As many of my friends and some of my readers know, I like to collect movie and television soundtracks. I listen to them to set a mood and achieve the right frame of mind while writing.
Recently, for a project I was working on, I rectified a long-standing gap in my collection. I purchased some of the soundtracks from episodes of the original Star Trek TV series.
The first CD was Alexander Courage’s original score to the show’s two pilots, “The Cage” and “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”
Like the episodes themselves, the music on this disc contains the essence of what I later came to think of as the quintessential musical personality of Star Trek, but it feels rough and unpolished. It’s minimalist and at times almost atonal. It was interesting, but also somewhat devoid of emotional impact, at least for me.
The second CD I acquired was Star Trek, Vol. 2, which contains the scores from “The Doomsday Machine” and “Amok Time.” Wow! What a great disc. Remastered from the original tapes, the sound quality is brilliant. And this is the music that, for me, defined the sound of the classic Star Trek.
I wish I’d had both these discs while writing my first three Star Trek Vanguard novels.
Rounding out my soundtrack purchase this time around was Michael Giacchino’s score for the new Star Trek film. While some fans have decried the “bombast” and over-the-top emotionalism of Giacchino’s music, I enjoy it a great deal, and I think it will provide an ideal backdrop for one of my upcoming writing projects.