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Farscape (Soundtrack) by Subvision and Guy Gross

Music from the First Two Seasons
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composed by SubVision (Toby, Chris, and Braedy Neal) and Guy Gross
Season 1 Produced by SubVision; Season 2 Produced by Guy Gross
Executive Album Producer by
Michael Polis
Performed by SubVision; Avigail Herman; Steve Edwards (1); Guy Gross (2) 
Released by GNP Crescendo Records December 2000

Farscape (Soundtrack) by Subvision and Guy Gross

Farscape (Soundtrack) by Subvision and Guy Gross

Category

Score
Originality 3
Music Selection 2
Composition 2
CD Length 6
Track Order 5
Performance 2
Final Score 3/10

The sci-fi genre of television continues to attempt to find new ways of capturing the ever-fickle sci-fi fan.  Producers and writers tend to try to stay away from repeating or copying the titans of sci-fi television and feature films (namely, Star Trek and Star Wars), but, many times, in so doing, they push past the borders of creativity and closer to dimensions of the unpalletable.  Unfortunately, the music for such films or series are drug along for the ride.

Most efforts of creativity should be applauded, but, sadly, in all their efforts there are very few new series that find a niche that keeps them on the air for more than their first season or second season with a notable exception being Babylon 5.  It seems the more producers and writers attempt to be pioneering, the more they either "alienate" their audiences or end up  reusing already reused premises they must have forgotten about.  For the composer trying to match this adventurous-spirit, a difficult path seems to lay ahead.

Farscape is one of the few newer sci-fi series that have escaped the gravitational pull of cancellation, despite the premise being close to Star Trek: Voyager. Astronaut John Crichton is pulled through a "wormhole" and is now, with a few new "friends" along for the ride, trying to get back to good ol' Earth.  Some of the basic elements of the premise are just about all Farscape has in common with Voyager, however.  One need look no further than the music for a blaring example.

For this initial CD release of  the music of Farscape, nicely packaged and produced by GNP Crescendo Records, music from seasons one and two are represented.  The series' producers, Rockne S. O'Bannon and Brian Henson, chose the family-trio, SubVision (Chris, Toby, and Braedy Neal) and composer Guy Gross to provide the main theme and underscore for the fledgling-series.

For season one, SubVision delivers the title theme along with selections from nine episodes of the show.   Believe it or not, and most unfortunately, in their quest to deliver something "fresh," they have delivered a theme and underscore that make Evan Chen's work for Crusade almost sound like Emmy material...almost.  With a bombardment of synthesized mayhem and whirling vocals from Avigail Herman,  the main theme is much more aggressive than Chen's theme for Crusade, but remains most unapproachable.  It certainly, without a doubt, conveys the exotic region of space the lead character finds himself in and the diversity of his crewmates, but must it be represented as such an irritating region as well?  

In an attempt to come up with a sound that brings a single representation of the show and at the same time that emanates from an unfamiliar region of space, SubVision  blends many ethnic instruments and vocals, particularly of North Africa and Middle East with other familiar postmodern musical elements.  A similar style is demonstrated, but in a much more appealing effort, in  Earth:  Final Conflict by Micky Erbe & Maribeth Solomon. The most interesting bit of SubVisions's work are the retro-synthesized elements, circa 1975, layered over familiar, drum loops of the Nineties.  

The majority of the remaining tracks from season one feature few highlights.  Tempos, themes, and styles shift two, three, even four times within one track.  Where Chen's music for Crusade disappeared, at times, into some musical abyss, SubVision's music is more aggressive. 

Season two finds the slightest of improvements with the talents of Guy Gross featured.  Gross brings a bit more coherence to the listening experience as his compositional style is more traditional than SubVisions; however Gross demonstrates his ability to dive into the unknown as well.  Guy Gross does offers a little clearer structure to his music in the suite from The Way We Weren't (12,14). Gross' "sound," at times, comes off a bit along the lines of famed trailer-specialist, John Beal. While adequate for 3 minute trailers, it is almost distracting in its thinness.  

Both SubVision and Guy Gross carve out their own unique slice of sci-fi musicdom, but at a heavy price for the mainline, orchestral-lovin'-soundtrack-fan.  If one considers themselves a part of this group, then Farscape need be avoided like a black-hole or oncoming, global-killing asteroid.  If; however, one is a part of the much more daring group of soundtrack enthusiasts or a part of the fanbase for Farscape will likely find a good deal to appreciate with this release.

Track Listing and Ratings

 Track  Title  Time

  Rating

SEASON 1

       
1 Theme from Farscape 2:04  *
   Premiere    
2  Wormhole! 5:18  *
  Back and Back and Back to the Future    
  3 Time Trouble 3:07  
  Thank God It's Friday, Again    
4 Tannot Grooves 3:02  **
5 Fields of Joy 2:47  *
  PK Tech Girl    
6 Goodbye 4:01  *
  That Old Black Magic    
7 Maldis 3:32  *
  DNA Mad Scientist    
8 Namtar's Magic 3:45  
  Rhapsody in Blue    
9 Delvian Dreams 3:32  
  Jeremiah Crichton    
10 Trouble In Paradise 4:56  *
  Family Ties    
11 Parting Comrades 3:28  ***
       

SEASON 2

       
  The Way We Weren't    
12 Pilot Arrives 1:31  **
13 Aeryn and Velorek 2:43  *
14 Peace Keeping 3:28  **
  Home on the Remains    
15 The Nogelti Crystal 2:14  **
16 Romance 2:12  **
  Look at the Princess Part III: The Mailtese Crichton    
17 Crichton's Daughter 2:34  **
  My Three Crichtons    
18 Crichton x3 1:24  *
19 Goodbye Caveman 2:46  **
  Beware of Dog    
20 Vorc Arrives  2:54  
21 Parasite Hunting 5:02  *
  Look at the Princess Par II: I Do I Think    
22 Crichton's Wedding 1:30  **
23 Theme From Farscape Reprise 0:48  *
 

Total Running Time

69:13  
 
 

Referenced Titles

Crusade

 

Quick Quotes

Have something to say about this score?  If you would like to have your comments posted here, please e-mail me your thoughts. 



Guy Gross
Composer
Guy Gross

Subvision

Composer
SubVision
Chris, Braedy, Toby Neal

 
 

 

 

 

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