Balancing both old school leitmotifs and modern musical themes, the score of Star Trek: Picard gets a brilliant vinyl release. We have an exclusive interview with the composers and a commentary from the showrunner Terry Sharp on the music of the show.
Star Trek: Picard the show follows Patrick Stewart’s iconic Starfleet hero Jean Luc Picard. The current season—picardthe third and final episode of—To highlighted veterans of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as new characters, with a cast that includes LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, and Michelle Hurd.
“When Stephen [Barton] and first sat down to consider the score of Star Trek: Picardthird season, we had a very specific goal in mind: to return to the soaring cinematic sound of Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Cliff Eidelman, Dennis McCarthy, and so many others had set for these legendary heroes so many years ago,” says Terry Matalas, the showrunner for seasons two and three of picard, in an exclusive quote for io9. “With this as our North Star, we’ve brought back many of those themes and patterns and established new ones like the Titan theme. As the season progressed we knew we needed another big hitter so we brought in Freddie [Wiedmann], who shared our same passion. We couldn’t be more proud of the result!
You can pre-order the vinyl from Lakeshore Records hereand scroll down for an exclusive interview with composers, Stephen Barton and Frederik Wiedmann.
Linda Codega, io9: What was it like trying to find the balance between original music and nostalgic use of the old star trek, especially The next generation, Leitmotifs this season?
Fredrik Wiedman: I would say the request to incorporate these brilliant melodic ideas from greats like Goldsmith, McCarthy, [Alexander] Courage, and so on, was both an immense privilege as well as a rather arduous task. These are some of the most iconic and well-known themes from the history of film music, so I personally felt a strong pressure to do justice to these pieces in the right context. I remember one scene in particular that I wrote, in a later episode, that literally made me sweat in my AC-cold studio—a very important scene to say the least, using a good part of these leitspatterns.
Stephen Barton: When Terry and I started talking about the story a few months before he started filming it, we both agreed that we really wanted to dive deep into the musical legacy, but also that we were going to need of a theme that worked very well in the way the First contact theme done in its respective movie, as well as a new ship theme for the Titan. These ideas have somehow merged into one; THE Titan theme, which underlies most of the season, really is the new main theme. So it was really both to weave in the legacy material –but also using the legacy “philosophy” and approach to new materials that Goldsmith and Horner in particular used. They have always added and reinvented, like all hiking composers, and we try to honor them all. It’s kind of like being asked to add 10 feet to the top of the Statue of Liberty. The first task is not to overturn everything! Which is a difficult but fun challenge writing over six hours of new music.
io9: What drove the decision to move picardIt is original main title theme in the credits and have a new, GNT-inspired opening instead?
Barton: I think in a way we realized that this story needed something new. In fact, we don’t use the picard theme for season 1 and 2 at all this season. The title card is made up of two tracks by Goldsmith, and the “main on end” is a reworked edition of First contact and the Company March Since GNTresulting in a version of Titan theme. First contact just felt because in its finest and most subtle form in this film it really is shown to be the theme of ‘spaceflight nostalgia’ (when Picard shows Lily Earth from space). We wanted to evoke that same feeling with the credits, and it felt like a more emotional ending to each episode, especially when they end with a dramatic beat.
io9: Were there any old themes or pieces you wanted to use this season that you couldn’t?
Wiedman: I don’t know of any that we couldn’t use. Terry Sharp had very specific ideas of where to place old themes throughout sseason three. He is incredibly knowledgeable about star trekthe musical history of , and was therefore able to guide us thanks to his expertise.
Barton: No, we had carte blanche! I think we had a self-imposed rule that it had to make sense. And that made us go back to what all these themes really mean. Some of that will only become clear with the whole season –especially the “busy man” pattern of Star Trek V. There are themes that we want to bring out the big picture, so to speak, and show in a new light, and those are specific themes when they first appeared that have taken on broader significance in the franchise since. We spent a lot of time thinking about these things.
The pre-order of picard the soundtrack is available via Lakeside Archives.
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