Friday, May 16, 2008

Gaeta’s Lament

Bear McCreary has an in depth essay on his blog about the song "Gaeta's Lament" written for Guess What's Coming To Dinner:

This episode is a special one for me, because it represents the first time I’d been brought onboard at the script level. The scoring process is generally the last step in the journey of completing an episode. I’m accustomed to writing music for a finished story. Here, I had the unique opportunity to help shape the musical identity before production even began. Writer Michael Angeli, director Wayne Rose and actor Alessandro Juliani and I all worked closely together to bring this song to the screen.

...Michael [Angeli] sent me his lyrics and I set out shaping them into a song. The lyrics were poignant and melancholy, but with an odd sense of hope, setting an ambiguous emotional tone that suits our show’s music very well. To create the melody for the Lament, I started with a melody conceived for Gaeta in Season 1, an idea that ultimately never developed fully. However, in this context, it fit perfectly.

I shaped Angeli’s lyrics into a simple Verse / Pre-Chorus / Chorus structure. The line “To have her, please, just one day wake” really struck me. So, I set it as the Chorus, making it the most powerful and emotional moment in the song.


Read the entire post at Bear's blog for really informative quotes from Michael Angeli, and Alessandro Juliani about their collaboration.

Bear reports that he's currently in Vancouver on set:
Guess What’s Coming to Dinner was a wonderful experience for me, but it would not be the last time the writers asked me for music at the script stage. In fact, I’ve been working with writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle for two months on their final script for the series (the fourth to last episode of them all). This episode will integrate music directly into the story in incredibly daring ways.

And the timing of tonight’s episode is ironic. Guess What’s Coming to Dinner, the first episode to feature music recorded on the set, happens to premiere at the same time as I’m actually on the set myself, supervising new on-set Galactica music. I’m literally sitting on the hangar deck set in Vancouver right now, as I write this blog from my laptop!

I’m here for two weeks helping out with Weddle and Thompson’s new, unusually musical episode. I am observing on-set instrumental performances and even composing original music each night, churning out sheet music pages for the next day’s shoot. And they are allowing the show’s score to evolve in an unprecedented manner. Frak, this upcoming episode may perhaps redefine the role that music can play in narrative.


Something else to look forward to, probably in 2009...

14 comments:

radii said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
radii said...

How can it be expressed? All one could have hoped for and more. Guess What's Coming to Dinner blew the doors off! BSG is going exactly where I'd hoped and in strange and amazing ways ... and Gaeta's Lament - unexpected, bold, strangely beautiful in that Bronze Age way ... and portentious. I was reminded of the song sung by Britt Ekland's character in the original 1973 version of the brilliant film The Wicker Man. Gaeta gave a look - can he be the final Cylon? What of Roslin's visions and her sensing of events before they happened? I'm numb.

CaptPorridge said...

2009? What the Frak???

Anonymous said...

I'm OK with integrating music into BSG in creative ways, however I hope it doesn't turn into an episode of Cop Rock.

Logan Gawain said...

@captporridge, odds are that the second half of season 4 might not air until early 2009. They could start airing this fall, so let's be hopeful.

@anonymous, I believe I know the nature of what Bear is referring to for that future episode, and you don't have to worry about it being a Cop Rock episode.

Luigi said...

Why should we be resigned to the series ending in 2009? If we make a big enough fuss about it, maybe, just maybe, the SciFi execs will do the right thing and air the finale half in the Fall.

If there are TV movies that come out in the Fall (up to 3 as rumored), that won't be so bad (essentially 6 hours of BSG to tide us over until the 10 final hours in 2009).

jadedshock said...

I have always loved the music of BSG and this episode just deepened my appreciation. I'm so glad Bear and the writers chose to have Alessandro sing to voice Gaeta's pain, as well as the pain of others around him and the actions of the opera house fleshing out. A truly memorable episode.

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Anonymous said...

jadedshock said...

My sense is that it was planned. In the previous episode (Faith) Starbuck made reference to hearing the Base Star and Leoben said something about music and that Starbuck might be sensitive enough to hear it. Maybe Gaeta can too. Then again it's been my theory that he's the 5th Cylon. He went through great pain (one of the 1st Hybrid's statements) and he even looked like a hybrid the way the showed him at the end of the show. Time to snap out of my crazy theory rant. Sorry.

Brisotope said...

The melody was nice, but it just seemed like it was done for the sake of doing it. I kept wanting them to get back to the story and off of Gaeta.

CaptPorridge said...

Thanks for the clarification, that was the first time I heard that the possibility the series could be broken up.

Bear's Blog is simply amazing, the amount of time and effort he puts into sharing the creative process is so far beyond the call of duty it's unbelievable.
Whatever you guys are paying him for his contribution, you need to quadruple it.
Anyway, about the splitting of the series in half...I shudder to think what the cliff hanger we'll be left with!

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