Farscape Vol. 2/Guy Gross

September 21, 2006

“Farscape” was a very successful Sci-Fi Channel Television series which ran from 1999-2003. The storyline had to do with an astronaut who was thrown into the future universe becoming part of a fugitive alien starship crew. The Australian television composer Guy Gross scored over 60+ episodes and it is two of these episodes Die Me Dichotomy, and Into The Lion’s Den Part 2: Wolfs in Sheep’s Clothing which are featured on this new La-La Land (LLLCD 1046) release. Gross who studied at the Conservatorium High School in Sydney Australia is fully comfortable with classical as well as synthesizer and has crafted two wonderful scores for these episodes. The first season was not scored by Gross but by a trio called SubVision who composed an ethnic/middle eastern theme sung by Avigail Herman which was carried over by Gross. Everything else was quite unique.

The absolute highlight of the first episode is a funeral piece called ”Aeryn’s Funeral” inspired by masses written by Haydn and Bach and actual Latin lyrics from Requiem Mass. This track alone is worth the price of the CD! Religious or not you have to appreciate the sheer beauty of this track. This is definitely a track where classical training comes to the front on the part of Guy. It is carried over into the next track “What The Future Holds” played at first by woodwind very adagio and slowly continuing somberly into “Goodbye” but ending with a statement of time to move on in “Memory Loss.” The overall tone of the CD has to remind you of a minor symphony such as Franck or Sibelius. There are some brighter spots such as “Scorpius in Control” and “Shielded Message” two synth tracks well orchestrated. But there are far more tracks such as “In Hiding” “Unfufilled Revenge” “Crichton’s Transformation”, and “Like Father, Like Son” that are quite bleak. Unlike other scores it doesn’t have the dissonant/screeching sound which seems to be in at the moment in sci-fi/horror material.

The Lion Den… episode was the conclusion of Season 3 and is also pretty solemn and somber in nature. “Destroy The Power/Back At The Ranch/Psychosis is a nice track with some dirge like music to a march with horns to an eerie sound all done with the synthesizer which still amazes me at what the darn things are capable of doing. One can only imagine what this could sound like with a symphony orchestra! “Life Stand” which is 9+ minutes in length features male choir and organ. The track depicts the preparing for war and the final conflict in the Star Wars tradition.

The overall sound quality is good and the liner notes by Randall Larson are as usual very informative. Since I have never seen an episode before the photo’s of the characters in the cd booklet meant absolutely nothing to me! This being volume 2 there was a volume 1(LLLCD1026) release which is in quite short supply. If interested one might get both releases as it is limited on both volumes to 1200 units not a lot of pieces for a good soundtrack. Recommended.

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