Film Music Friday: Like Composer, Like Son

Hi again,

I’m trying something new with this post.  Much in the vein of my occasional Favorite “Forgotten” Films entries, I’m using today’s musings to launch a new series (to say nothing of further motivation to update this blog more regularly).

The title more or less speaks for itself; Film Music Friday will be my opportunity to share some of the scores I’ve collected and enjoyed over the years, along with some fun facts about their composition and recording.  Not so much reviews, these posts are really just fun you-gotta-hear-this stories.  Hope you enjoy them…

Me being Lee Hurtado and all, it’ll likely surprise none of you that the inaugural post will focus on my favorite composer, Jerry Goldsmith; or that it’ll focus on one of the five scores he composed for the Star Trek franchise (of course I’ve already covered the first, as it’s my all-time favorite film score).

In 1996, Goldsmith signed on to compose the music for the franchise’s eighth film, Star Trek: First Contact.  It really was a no-brainer; his theme for Star Trek: The Motion Picture had been adopted (or, if you will, assimilated) for the Next Generation crew, so it was well nigh inevitable that he’d return to bring his brand of epic romanticism to the adventures of Jean-Luc Picard.

But this time, he didn’t come alone, as Goldsmith recruited his son Joel to help write the themes for First Contact‘s villains of choice, the Borg.

Though Joel Goldsmith was a fine composer in his own right (his work on Roland Emmerich’s underrated Moon 44 proved he’d learned all the right lessons from his dad), the film’s director had reservations.  Jonathan Frakes wanted Jerry Goldsmith, and was skeptical about accepting “substitutes.”

But Jerry being Jerry, he was prepared.  When the Goldsmiths played their demo for the Borg themes, Frakes was blown away twice: once on hearing it, and again on discovering that it was entirely Joel’s work.  Today, the director happily admits he was wrong about that call.

And the results speak for themselves.  The menace of Joel’s Borg cues is perfectly countered, and ultimately overcome, by the hope of Jerry’s “First Contact” theme, and the score brings a new spin to the classic motifs of TMP (hearing that iconic Klingon march revived as Worf’s Theme is but one of its pleasures).   First Contact is pure Star Trek, pure Goldsmith, and it’s a worthy addition to the franchise.

So, if you haven’t already, you really should check it out.

And that’s it for my first Film Music Friday post.  Hope you liked it – if you have any suggestions, any scores you’d like me to write about, please let me know.

Thanks as always for following along.  Until next time, “engage…”

(Yeah, you really had to know that was coming…)

One thought on “Film Music Friday: Like Composer, Like Son

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