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The Orville is an exceptional series for their music department. Every week the show records with a full symphony orchestra including electronics, composed by outstanding media artists like Broughton, McNeely and Debney. Like this except from Episode 8, they provide serious dramatic scoring with melodic themes.This elevates the tone of the series into realm of classic scifi soundtracks like Jerry Goldsmith or James Horner or Debney himself. Here’s a peek into the behind-the-scenes at the Newman Scoring Stage at Fox, with almost 100 musicians and an ace recording team.

Season 1 soundtrack was released by La-La Land Records, and described as:

“Seth MacFarlane’s space adventure series is set 400 years in the future, and follows The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life…”

The soundtrack album to the first season of The Orville is spread over 2 discs and contains 55 tracks (2 hr, 30 min, 09 sec). Composers along for the ride include Bruce Broughton, Joel McNeely, John Debney and Andrew Cottee. If, like me, you’re a fan of music from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner’s work on the Star Trek movies, you’re in for a thrill and a sweep of nostalgia.

Season 2 is also a soundtrack release from La-La Land Records featuring the entire score of Season 2 of The Orville. The total album play time is 157 minutes, 49 seconds, another double-album.

Season 3 movies to Streamer Hulu, and gets a new version of the main title, conducted here by the composer Bruce Broughton.

Here’s an image of the sheet music for just *1* session of the season 3 scoring. Players are gradually moving to tablets, but it takes a big screen to hold all the info! JoAnn Kane Music Services handles the massive, precision work of making parts.

The trumpets and timpani hits give it a bold heroic sound rare in today’s minimalist scores. Along with a clear theme and soaring countermelodies — a whole realm of composing that is rarely heard today. Because producers and directors have developed a near-fear of melody. They may say: “it sounds old-fashioned” or “it will distract the audience”. There are hit shows with clear melodies today, but they are often provided by classic songs that are placed into the show.

New series with catchy original themes include WandaVision, by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The theme is incorporated into the score, just as movies and TV have done for generations. Or Game of Thrones. It’s like a vocabulary for that show, and adds value, being able to hum the theme.

Musicians love playing in the big sessions with a tune to perform. They do their best every time, but they can do more when the director and composer gives them more to do 🙂

The Orville: New Horizons arrives June 2 on Hulu.

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David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.

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