Melodic Treks: A Star Trek Music Podcast
6: A Melodic Orbit

Amok Time.

The Vulcan marriage ritual gave us more than just epic fight scenes, it also gave us epic music. The theme from "Amok Time"—"The Ancient Battle/2nd Kroykah"—has transcended Star Trek and gone on to appear in numerous shows and films, ranging from Futurama to The Cable Guy. And as much as T'Pau would like to claim credit for this success, we really have Gerald Fried to thank. It was his creative genius and composition skills that brought the koon-ut-kal-if-fee to life through sound.

In this episode of Melodic Treks we're joined by Drew Stewart and Mike Schindler of Standard Orbit for a cross-show exploration of "Amok Time." We team up to discuss the music as well as Gerald Fried and his inspiration. Then, tune in to Standard Orbit for a discussion and commentary of the actual episode.

Direct download: mt-006.mp3
Category:Music from Episodes -- posted at: 9:00pm MST

5: Don't Be a Square

Vic Fontaine and DS9's Jazz.

Deep Space Nine benefited from more of a hands-off approach from the studio compared to the other series. And the moment at which the writing staff really knew they could do whatever they wanted was when they introduced Vic Fontaine and no one said "stop." In this episode of Melodic Treks, Colin takes you on a trip to Quark's Bar to spend some time with DS9's King of Swing. We talk about the "man," his music, the effect he had on those around him, and, of course, we venture into Vic's real-life counterpart, James Darren—who, in addition to working with the DS9 crew, also worked with none other than William Shatner. Thankfully, in that case, no singing was involved.

Direct download: mt-005.mp3
Category:Music from Episodes -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

Five Favorites.

When La-La Land Records released a comprehensive collection of music from The Original Series, it required 15 CDs. And that was just the music from 80 episodes, many of which recycled elements. That’s a lot of music. So with 728 episodes and films in all, it’s an almost impossible task to pick just five favorites. But that is exactly what we aim to do in this episode of Melodic Treks as we’re joined by writer, composer, podcaster, and Trekkie Rick Moyer. Rick is the first guest to pick his five favorites compositions from across the Star Trek franchise. Some may surprise you, but there are some firm fan-favorites as well. So enjoy listening to Rick’s picks, and stick around for the end when we get to hear one of his own compositions from his parody website.

Direct download: mt-004.mp3
Category:Five Favorites -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

3: Holst the Klingon

The Klingon Battle Theme.

To know that Klingons are going into battle, you don’t need to see a Bird-of-Prey swooping across the screen or an armor-clad warrior wielding a mek’leth. No, all you need to do is use your ears. The iconic music cues of the Klingons tell you all you need to know.

In this episode of Melodic Treks, Colin Higgins delves into another iconic piece of music, the "Klingon Battle.” Originally envisaged as a stand-alone piece to convey one scene, it has become synonymous with the Klingons. We explore the piece’s composer, its influence on all Trek that came after The Motion Picture, and how Gustav Holst may have contributed to its sound.

Direct download: mt-003.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

2: The Pied Piper of Kataan

Picard’s Flute Solo from The Inner Light.

One of the most memorable musical elements from The Next Generation was the beautiful flute solo from “The Inner Light.” During his time on the planet Kataan, Captain Picard learned to play the Ressikan flute, and the journey to master the melody went hand in hand with the passing of the years. 

In this episode of Melodic Treks, Colin Higgins brings you the background of the melody that Picard (as Kamin) played at his son’s naming ceremony—a piece of music that is beloved by TNG fans and well known to nearly every Star Trek fan. We delve into the composer, Jay Chattaway, the performer, Brice Martin, and follow the journey of the actual flute through the series and up to its auction.

Direct download: mt-002.mp3
Category:Music from Episodes -- posted at: 8:00pm MST

1: The Beginning

Alexander Courage and the TOS Theme.

The first music ever heard in Star Trek was the theme composed by Alexander Courage. No one at the time could have imagined that the ascending minor seventh that would kick off a short-lived science fiction series would go on to be one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the world. Yet over the course of nearly fifty years Courage’s composition has spawned many others as the melodic foundation of the Star Trek franchise.

In this episode of Melodic Treks, Colin Higgins takes you through the history of the TOS theme, the career of Alexander Courage, and how the theme has been utilized throughout the evolution of the franchise. You’ll also learn about the classical inspirations from the work of Mahler and Bruckner, and the soprano behind the haunting sound of the theme, Loulie Jean Norman. Plus, you may want to throw on some bell-bottom pants as we get down with Nichelle Nichols for a disco version—complete with the original lyrics written by Gene Roddenberry.

Direct download: mt-001.mp3
Category:Composers -- posted at: 8:00pm MST