C-E-G-B or D-F-A-C-E. (The first six notes of Gem's theme are those same five notes from Return plus an added note to give stepwise motion - e.g., A-C-E-F-G-B.)

    The rhythmic suppleness necessary for the poignancy that The Empath demanded couldn't have been quick and easy to achieve, unless Duning had written something independently months or years earlier that turned out to be appropriate or at least adaptable.* Hence, I think Duning had early knowledge of the script. If he wasn't provided with such early knowledge, he should have been in this special case, because of the several long dialogue-free passages that any version of the script would have had to include.

    *Such things do happen. When the magazine I work for began its weekly podcast, 6 or 7 years ago, I was asked to supply some music (being the only staff member with a musical academic background), and it turned out that something I'd improvised and recorded as a teenager in the 1970s - as part of "program music" describing an invitational youth-group basketball tournament I'd attended, of all things - was ideally suited to be the basis of the main podcast theme.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, sure, I recycle old ideas all the time in my writing, and I know other writers do too. It stands to reason that composers, like writers, have plenty of leftover bits that they keep in a drawer for when the right occasion to use them comes along.

    Interesting analysis of Duning's style. I know that different composers have their own characteristic voices and signatures, but I've never really broken it down in that much detail. (Except for simple things like David Bell's scores for the later Trek shows almost always being in waltz time.)
     
  20. TV's Frank

    TV's Frank Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It could also be that Duning was just incredibly talented and able to work under this kind of pressure. Someone might scoff at the notion that Jerry Goldsmith composed the score for "Chinatown" in 10 days, but he did it, it's a fact. The thing is, he was more insanely talented musically than any of us here, plus this was a career he had been doing for decades. Duning was already proficient at film and TV scoring, so he was accustomed to working fast and again, was exponentially more talented musically than any of us talking about this set.
     

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