Original Star Trek Composer Gerald Fried Gives New Soundtrack Set A Special Launch
The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood California was the host of an amazing Star Trek event. The release on December 4th of the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES SOUNDTRACK COLLECTION. It is a limited edition 15-CD box set that features all episode scores as heard in all three original seasons of the landmark sci-fi television series STAR TREK (running from 1966-1969).
Out in the Egyptian lobby were ‘hundreds’ of Tribbles all strewn out over the theatre and they were climbing into the popcorn, crawling on the railings and in almost corner the eye can see. (The Tribbles were provided by www.TribbleToys.com). There were display cases with original costumes from the original Star Trek series as well as a fully illuminating original series USS Enterprise! There were plenty of photo opportunities everywhere.
The evening was made magical and enlighten by one of the original composers of the original series Mr. Gerald Fried. Not only did he share his life experiences but he gave us a personal performance on his Clarinet of some of his most famous themes he composed over 46 years ago. His melodically played Ruth’s Theme from “Shore Leave”, Spock’s Lament from “Amok Time” and even an excerpt from the fight sequence from “The Trouble With Tribbles”.
The crowd applauded with thunder and whistles as he finished his pieces accompanied by his pianist. Next up was an impressive giveaway of many DVD box sets of all three seasons of Star Trek. The evenings host was hysterical funny and in excitement the audience was shown on the big screen the episode “Mirror, Mirror” and “Amok Time”. The quality and clarity of the original series in all of its glorious color was ‘larger than life’ accompanied by Gerald Fried’s score. It was amazing to see.
Then in a short moment, our host, composer Gerald Fried and Tribbles writer David Gerald took the stage.
The Q&A started immediately after and Gerald explained a question regarding censorship of his work, “There were no Musical editing problems, no not on Star Trek…they left me alone,” he explains. “The first session I did was “Shore Leave” and Gene Roddenberry showed up. Gene Coon showed up and of course Bob Justman (the show’s producers) showed up. They liked what happened and never made a comment at any time.
Having composed some of the most recognized and even parodied scores in history, Gerald comments on how he chose the arrangements he did. “Fight music for Kirk and Spock in “Amok Time” is just simple triads, diatonic scales,” he continues, “I had two basic diatonic triads going at once, except they were half a tone apart and it worked. I learned that from Stravinsky!”
““Amok Time” had its electric bass guitar and I tried the figure out the essence of Spock, a Vulcan,” Gerald explains again, “Who was forced to express emotion…..bump bump bump boom…from the electric bass guitar, that highlighted those scenes tremendously and when I composed the Spock theme it was a very conscious effort on my part.”
How was it all done? It’s called ‘spotting sessions’, where the composer gets to look at a scene in either its final cut or rough cut form and begin to imagine the music around it. “Spotting session, Oh boy!”, exclaims Gerald, “You get only one look at it and make musical notes…and write down the seconds and you log times when you see the scene start, and then dialogue, and where it all stops. I only got one look at the footage and had to rely on my memory and my notes and cue times to score each piece. It was truly scary for me. You have to count on your memory….you get so much energy from doing it that way, but you had no choice!”
David Gerald chimed in. “Star Trek was one of the first hour-long shows on TV and the musical vocabulary, for all shows at the time, it was all still being invented,” David explains, “A lot of pioneering was going on here on the original Star Trek series as well as all the early hour-long television shows being made at that time. It was amazing!”
Long time Star Trek consultants Mike and Denise Okuda were also present at the screening. Denise explains, “The highlight of the evening for us was Gerald Fried’s emotional rendition of some of his most powerful themes from the original Star Trek series. We were both transported once again by his beautiful music.”
All in all the evening was an amazing showcase of music and magic and highlighted by Gerald Fried’s incredible live performance. Just an FYI, this amazing box set is limited to only 6000 units! Get to their website fast – I’m sure they’ll be gone quick! www.lalalandrecords.com. The retail price is $224.98.
Written by Lorenzo Marchessi
Based in Hollywood, CA – Lorenzo Marchessi is a Sci-Fi enthusiast and has written for Starlog Magazine, Doctor Who Drives, The No ho Art’s District, The Van Nuys Press and The Tolucan Times. He has worked on Film and TV projects like ‘Back To The Future’, ‘Beauty & The Beast’, ‘Quantum Leap’ and ‘Star Trek:TNG’. He is also a Film, TV and Theatre director as well. He is now creating the ‘go to’ website for all ‘Sci Fi Geeks’ and more’ which is still under construction and will be unveiled soon! You can contact him at Lorenzo@LandMProductions.com !