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Old March 19th 14, 21:46   #31
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Re: B5 Music

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Thanks! I’m a massive PKD fan. I’m even having a crack at reading his recently published Exergesis. Daunting stuff for sure!
Word salad!

As it happens, I'm friends with one of his ex-wives.

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Hopefully, this is a flame war free zone!
No such animal, alas.

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But I understand your sentiment - music is the most subjective of all the arts. It either moves you, or it doesn’t. Add into that equation things like ‘learned listening’, different tonal systems for different parts of the world, and you have a recipe for very strong opinions. There’s nothing wrong with having a strong opinion, and I’m loving the amount of discussion it’s prompting! Personally, I think that late 80s/early 90s synths have a lot to answer for! They lack the character of their 70s counterparts, and in the 80s/90s no one had yet come close the kind of orchestral plug-ins that are available now to composers. Keyboard players are often guilty of thinking they can create a whole orchestra with synths, and generally that approach fails miserably.
A lot of that I think has to do with the fact that a lot of the early New Wave synth guys BUILT those synths themselves, or had friends who did. There were a lot of unique and interesting sounds, and just big slabs of noise that you can't reproduce digitally because they're based on analog feedback or improperly-heated tubes or whatever. I'm also quite fond of theramins.

(Go visit my website: http://www.kevin-long.com and send me an email through the site, and I'll send you a song I recorded with a theramin)

When things got more standardized, the random "Wow, how'd he get it to make that 'bloop' noise?" aspect of it were gone. [

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Modern orchestral plug-ins can can sound good really good if used with some tact, but there’s no replacing real strings.
Yeah, my wife's a professional viola player. I totally agree. You can spot real strings from synth any time. There's some randomness in a real string section (X's instrument is sweeter than Y's, but Y has more temolo than Z, etc) that you just can't fake.

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I don’t actively dislike Franke’s work on B5, but I do find much of it too brash and laden with orchetral synth pads that do nothing for me. I think I’d like it even less if it were to be removed from the context of the show.
Yeah, agreed. I had several CDs, but ended up giving them away as they meant nothing without the images. I had the same problem with Evan Chen's soundtrack, which I loved in Crusade, but listening to it by itself it became less than the sum of its parts.

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I have to agree that a lot of TD’s late 80s output is sometimes a bit shaky. I think the TD material I really like may have more to do with Edgar Froese than Franke. That said, they did deliver some absolute gems in the 80s. The soundtrack for ‘Legend’ is great, as is their soundtrack for ‘Sorcerer’.
Legend is pretty awesome. I'm not familiar with Sorceror, but I'll look it up.

Do you think some of that might simply have to do with them getting older and losing a bit of the fire?

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Yes, I’d definitly pick that up if they did release it. I think it was specifically the season 2 music that grabbed me.
There are several unofficial cuts on Youtube, where someone's removed dialog and sound effects but the quality is really low.

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Again, unsure if I’d listen to it in isolation, but it was good. The other shows you mention, I’m not familiar enough with to pass comment on, but McReary is very dependable when it comes to TV scoring.
Oh, I listen to it in the car a lot. Well, I made myself a 'greatest hits' mix, and I listen to that in the car a lot, but I've got all the CDs and listen to them individually from time to time.
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Old April 23rd 14, 12:13   #32
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Re: B5 Music

Kevin, my apologies for taking so long to respond. So without further ado…

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Word salad! As it happens, I'm friends with one of his ex-wives.
No way! That’s amazing. Which wife? (If you don’t mind me asking) I had a crazy, bordering on obsessive period for about a year where I only read PKD novels. I absolutely devoured Emmanuel Carrčre’s PKD biography ‘I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick’. I really must track down a few more of the autobiographical books, as I found that one fascinating.

I’m still working my way through a lot of classic SF literature (mostly culled from the SF Masterworks series). Am currently reading ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’, and am constantly reminded of the monks on B5. I know that JMS said he only realised the connection later, having scripted ‘The Deconstruction of Falling Stars’, but I expect he was subconsciously influenced by Miller’s work. In any case, it’s a nice nod.

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A lot of that I think has to do with the fact that a lot of the early New Wave synth guys BUILT those synths themselves, or had friends who did. There were a lot of unique and interesting sounds, and just big slabs of noise that you can't reproduce digitally because they're based on analog feedback or improperly-heated tubes or whatever. I'm also quite fond of theramins.
Totally agree! There was a real sense of discovery and DIY culture with early synths. The mid-late 80s saw the dawn of unimaginative pre-sets and bad synth pads.

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(Go visit my website: http://www.kevin-long.com and send me an email through the site, and I'll send you a song I recorded with a theramin).
Would love to hear that. PM me and we can exchange email addresses.

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Legend is pretty awesome. I'm not familiar with Sorceror, but I'll look it up.
Do so, it’s a great film. A forgotten classic that deserves more attention than it gets!
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Old April 23rd 14, 17:44   #33
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Re: B5 Music

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No way! That’s amazing. Which wife? (If you don’t mind me asking)
Tessa. His final wife. I wrote and recorded and sing the theme song for her internet radio show.

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I had a crazy, bordering on obsessive period for about a year where I only read PKD novels. I absolutely devoured Emmanuel Carrčre’s PKD biography ‘I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick’. I really must track down a few more of the autobiographical books, as I found that one fascinating.
I discovered him my freshman year in college, and pretty much absorbed everything he wrote in one long several-months-long epic feeding frenzy. Check out "Divine Invasions: A life of Philip K. Dick" by Lawrence Sutin. It's easily the best-reading PKD bio (Though Tessa comes across rather poorly in it, and she's pointed out to me several points where it's wrong).

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I’m still working my way through a lot of classic SF literature (mostly culled from the SF Masterworks series). Am currently reading ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’, and am constantly reminded of the monks on B5. I know that JMS said he only realised the connection later, having scripted ‘The Deconstruction of Falling Stars’, but I expect he was subconsciously influenced by Miller’s work. In any case, it’s a nice nod.
Took me years to finish that book. First time I read it, I fought to get half way through, and finally just gave up. Started re-reading it a decade later when effectively trapped for several hours in the middle of nowhere, and literally could not put it down. My tastes had changed a lot. It's a great book, but I was not a great audience.

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Totally agree! There was a real sense of discovery and DIY culture with early synths. The mid-late 80s saw the dawn of unimaginative pre-sets and bad synth pads.
Agreed. Still some great stuff (AON) but it was the exception and no longer the norm.

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Would love to hear that. PM me and we can exchange email addresses.
Ok, I'll try, but I'm not very good at things like 'personal messaging.' If you don't hear from me, it means I couldn't get it to work. Go and visit my website at http://www.kevin-long.com and you can easily email me from there.
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Old August 25th 14, 20:23   #34
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Re: B5 Music

So many good pieces of music to discuss. I own the Episodic CDs for Interludes & Examinations, Z'ha'Dum, "Falling Towards Apotheosis", and "No Surrender, No Retreat", as well as the Messages From Earth Vol. 2 complilation. The most re-listened to is currently the Interludes & Examinations soundtrack from start to finish, particularly the Adira theme (BTW I have heard the opening "music sting" on several TV shows- is this a stock piece or something?) and the final closing piece as Kosh's ship sails into the Sun. *sniff* I also love the "Into The Abyss" track from Z'Ha'Dum (as Sheridan confronts the Shadows and then leaps off the building). Just.pure.awesomeness. I have to agree with everybody else that the piece that accompanies the destruction of B5 is beautiful and sad.
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Old August 25th 14, 21:30   #35
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Re: B5 Music

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The most re-listened to is currently the Interludes & Examinations soundtrack from start to finish, particularly the Adira theme (BTW I have heard the opening "music sting" on several TV shows- is this a stock piece or something?)
It's probably a stock piece in the off-the-shelf music library that Franke was using and which other composers have also used. That's one of the things about composing on the computer using samples – it fits to a television budget but sometimes those samples can get re-used too often.
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Old September 2nd 14, 02:43   #36
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Re: B5 Music

Franke is still a television composer and does plenty of music for other shows. Like Amazing Race.

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Old September 27th 14, 22:35   #37
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Re: B5 Music

Been a while since I've been here. Few years prolly. EDIT: Hhehe, says here 2011.

I suppose you guys have heard the soundtrack Franke supposedly did for a B5 game? I'm not sure if this is Franke or not, but bloody hell... This is one of the most amazing piece of music I've heard. Ever.

Absolutely amazing stuff. I love to crank up my amp and shoot this out so loud that my neighbours hear it - here is a piece:

http://youtu.be/kXOSFCAjOQo

Close your eyes and use headphones set on LOUD!

It's hard to compare this to anything on the series. It's so different, but clearly shares familiar tones. I remember hearing these for the first time and the feeling was epic - to put in one word. Kinda like when I discovered that in all the years I've loved the show, I've somehow skipped one of the "movies". Then, finding it... hooboy.

Another longer piece:

http://youtu.be/yR8fgMPKMXM

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Old September 27th 14, 23:26   #38
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Re: B5 Music

Yes, that is music from the game. I'd not heard the first suite you link to before, so thanks for linking to that. The second you tube suite is all the battle themes edited together. There was a B5 site that had them available to download up until a year or so ago but I can't find the link anymore; however, if you do an Internet search for 'Into The Fire Combat Simulator: Battle Sequence' you should be able to find the various tracks, labelled A to F, for download as mp3s.

I guess the game music must have been produced around 1999? Franke recycled a lot of it into Legend of the Rangers. The first music suite you link to does sound a little more modern and I'd be interested to find out where it comes from, if anyone knows. I assume it is Franke, as it utilises some of the music from the game that I had heard previously.

Edit: just listening to the second you tube suite and there is some music in there that I've not heard before too. I assume it is all from the game and there was more music than just the 'Battle Sequences A-F' that had been made available before. The You Tube description describes it as a 'promo CD' - does anybody have any information on this CD? I'd love to have it in my collection if it exists.

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Old September 28th 14, 06:12   #39
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Re: B5 Music

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The second you tube suite is all the battle themes edited together.
The album had a running time close to an hour, and all the tracks are like that - sequenced pieces. They were all something like 10+ minutes a piece.
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Old October 1st 14, 18:17   #40
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Re: B5 Music

Pretty cool!
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