Audio: On the Score with Bear McCreary

By • February 5, 2013

ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records

In the “Battlestar Galactica” prequel “Blood & Chrome,” a hotshot Viper pilot named William Adama is determined to make a name for himself by blazing a destructive path through the Cylons bent on wiping out humanity. In somewhat the same way, “Chome’s” young scoring Turk Bear McCreary has proven to be as much of a formidable presence, blasting away the commonly held sci-fi TV scoring notions that space as a place best reserved for an orchestra.

What McCreary’s voyages through the universe travelled by Galactica (and every one of its numerous spin-offs and stand-along movies) on its way to Earth is a musical melting pot of spectacularly unique styles. Irish whistles and the African drums represent the multi-ethnic colonies, beautifully sinister percussion bubbles with the mix of flesh and metal for Cylon cyborgs, rock guitars probe the multi-colored star ways to sanctuary and militaristic drums punctuate the cat and mouse space battles between man and machine- the soul that connects both (whether they like it or not) hauntingly sung by McCreary’s wife Raya Yarbrough. And yes, a full, lush orchestra is there as well for that sense of epic musical tradition- let alone to kneel in reverence to the Stu Phillips theme that started the first show’s trek in 1978.

Nearly all of these approaches that McCreary has solely logged since teaming with Richard Gibbs on Galactica” 2003 pilot are present in “Blood & Chrome,” a show that takes this critically acclaimed cult program back to the reboot beginning for what’s likely “Battlestar’s” last, spectacular gasp in a one-shot that should have gone to series. But never fear that McCreary has ceased for one second in his seeming plans to conquer all of genre TV scoring with the kind of ruthlessly creative productivity that would make the Imperious Leader jealous.

Taking on even colder rhythms to resurrect the Terminators for “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” McCreary has created a symphonic spirit of super-heroic vengeance for “The Cape,” played real deal suspense for “The Human Target’s” danger-seeking impersonator, gotten a chance to go for the lighter-side of mad science for the country-fied cosmos of “Eureka” and rocked with the horror humor of “Holliston’s” monster mash. But perhaps no series has equaled, or arguably surpassed “Galactica’s” cult than “The Walking Dead,” a show whose realistic approach to a zombie holocaust has mostly kept McCreary’s music at bay for the past two seasons. That was until the show’s creative spring to life in its third edition, which has at last let McCreary unleash his full, terrifying abilities for rural horror to help the show reach a new level of gut spilling emotional impact.

Now with the start of the new cable season, McCreary is getting the chance to indulge in the musical days of future past, beginning with his inventive, classically lush orchestral energy for Starz’ “Da Vinci’s Demons,” then indulging in the mesmerizing strings and darkly percussive menace of his next alien invasion to hit SyFy for “Defiance.” Now on a new edition of “On the Score,” the tirelessly creative composer reflects on his dynamic upwards trajectory that’s made him the star composer of fantastical, fan-favorite television.

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To celebrate the forthcoming release of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME soundtrack, La-La Land Records is having an out-of-this world sale on all of its BSG titles. BSG MINI-SERIES, BSG SEASONS 1-4, BSG: THE PLAN/RAZOR and CAPRICA are all only $9.98 EACH. These sale prices are for a limited time and are only at www.lalalandrecords.com.

Bear McCreary’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME score album will be available at La La Land Records on March 16th, and the collected CAPRICA music this April.

Watch BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: BLOOD & CHROME this month on the SyFy Channel, starting Sunday February 10th at 9 PM. Or watch it online HERE

a Watch DA VINCI’S DEMONS, starting April 12th on Starz
a Watch DEFIANCE, starting April 15th on SyFy
a Visit Bear McCreary’s website

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