Song: “All Along the Watchtower”
Artist: Bear McCreary
Album: Battlestar Galactica – Season 3
Movie soundtracks are probably the most frequent rendezvous point for music and science fiction. Who could forget John Williams’ iconic Star Wars theme or Jerry Goldsmith’s brutal, avant-garde score to The Planet of the Apes? For my money, no one is writing better music for Science Fiction these days than Battlestar Galactica composer Bear McCreary.
Over the course of four seasons, the music on Battlestar Galactica grew from little more than pounding tribal drums to a full blown orchestral score complete with rock guitars and world music elements. From the beginning, McCreary showed a Williams-like touch in creating leit-motifs for several of the main characters. Number 6 was almost always introduced by that insistent 9-note melody played on the gamelan.
As the show progressed, the music became an integral part of the story. Through McCreary, “All Along the Watchtower”, a Bob Dylan standard performed by every coffee shop strummer and sloppy bar band, received its most creative and moving arrangement since Hendrix. The fact that he poured so much life and originality into such an overplayed song is a true testament to the skill and creativity of this young composer.
Check out Bear McCreary’s Blog. It is full of great posts about his creative process as he composes music for film, TV, and video games.
Who is your favorite soundtrack composer?