Composed By: Bear McCreary
Performed By: The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra
Distributed by: La-La Land Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
With the series finale of Battlestar Galactica having recently aired, fans of the show were advised of a new spin-off series in the works. Caprica is actually a prequel to the Battlestar Galactica series, taking place 58 years prior. In the pilot episode, we are introduced to two very unique families, The Graystones and The Adamas, united after a single terrorist act causes the ultimate in agonies for both patriarchs. The loss of loved ones hits the families hard, but while Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz) looks for a way to bring his daughter back from the dead via the use of a cybernetic life-form node (Cylon), Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) struggles with the moral implications of such a use of technology.
The soundtracks of the Battlestar Galactica series, created by Bear McCreary, were immensely popular. So, when the creators of Caprica needed a composer for their soundtrack, who better to approach than someone immersed in the Battlestar Galactica culture. Thus, Bear McCreary set out to create a soundtrack that was vastly different than the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks and yet still maintained some of the elements of those compositions.
McCreary states that he had to take a very different approach to this soundtrack because the state of events are vastly different. Battlestar Galactica was about a fleet of survivors casting out into unchartered space and their constant struggle to overcome insurmountable odds in pursuit of a world they could finally call home. The former homeworld of Caprica has been destroyed. For the new series, we are catapulted 58 years in the past. Caprica is a thriving society at its peak and while we know the eventual outcome of this series is its destruction, the characters within haven’t any clue of the future.
Thus, the soundtrack of Caprica is more peaceful in composition than its Battlestar Galactica predecessors. There is the hint of ethnicity found in the former soundtracks, but there is less urgency and fewer compositions containing that tribal feel that made the Battlestar Galactica soundtracks so popular. The soundtrack of Caprica is softer - soft violins and strings, keyboards and woodwinds. These tracks represent the supposed innocence of the characters, with ominous undertones hinting at the loss of innocence of some of these characters.
And don’t worry - those tribal sounds do appear during events which mark the beginning of the end for Caprica, such as the terrorist act that takes the lives of Adama’s wife and daughter, the creation of the first Cylon and more. I have the feeling that as the series advances, more tracks containing taiko drum pulses will begin to appear as the inevitable end to Caprica approaches.
While different from the Battlestar Galactica compositions, I enjoyed listening to Bear McCreary’s Caprica Soundtrack. There is still that ethnic feel underlying quite a few of the tracks and of course, the taiko drum pulses have always been a favorite of mine. Although this is a lighter composition than past Battlestar Galactica soundtracks, it is just as enjoyable and expresses just as much feeling as its predecessors. Bear McCreary is so immersed in the BSG world, he knows exactly what is needed for this prequel series’ soundtrack and therefore has created the perfect soundtrack for the series.
The Caprica Soundtrack will make an excellent edition to any Battlestar Galactica fan’s music collection.