Friday, March 4, 2016

Music to give you chills

Ever hear music on the radio that gave you chills, so that you had to go out and buy the CD? That happened recently as I listened to a classical FM station. It wasn’t anything by Bach or Brahms. It was music from the movie GalaxyQuest.

I’m serious. Anyone who has seen the movie will associate comedy with the main theme, as Captain Nesmith (Tim Allen) and his alien sidekick (Alan Rickman), the engineer, the navigator, and the woman who did nothing but repeat the computer went off and . . . I’m not sure what they were trying to do. But behind, beneath, and above all that was the music.

The composer, David Newman, used to play violin for the background music for the old Star Trek, so you know he understands this sort of thing. He said in an interview on The Score (more on that show in a moment), that he did not set out to compose humorous music. He set out to write music for a great space adventure movie.

He succeeded. Beyond the main theme, the music he composed was remarkably complex. The piece that gave me chills was when they went in a shuttle down to the planet, then made their way to the mine. Yes, the actors were doing silly things, especially Tony Shalhoub looking weird, and Tim Allen diving around for no reason, but ignore all that. The music is brilliant.

I heard it on The Score, which plays on many classical stations. The host plays symphonic movie music, so it’s partway between classical and popular. He often has interviews with the composers, so it’s worth your time to see if it plays in your area. 

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