Since the book’s release last spring, I have been continually amazed at the overwhelming response to my Battlestar Galactica Solo Piano Book. Throughout the summer, as we’ve shot a few videos of my performances for my YouTube channel, the response has been equally enthusiastic. And through it all, one question has remained constant: when are you going to release a CD of your BSG piano arrangements?
The answer is: today.
BuySoundtrax Records and I have collaborated to produce a complete recording of the songbook. The album is available beginning today from iTunes (in separate volumes I and II), from Amazon Mp3 (volume I and II) or as a physical CD from the label’s website.
The Music of Battlestar Galactica for Solo Piano was recorded and performed live on a world-class instrument by an equally world-class pianist: Joohyun Park. The limited edition CD package contains exclusive liner notes from Randall Larson which are among the most insightful and highly-detailed analyses of my work I’ve ever read. Larson chronicles the origin of each piece and conducted in-depth interviews with myself and Park about the process of arranging them for piano and producing the recording.
There are several special guest performers on this album. Battlestar Operatica was recorded with mezzo-soprano Melanie Henley Heyn, the singer who originally sang the piece for BSG season 1!
And I make a guest appearance as well, playing piano with Joohyun in the duet: Kara Remembers. (This time, I played the easier, “Kara” part and let her tackle the brutally unforgiving “Slick” part!)
And another BSG musician contributed as well. The breathtaking album artwork is an original design, hand-drawn by frequent Galactica vocalist Raya Yarbrough. (Anyone recognize that piano?)
The CD track list includes every arrangement from the songbook:
1. Roslin and Adama
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/bsg-piano07.mp3|titles=Roslin and Adama]
2. Wander My Friends
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/bsg-piano06.mp3|titles=Wander My Friends]
4. The Shape of Things to Come
5. Dreilide Thrace Sonata No. 1
7. Battlestar Sonatica
8. A Promise to Return
11. Battlestar Muzatika
12. Prelude to War
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/bsg-piano02.mp3|titles=Prelude to War]
1. Battlestar Operatica
2. Worthy of Survival
3. Something Dark is Coming
4. Violence and Variations
5. Resurrection Hub
6. Kara Remembers
8. Wander My Friends (simplified version)
9. Roslin and Adama (simplified version)
My scores for Battlestar Galactica have gone through a surprising number of changes. The cues originally composed for on-air broadcast were frequently tweaked to make an ideal listening experience for the album. Then altered again for performances with the Battlestar Galactica Orchestra. Then altered again for symphonic performances with orchestras in Europe. However, no change was as dramatic as the move to solo piano (except of course for those compositions which were solo piano to begin with!).
Each variation has its place. But, there’s something undeniably intimate and uniquely human about these recordings. Joohyun breathed new life into these compositions. Under her expert fingers, these pieces thrive as works for solo piano, not just pared down versions of larger orchestrations. Listening to her feel the music and re-interpret my work was a real thrill.
I would like to thank everyone at Buy Soundtrax for bringing this record to life, especially Ford Thaxton and Mark Banning. I also owe a big hug to to Joohyun, Melanie, Raya and everyone else who contributed creatively to this album.
I have been teasing on Twitter lately about some upcoming announcements. And indeed, this is only one of them. I know it’s been a dormant summer here on my blog, but things are going to heat up fast.
I will begin blogging weekly with the premiere of The Walking Dead Season 2 on October 16th. But, before that, I will reveal my newest zombie themed soundtrack… tomorrow night! That will happen exclusively on Twitter, so follow me to stay in the loop. And there will be a few more announcements in the coming weeks that will definitely be very exciting. So, check back soon!
Oh, and anybody else who wants to upload a YouTube video of performances of BSG music, go for it. I’m getting ready to go through everything that’s been done so far and pick some favorites. 🙂
So Say We All!