In recent years, one composer has risen to the top faster than any other, that man is Bear McCreary. The man can flat out compose music. Yes, I realize that reads a little silly, but he is so enormously talented the sky is the limit for what he will be able to accomplish in his career. His work for Caprica is just another example of the magic he works over the notes. His music is compelling, exciting, mournful, and definitely original.
I first discovered his work when he took over for his mentor, Richard Gibbs, as composer for Battlestar Galactica. His work on that series has taken science fiction scoring and the art of television scoring to an entirely new level. If he were scoring features, we'd probably be saying he is taking film scoring to the next level, so it is not that I need to qualify him as a "television composer," the man is an artist. He brings together so many different elements that the final product sounds completely original.
His Battlestar Galactica scores bring together traditional orchestral sounds, strong percussion, ethnic woodwinds, and a myriad other sounds into an utterly beautiful tapestry. In addition to the epic nature of this work, he has shown versatility across the television landscape, having scored Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Eureka, each demonstrating another aspect of his talent. Going a step further, McCreary has also lent his skills to direct to video films such as the Rest Stop series and Wrong Turn 2: Dead Ahead. Those films show even more his ability to take mediocre material and pair it with superior music, just witness the Southern rock in hell atmosphere he creates for Rest Stop 2: Don't Look Back.
That brings me to Bear's score for the pilot episode of Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel. The feature length pilot has arrived on DVD and will make its television debut when the series arrives in early 2010. I am almost embarrassed to say that I have not yet seen the pilot and hope to rectify that in the near future. Fortunately, it does not dampen my enthusiasm for this music, it just means my context will be put straight.
Caprica takes place on Caprica 58-years prior to the fall of the Colonies. It centers on two families, the Graysons and the Adamas, entwined by tragedy and the creation of the Cylon. It is science fiction series, but, from what I have seen, falls more to the dramatic side of the coin. And with a different look at the BSG universe comes a different sound.