Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Music Of Farscape

The sounds of Farscape entirely complement the series with its otherworldly peculiarness. I love it. The compositions mix the strange with the ethereal. The music was entirely the work of Subvision and Guy Gross. Nothing set the tone for the shoot down the wormhole better than the series' theme song.
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The Theme from Farscape was composed by Chris, Toby and Braedy Neal, the core of Subvision. The creators wanted something between "medieval" and "tribal" according to Farscape The Illustrated Companion. According to that book, the networks were not pleased with the final music production largely due to the the feminine thread that ran through the piece. The female vocal component was provided by Avigail Herman. Fortunately just about all involved felt very strongly about the plan that was laid out by Brian Henson and felt very strongly about the piece created by Subvision. Composer Chris Neal recalls, "We felt we had to have some sort of yearning sound, a tribal feel, because that's the whole point of Farscape."
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One of the things I love about Farscape is the strong female current in the show. Henson, O'Bannon, Kemper and company have designed a show with strong male and equally strong female lead counterparts particularly in Aeryn Sun, Zhaan and Moya. Neal really brings that point home. "Moya's a female, there's a strong female presence in the cast, and there are all these people trying to find their way home." I love this point. Not only does the music emphasize this female sensuality throughout the series, but its represented symbolically through Moya as the mothership. Her female strength houses this band of characters as if carrying a child in her womb. There is something innately powerful about that image week after week and its conveyed positively throughout Season One and the series.
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I have the good fortune of having five unique Farscape CDs that have been released to date including Music From The Original Soundtrack Farscape [released by Crescendo], featuring music from Seasons One and Two and now well out of print. Also available are Volume One, Two and Three of Farscape Classics through La La Land Records. These three discs feature the compositions of Guy Gross and include the scores to the following episodes: Revenging Angel, Eat Me, Die Me Dichotomy, Into The Lion's Den Part 2: Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, The Choice and The Locket. Finally, Farscape The Peacekeeper Wars featuring Guy Gross and the Sydney Symphony and Cantillation . All of these La La Land Records releases are in low supply with Farscape Classics Volume One sold out.
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As far as musical compositions and soundtrack scores go you can't do better than those conducted for Farscape. The music easily ranks up there with the best of Star Trek, Space:1999 and Stargate SG-1.

6 comments:

John Kenneth Muir said...

SFF: Great look back at the wonderful and distinctive music of Farscape. I hadn't thought of it consciously as tribal, but my goodness, it sure is. It's rousing in some kind of almost primitive way, and I mean that as a total 100% compliment.

Thanks for a great post.

best,
JKM

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

My pleasure and thank you for your thoughts.

It's funny, some tremendous selections rank on these scores. I happen to be fortunate enough to have them should you desire a listen.

Season One of Farscape doesn't appear on the Classics collections, but there have been some interesting musical arrangements to accompany a host of episodes from that season.

Cheers and thank you again John.
SFF

Will said...

Hey,

Subvision's season 1 portions are some of my favorite tracks to listen to when I am in a 'score' mood. I think they were just as whacky as the show was and had an almost Public Enemy like Wall of Sound utilized in each track. It was certainly unique.

Now I feel bad about saying this but I thought Guy Gross was less imaginative HOWEVER, what a nice guy. He always took time out to talk to me and reply to emails when I had questions about the scoring process. He's very fan friendly. . .you should give him a shout!

Great review, as always.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Hey Will.

You certainly have a broad range of tastes and always a strong grasp on the material.

Glad you enjoyed the music like me.

I agree, some of Season One is pretty special and you're right, Subvision is just wild at times.

Neat that you've had some contact with Mr. Gross. Very cool. Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend and thanks for the great comment. SFF

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. Last week I was able to purchase all 5 CDs online at reasonable prices (well....one was $39 but the rest were not too bad) after reading your "review" of the music. I had been wanting to get the music for years but had never looked for it online until now. Your post was inspiring. I am currently enjoying ALL of it.

This rounds out my Farscape collection of comic books, tshirts and trading cards etc. and is actually much more enjoyable than the tshirts and trading cards :)

Thank you,
Kim

Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Nice of you to write. Thank you Kim.

I love just about everything Farscape myself. What an amazing series.
I agree the music is much more fun than a trading card collection.

Speaking of which, I actually wonder why I collected cards for so long, they are the least collectible things I enjoy.

Also, if it's worth noting, I cannot say enough about the music for the extremely underrated series DEFIANCE also written by Rockne S. O'Bannon.

I am a late convert to the show. If you haven't checked it out, please do. The show needs all the support it can get and it is easily as good as Farscape. I love Defiance as much.

The accompanying score and songs that are ALL original for the series make for a load of fun and listening pleasure.

Take care Kim
all the best
sff