Monday, January 22, 2007

The Robotech Score

I wrote my review of Shadow Chronicles (see here) and I mentioned briefly that, even though I liked very much the music used, I would have liked them to have used some more familiar themes throughout the piece.

Never would have I guessed that the actual composer of the film, Scott Glasgow, would reply to this. (I can't help but imagine that it had something to do with this report of my review.)
Now as for "more of the music from the original show"-- The director and I set out to make it fresh and new (like what happened between Star Trek 1 and Star Trek 2).. I tried updating a couple of the other themes (Zentradi theme, Biomech theme) and it simply did not work for me--- they sounded dated from a CHORD and HARMONY perspective and not to menation the synths were painfully bad.. Also, frankly I just didn't like them,, it need a fresh new modern take on this,, so that is what we did.. I feel it was a good choice for me as a composer (working in someone elses shoes is very hard from an artistic sense)..

remember how many times you have seen a revitalization of an old series / movie to only hear very small bits of the original music--- think of Superman Returns (which is a good example) or the new Batman (which had NONE of Elfman's music).. There are millions of examples --- I watched GODZILLA (the Dean Devlin one) and there David Arnold had a brilliant score with not one ounce of Ifukube's music and I think it was better that way,, not to say anything is bad about Ifukube's music--- its just dated (just like Ulpio's tracks for Robotech)..

None-the-less,, I hope you understand what a tremendous amount of work it was to score this film and appreciate what I did bring to this new film.. I really went for that Star Wars treatment where the themes are all woven in to the textures of the film.. You will hear the love theme for one second before going into the heros theme..

Take another listen (and watch) you will hear more of the original theme than you think--- remember when one of our charactors dies to save his buddies? The "taps" funeral trumpet theme is actually a slowed down version of the main title by Ulpio! Another moment is at the beginning when the fighter pilots "race back" to the moon base--- that is also the main title arraged completly differently.. It is everywhere but just not obvious..

Give it another listen and hopefully my work will grow on you too.. The CD is coming out a week after the DVD (if you were curious)..

Scott Glasgow
(composer of Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles).
So, there you have it. Straight from the horses mouth the deal with the score. I'm certainly going to keep an eye out for the new cues. I will certainly be buying the DVD and watching it along with the rest of my Robotech discs.

And I did notice "To be in Love" humming around in the background in that officers club. I kept thinking to myself that the scene would cut to a bunch of drunken pilots, arm in arm and lost in love singing the classic tune, but it never happened. That would have been golden.

Then, I mentioned that I thought half of Robotech's charm is that they had all the same cues for the entire series. It was cheesy, but you really learned to love those cues.

I'm excited for more Robotech and I'll be there if they put them out theatrically... Which they should talk to me about, their theatrical release could have been much larger, even from DVD... (yes.... they projected the version I saw from DVD.) I booked This Divided State on 30 screens (good ones, too) across the country and from DVD. I could take over the world with a Robotech movie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally disagree with Scot Glasgow. His take on new movies not having alot of the original music themes of the older versions is totally off. Superman Returns was a very good nod to the 1978 one, with in fact many of John Williams' themse woven very inconspicuously into the new movie. Also, composer John Ottman stated that this is the Return of Superman, and should spark a new chapter in the saga as opposed to just being back.

Batman Begins, composer Hans Zimmer also totally went for a fresh approach, just like the way Wayne became Batman for the very first time. Danny Elfman's score would have been totally not appropriate for a deep version of Batman for Christopher Nolan's vision. Trust me, throwing in Elfman's Batman theme when Christian Bale puts on the suit would have totally taken away all the seriousness of Batman's psyche and just have the audience non-caringly throw popcorn all over the place.

As much as an advocator I am of being respectful to previous incarnations, it really depends on the new film on what it is about. That takes higher priority then making a 'new film' just for an iconic theme to 'act' in.