THE DON DAVIS COLLECTION: VOLUME 1
CD includes digital download / PDF Booklet
Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DON DAVIS COLLECTION, VOLUME 1 featuring music from SPACE ODYSSEY: VOYAGE TO THE PLANETS, a two part science fiction docudrama from 2004 created by the makers of WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, written and directed by Joe Ahearne and featuring the narration of actor David Suchet (POIROT).
SPACE ODYSSEY: VOYAGE TO THE PLANETS (broadcast in shortened form as VOYAGE TO THE PLANETS AND BEYOND in the US) is a BBC science fiction adventure told in documentary style about an international crew of scientist/astronauts exploring the solar system. Originally titled WALKING WITH SPACEMEN, SPACE ODYSSEY: VOYAGE TO THE PLANETS imagines a six-year mission undertaken by a crew of five, piloting the nuclear thermal rocket-powered Pegasus spacecraft. The crew face a number of hardships and disappointments along the way, which provide dramatic adventure and danger between the various interactions experienced by the crew.
The music for SPACE ODYSSEY both energizes the story with a powerful sense of discovery and also pride in accomplishment for the mission fictionalized in the film. It’s a powerful work with a strong main theme and containing some of the composer’s most affecting music. Davis created the score using the most advanced digital samples available at that time, and a session with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The score is built around one primary theme and two subordinate motifs. The main theme is heroic, rich in the joy of discovery, the thrill of exploration, and a sense of honor toward the amazing excursion being undertaken. With the orchestra used primarily to express the sweeping variations of the main theme, the electronics provide eerie music to describe the planets visited by the Pegasus crew, as well as those situations where the astronauts are in danger. While he found configuring and managing the electronic array for the score challenging, Davis regards scoring SPACE ODYSSEY as a positive experience.
Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DON DAVIS COLLECTION, VOLUME 1, featuring the world premiere of the composer’s music from SPACE ODYSSEY: VOYAGE TO THE PLANETS, with liner notes written by author Randall Larson, including the participation of the composer, mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland.
THE DON DAVIS COLLECTION, VOLUME 1 is a limited edition release of 500 units.
1. Walking with Spacemen Theme (2:25)
2. Main Titles & Apollo (2:40)
3. Take Off and Venus (5:27)
4. Hot Planet Venus (4:17)
5. Time and Space (2:06)
6. Mars (3:32)
7. Flare and Storm Patrol (3:45)
8. Forbidden Rays and Asteroid (4:16)
9. Dispatching Panels and Jupiter Turn (2:11)
10. G-Force (2:48)
11. Moons of Jupiter (3:10)
12. Zoë’s Trouble (5:17)
13. Europa (1:54)
14. Pearson’s Peek (3:21)
15. Deep Space Despair (4:28)
16. Burial and Resuming Work (1:42)
17. The Planet of Peace (2:20)
18. Pluto People (5:08)
19. The Comet (2:57)
20. Comet Stroll and Danger (2:57)
21. The Calamity on the Comet (4:08)
22. Happy Homecoming & Finale (3:45)
Total Time: 74:44
The Don Davis Collection, Vol. 1 - Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004) *** 1/2
Dragon’s Domain DDR670
22 tracks - 74:34
Dragon’s Domain continues to explore lesser-known works by film composers with this volume featuring the premiere release of docudrama music by Don Davis (The Matrix, Jurassic Park III). Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets (2004) was a two-part BBC event written and directed by Joe Ahearne (Apparitions) that attempted to anticipate what a manned space mission exploring our galaxy might be like. Along the six-year journey, the five-man crew must face an assortment of dangers amidst their adventures, with Davis providing the wide-ranging musical accompaniment.
Davis uses a palette of digital samples and orchestra to render sweeping thematic material, countered by various electronic textures. “Walking With Spacemen” opens the album with a gorgeous full orchestral statement, celebrating the human spirit of exploration. A blend of astral electronics leads into the “Main Titles and Apollo,” which features another fine theme to take us into the score proper.
The album settles into a groove with some beautiful soundscapes in tracks like “Take Off and Venus,” while the main theme remains a firm anchor throughout. The electronics are often used to foster eeriness and tension (“Forbidden Rays and Asteroid,” “Comet Stroll and Danger”) but it’s the more thematic fare that holds the listening experience together. The playlist ends with the satisfying, triumphant “Happy Homecoming and Finale.”
For those who enjoy orchestral sci-fi with electronics that rarely overwhelm the texture, this under-the-radar Don Davis outing should prove to be an engaging album. The release is a limited edition of 500 units, but is also available as a download. —Steven A. Kennedy
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