Caprica: The Imperfections of Memory
IMPERFECT SPOILERS AHEAD: Tonight’s episode of “Caprica,” The Imperfections of Memory, explores a lot of territory. The most important plot lines from a musical perspective are Amanda’s visions of her brother Darius and Joseph’s continuing quest for his daughter.
The Amanda story line clearly required some use of the Amanda Theme. The Amanda Theme originated in the pilot, and is a simple ascending minor 7th scale:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/CAP-Amanda.mp3|titles=Caprica – Amanda’s Theme]
The theme was written to underscore the successful doctor who had become stricken with grief at her daughter’s sudden and tragic death. Since then, I generally used it connect with her feelings of remorse and confusion as she discovered more about Zoe’s involvement with the STO.
However, in Imperfections of Memory, we see a whole new side of her character, and learn more about her background. I wanted to develop her theme and show a new side of it as well. So, this episode introduces an Amanda Theme Variation let’s call the Darius Theme:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cap107a.mp3|titles=Caprica – Darius Theme Melody]
This theme is a pitched retrograde of the Amanda Theme. That means the rhythms are the same, but the pitches are in reverse order. If you played this theme backwards it would be the Amanda Theme. With just a glance at the Amanda and Darius Theme notation, you can tell they are backwards versions of one another.
Like the Amanda Theme, it can appear as a melody or occasionally as an ostinato, a rhythmic accompanimental figure that’s actually built out of the same notes, but not featured as a melody:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cap107b.mp3|titles=Caprica – Darius Theme Ostianto]
The Darius Theme is woven throughout the episode and will continue to play a role for the next few weeks.
The Adama storyline takes a turn this week as well as Joseph finally makes his way into New Cap City, searching for his daughter’s avatar. As I detailed in my blog for There is Another Sky, the score of New Cap City evokes the feeling a retro-futuristic videogame. I dusted off a bunch of analog synth sounds that haven’t been used since Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and combined them with distorted drum kit, bass and guitars to create a sound unique to this environment.
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/cap105a.mp3|titles=Caprica – Welcome to New Cap City]
These sounds played a pivotal role in Tamara’s bank heist in Another Sky, and return again as Joseph wanders the streets of New Cap City, alone. Paul Cartwright’s solo fiddle variations of the Tauron Theme are also integrated into the New Cap City soundscape, representing the lonely Adama on his quest through dangerous territory:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cap107c.mp3|titles=Caprica – Joseph Searches Alone]
Another moody cue plays as he encounters a mysterious stranger who agrees to help him look for Tamara:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/cap107d.mp3|titles=Caprica – Joseph’s New Friend]
Of course, Imperfections, includes many other themes as well. The Clarice Theme takes on new meaning as she forms a relationship with Amanda…
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/CAP-Clarice-Theme.mp3|titles=Caprica – Clarice Theme]
… and the Daniel Ostinato underscores his continuing work on the U-87, leading to his suspicion that his daughter’s Avatar may still be inside it:
[audio:http://www.bearmccreary.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/CAP-Daniel-Theme.mp3|titles=Caprica – Daniel Ostinato]
With only two more episodes to air before the mid-season break, the show is building to a big climax. As was typical with BSG, I’ve got a special musical twist in store for you guys for the mid-season finale. We just finished our recording sessions for it a few days ago and the early mixes are pretty stunning. I can assure you all that you’ll adore this piece of music. And it features a musical performance cameo I’m absolutely certain you’ll all recognize. 🙂 Seriously, you guys will flip out when you hear this and figure out who it is.
Speaking of really amazing music, don’t miss my latest “Human Target” blog entry for Salvage and Reclamation. This particular episode is the biggest, most adventurous and most lyrical score I’ve ever written. Any CAP or BSG fans who aren’t following the show should at least check out the audio clips for some kick-ass full-orchestral goodness.
Special Thanks to: Michael Beach, Steve Kaplan and Jonathan Ortega for their extra hard work on this episode!