Caprica Series Soundtrack Album

capseriesalbum

This summer has been very exciting! I was recently announced as the composer for Joss Whedon’s new series, Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as well Starz’s epic new pirate drama “Black Sails.”  That same week, I was nominated for an Emmy for my Main Title Theme for “Da Vinci’s Demons.” My record label Sparks & Shadows shortly thereafter released my new soundtrack for the theatrical feature “Europa Report,” capping off a successful series of albums including “Da Vinci’s Demons” and  two albums of “Defiance.” Plus, I directed a music video and co-wrote a new song for a breathtaking time-lapse video! With all that happening to blog about, something very important silently slipped through the cracks, an event I’ve been eager to announce for several years: the release of my expanded soundtrack to the full series “Caprica.” I am thrilled to partner with my friends and La-La Land Records (for a fourteenth time!) to make this music available to fans in a two-disc limited edition CD (Click here to purchase).

“Caprica” was the prequel to the 2003 re-imagining of “Battlestar Galactica.” In its short life span, the series daringly explored worthy science fiction ideas and found its own fan base. My score to the two-hour pilot movie was released promptly, giving fans immediate access to a surprisingly restrained and melodic score that made immediate departures from the percussive bombast and world-music influence of my score for “BSG.” The series itself leaned away from the military overtones of its predecessor, but still continued to explore similar themes of digital self-identity, religious zealotry and the risks of corruption in power. These connections, however, were not enough to retain a significant percentage of the “BSG” fan base, and the series faltered badly in its time slot. Perhaps the unavoidable expectation that “Caprica” would be similar to “BSG” ultimately led to its downfall. “Caprica” was unceremoniously yanked off the air before the end of its first season.

The sudden cardiac arrest of the show put my hopes for a full series soundtrack album in deep freeze. The studio had little interest in promoting a series that died so quickly. Complicating matters, a corporate restructuring due to the purchase of NBC Universal understandably put all non-essential projects on the back burner. So, a follow-up release soundtrack for “Caprica” was on ice. Fan demand for the release of this music remained relentless, however. Thanks in part to the continued efforts of album producer Ford Thaxton, the studio finally allowed La-La Land Records to release this album. (Fans, take note: the squeaky wheel eventually gets the grease.  If there’s an album you want released, don’t let up pressure until you get it.)

At last given the greenlight to produce a soundtrack album, I set out to piece together the ultimate “Caprica” soundtrack.  With the pilot score already released, I knew I wanted to include as much new material as possible. I also wanted to represent the best of the pilot tracks as well, making this record the most satisfying collection of cues, if not the literal ‘complete’ collection. Some of my favorites, such as “A Tauron Sacrifice” and “Grieving,” had been trimmed for the pilot soundtrack, so here I restored them to their original lengths.

The most exciting parts of this album are obviously the stand-out new tracks that have lingered in ‘soundtrack purgatory’ for so long.

Perhaps the most essential cut on the record is the lyrical work for voices and chamber orchestra, “Capricoperatica.” The moving lyrics were written by novelist Laura Kalpakian (who happens to be my mother) and sung brilliantly by soprano Elissa Johnston and tenor Alessandro Juliani, best known as the actor who played Felix Gaeta on “BSG.” I highly recommend listening to this track while reading along with the lyrics. (Click here for my blog entry about it).

There are many fun source pieces that I wrote to expand our sense of the world. I produced a Tauron gangster rap song (“Voices of the Dead”), Jane Espenson and I collaborated on a rousing national anthem (“Caprica Abides”) and I brought in other bands to offer unique sounds (“I am a Man” by Young Beautiful in a Hurry and “Was Love” by Captain Ahab).

This record includes two instrumental cues that are probably my favorite from the entire series: “Apotheosis” and “The Differently Sentient.” These cues represent the last two acts of the final episode and I strove to bring a sense of epic importance and closure, while simultaneously setting up the promise of further mysteries and adventure (I did not realize at the time that I was scoring my final episode of “Caprica” ever).

This release of “Caprica” also marks only the second time I’ve allowed for the release of my sketches and demos (the three-CD set of “Human Target” was the first). “Tauron Ceremony Song (Sketch)” comes from early in my creative process, as I strove to generate a variation of the Tauron Theme for an on-camera singer for Episode 05. The album also contains a version featuring Raya Yarbrough that I produced specifically for the album.

“Cerberus Dance (Demo)” is a fun track I produced to inspire the on-camera dancing in Cerberus’ drag club in Episode 08. I wanted to explore the relationship between big band swing music and the swing feel found in traditional taiko music. Admittedly, my musical ideas in this case never really gelled and I was relieved that the entire number was ultimately cut from the show. (For a fantastic example of a composer exploring this combination with much better results, listen to Jeremy Zuckerman’s recent soundtrack to “The Legend of Korra.”)

I also included two theme sketches: one for the Main Series Theme and one for New Cap City. These types of sketches are always helpful when I’m beginning a new project, because I can develop my ideas without having the restraints of matching picture. I am free to explore mood, energy and melody. Generally, no one but the executive producer or director ever hears these sketches, and sometimes even they never hear them. I included sketches on this “Caprica” record because I wanted to reward fans with something extra special for staying so vocal about this one and making it possible for the record to be released.

Lastly, check out the track “Graystone Plays Nomion Variations.” This piece is a variation of Stu Phillips’ composition “Exploration,” from the classic “Battlestar Galactica” of the 1970′s. I introduced this into our mythology as a composition by the fictional composer Nomion during the final season of “BSG.”  For “Caprica,” I thought it would be fun to expand that idea by suggesting Nomion is a composer who also had an influence on Daniel Graystone. Honestly, the whole concept is kinda crazy and complicated.  For more details, just check out my “Caprica” blog for “Rebirth” or my three-part blog entry about “Someone to Watch Over Me:” PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank each and every one of you reading this right now. If you’ve made this far into this blog entry, I can safely assume you were a member of the online mob of vocal fans who helped let the world know that demand for this album outlived the life-span of the series. I am incredibly proud of the work I did on this series, and thrilled that it has survived in the collective memory of fans. Thank you for listening.

The album is available now on CD from La-La Land Records. Click here to purchase.  The complete track listing is below.

So Say We All!

-Bear

disc1

DISC 1:

1. Caprica Main Title
2. Caprica Abides
__Music by Bear McCreary
__Lyrics by Jane Espenson
__Featuring Steve Amerson, vocals
__From the Episodes: “Rebirth”and “Apotheosis”
3. Apotheosis
__From the Episode: “Apotheosis”
4. All Of This Has Happened
__Music and Lyrics by Brendan McCreary
__Performed by Young Beautiful in a Hurry
__From the Episode: “The Imperfections of Memory”
5. New Cap City
__From the Episode: “There is Another Sky”
6. Lacey and the Cylon
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
7. Vergis’ Dream
__From the Episode: “Know Thy Enemy”
8. Pact of Brothers
__From the Episode: “Dirteaters”
9. Grieving (Alternate Version)
__From the Episode: Pilot
10. Control and Power
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
11. Caprica Buccaneers Theme
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
12. Burlesque
__Remixed by Jonathan Snipes
__From the Episode: “Ghosts in the Machine”
13. Amanda’s Forgiveness
__From the Episode: “False Labor”
14. Barnabus
__From the Episode: “Retribution”
15. Cerberus Dance (Demo)
__From the Episode: “Ghosts in the Machine”
16. Through the Paces
__From the Episode: “Ghosts in the Machine”
17. Lacey’s Test
__From the Episode: “Blowback”
18. Clarice Willow
__From the Episodes: “Rebirth,” “Reins of a Waterfall” and “Gravedancing”
19. Tauron Ceremony Song (Piano Sketch)
__From the Episode: “There is Another Sky”
20. Lacey and Zoe (Expanded Version)
__From the Episode: Pilot
21. Capricoperatica
__Music by Bear McCreary
__Lyrics by Laura Kalpakian
__Featuring Elissa Johnston and Alessandro Juliani, vocals
__From the Episode: “End of Line”

disc2

 DISC 2:

1. Caprica Abides (Instrumental Version)
__From the Episodes: “Rebirth” and “Apotheosis”
2. The Differently Sentient
__From the Episode: “Apotheosis”
3. Amanda’s Ephiphany
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
4. Rites of Passage
__From the Episode: “There is Another Sky”
5. New Cap City Theme (Demo)
6. Voices of the Dead
__Featuring Brendan McCreary, vocals
__From the Episode: “Reins of a Waterfall”
7. The Dive Bar
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
8. The Cylon Whisperer
__From the Episode: “The Heavens Will Rise” and “Here Be Dragons”
9. Daniel Captures the Code (Expanded Version)
__From the Episode: Pilot
10. Dirt Eaters
__From the Episode: “Dirteaters”
11. Healing Wounds
__From the Episode: “Reins of a Waterfall”
12. Gemenon
__From the Episode: “Unvanquished”
13. I Am A Man
__Music and Lyrics by Brendan McCreary
__Performed by Young Beautiful in a Hurry
__From the Episode: “Gravedancing”
14. Was Love
__Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Snipes
__Performed by Captain Ahab
__From the Episode: “Gravedancing”
15. Tamara Kills
__From the Episode: “There is Another Sky”
16. Here Be Dragons
__From the Episode: “Here Be Dragons”
17. A Tauron Sacrifice (Expanded Version)
__From the Episode: Pilot
18. Waltz for Zoe
__From the Episode: “Unvanquished”
19. Death of the Guatrau
__From the Episode: “Apotheosis”
20. Tauron Ceremony Song
__Featuring Raya Yarbrough, vocals
__From the Episode: “There is Another Sky”
21. Graystone Plays Nomion Variations
__Includes “Exploration” by Stu Phillips
__From the Episode: “Rebirth”
22. Caprica Theme (Sketch)