01/07/2009. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
CD pub: La-La Land Records LLLCD 1098. 18 tracks 54:04 minutes. Price: $15.99(US), £ 9.99 (UK).
check out website: www.lalalandrecords.com and www.bearmccreary.com
Having concluded the dramatic final season of SF TV show 'Battlestar Galactica', Ron Moore and his team have turned to a new series in the same universe, 'Caprica'. It follows events in the Twelve Colonies of Kobol 58 years prior to the catastrophic destruction of the colonies by the robotic Cylons in the pilot of 'Battlestar'. The pilot of 'Caprica' introduces lawyer Joseph Adama, father of future Admiral William Adama, as well as industrialist Daniel Graystone.
The series has been promised a different feel to the gritty, post 9/11 survival against all odds tone of 'Galactica'. The opulent, successful Twelve Colonies will be seen at the height of their powers, arrogant, glitzy and doomed to fall victim to their own over-confidence. Driven by a loss in the family, Graystone uses his wealth to begin developing artificial intelligence, a decision that will lead to the devastating war between the robotic Cylons and humankind.
Bear McCreary, who scored all four seasons of 'Battlestar Galactica', returns to create the soundtrack for the new show. Like the premise, McCreary's composition for 'Caprica' is very different in mood to his previous work, focusing far more on airy, light orchestral pieces with only hints to the darker, more explosive compositions found during the war.
The pilot's soundtrack is a nice disk to listen to, less immediate but more soothing than the 'Battlestar' CDs. It frequently has slow, quiet and reflective tracks such as 'Grieving' and 'Zoe's Avatar' which delicately hint at more subtle and guarded emotions than the sister series' all-out war.
The instruments used in this CD are more traditional than those experimented on by McCreary in the past, with the focus on strings and woodwind dominated pieces. Ethnic instruments and in particular drums are used sparingly but effectively, hinting at darker moments to come. The guitar-driven ensemble pieces that characterised episodes like 'Black Market' aren't to be found here yet.
The CD feels like a statement of intent for the lighter intent of the new series, focusing on the undercurrents of trouble in a successful world, much more like a futuristic equivalent of our own. There are flashes of dark motifs lurking amidst the orchestral pieces but they are cleverly obscured for the most part by sweeping, confident themes, much in the same way the series intends to build towards tragic consequences of a world in the thrall of technology developing quicker than it can cope with the ramifications of its use.
Tomas L. Martin
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