Music from the Future of the Past: How a 15-Year-Old Melody Became the Key to Launchland

The main melody for the track “Tau Ceti Center” is something I wrote around fifteen years ago. For some reason I could never quite grasp how to get this theme sorted out, though. I think I have tried in one form or another to make a publishable song from this theme from at least the late 1990’s. I guess I had already given up on it, when all of a sudden early last year, it just clicked.

Playing with an impOscar, I stumbled upon the dual arpeggiator lines that carry the song along, with the theme played on a Mellotron woodwind. The secondary theme came soon after, and with that the orchestration also clicked into place. The rhythm track, though, was harder. Bear McCreary’s soundtracks for Battlestar Galactica and Caprica have been a huge influence for me in the past few years. Drawing from that inspiration, the first version of the song had a very ethnically influenced rhythm track (something like “The Wild”, but wilder). The song was too hectic, though.

I remember listening to a concert by Jerry Goldsmith (of Star Trek fame) in Oulu in mid-90’s. I had paid attention to how Goldsmith often used a drum kit with the orchestra only to play out a straight beat comp. I tried out this basic rhythm, and things clicked into place: at this point, the rest of the music practically wrote itself.

After 15 years and I don’t know how many versions, it certainly felt weird to have this song sorted out. It still does.

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