For those of a certain age, there are a few truly classic movie moments that persist in our memories.
No one who went to the original opening of the first Star Wars film, for example, will ever forget the visceral thrill that overtook them as the music swelled and the gigantic spacecraft filled the big screen.
Similarly, most fans of science fiction can and, given a little encouragement, will, recite the opening lines of the Star Trek series. (“Space. The final frontier.”)
And while seriously committed Trekkers may shudder at the juxtaposition of the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, not many will quibble over the powerful impact that the music of the films has had on our imaginations and culture.
It’s in recognition of that impact that the Victoria Symphony has created “STAR TREK, STAR WARS, AND BEYOND.”
The musical journey into our imagination will be featured at the Royal Theatre on Sept. 23, (7:30 p.m.) and Sept. S24, (2:30 p.m.).
We caught up with conductor Sean O’Loughlin and asked about the choice of this particular music.
“I was just a five-year-old when the original Star Wars film came out. I remember standing in line at the theatre and the sense of anticipation. Right from the opening of that very first burst of a chord, the music told you were in for something special,” he said.
Music from the movies had a big influence on O’Loughlin’s career choice. As a teenaged-trumpeter and music student in upper New York State, he took a ski trip to Montreal. For the better part of five hours, he rode along, listening to a cassette tape of the soundtrack to Star Wars.
“I remember listening to that wonderful score by John Williams on my walkman. That trip planted the seed for me to steer a musical path to become a composer and conductor. It was an inspiration. Williams has such skill in creating these musical cues that are associated with a character. With just a rhythm or melodic fragment, you hear and feel Darth Vader’s presence, even before you see him enter on the screen. It’s something that’s been done in operas for years – think of Wagner, who used leitmotifs all the time to help convey the story. Even if you close your eyes and just listen, you can sense what’s happening in the drama.”
The musical selections at the heart of these concerts include the music of Jerry Goldsmith (Star Trek: First Contact), Michael Giacchino (Star Trek- 2009), John Williams (Star Wars) and others.
Tickets are available at rmts.bc.ca/production-detail-pages/2023-royal-theatre/star-trek-star-wars-and-beyond.