Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 2:01 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

Listening to the new Star Trek II CD, I was again struck by how much colour the Blaster Beam adds to the score. Of course it was very prominent in ST: TMP, Meteor and Battle Beyond the Stars as well, adding that little something extra that let you know you were watching a sci fi film.

So what happened to the Blaster Beam? It seemed to disappear from scores after the mid 80s or so, maybe earlier than that. Did it fall out of favour? Does the instrument still exist? Was there more than one?

It would be a real shame if the Blaster Beam was no more, it would be great to hear it in the score for the next Star Trek film; since the series has gone retro, why not bring back the Blaster Beam?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 2:16 AM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

Yes that was a spooky effect really gave that shock effect scare whenever it popped up for the first time. Another 70's sound is the "water tube" don't know the official name but it's used in "The Omega man" and "Colossus, the Forbin project" a lot. It doesn't have the same shock effect as the blaster beam but it has a brooding ominous effect. To quote Mr. Myagi: "If done right, no can defense".

D.S.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 5:00 AM   
 By:   johnbijl   (Member)

You might like Francisco Lupica's work on Zimmer's The Thin Red Line. His 'Cosmic Beam' is factually an Blaster Beam with tubular bels and glass work next to it. Although I do prefer Huxley's way of playing the Beam with slider and mallet.

Second, I always found that Goldsmith's sythesizer-sound in the Borg-themes in First Contact were an blattend Beam-rip off. Would have loved the real thing on that score.. and probably stirred the gossip that V-Ger came from the Borg home world again ;-) You gotta love Trekkies!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 5:24 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

So the Blaster Beam was used in the Thin Red Line? Didn't know that, I was under the impression it hasn't been used since the 1980s.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 5:38 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

I once passed up Huxley's 2 LP set THE GENESIS PROJECT at Jerry's records in Pittsburgh. I wish
I'd been more adventurous and bought it. Does anyone know if this ever made it to CD?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 5:43 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Genesis-Project-Craig-Huxley/dp/B00004TGHD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1249908064&sr=1-1

The Genesis Project was released on CD back in 1990, you can buy it on Amazon marketplace above.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 6:01 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=4672638

The blaster beam showed up in David Shire's 2010. There are some sounds on Mark Isham's FIRE IN THE SKY score that sound similar. I saw Francisco Lupica perform on Tom Snyder's TOMORROW show back in the 70s...I wonder who actually invented the concept. It's mentioned online that new age composer KITARO also was a user of the beam.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 6:24 AM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

Thanks for the headsup, Miragliano. I just nailed a copy on eBay. To paraphrase a salient quote, let's hope
that "having is not the same as wanting" won't be the case.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

I'd be interested to hear what the Genesis Project sounds like. Having never heard it, i've got images of prog rock.

I just had a quick search for the Blaster Beam on Wikipedia. Apparently, some women attending a concert claim they became sexually aroused listening to the Beam. What?!

That might explain why the Beam fell out of regular use...

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

Introducing new instruments into the fold is difficult business. What was the last new instrument that became a standard part of any enemble- the saxaphone? OK, it was probably the electronic keyboard- but only because it made nmore than one sound AND it could sound like a 'real' instrument if need be.

I'm surprised to see the Blaster Beam was used this many times. You may as well be asking about the Theremin- it's the same deal.

I read a story once about a musician who played 'glasswinds', flutes and such made out of glass. I guess the industrial revolution camle along too soon for instrument craftsmen to latch onto using glass.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 6:58 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

I'd be interested to hear what the Genesis Project sounds like. Having never heard it, i've got images of prog rock.

I just had a quick search for the Blaster Beam on Wikipedia. Apparently, some women attending a concert claim they became sexually aroused listening to the Beam. What?!

That might explain why the Beam fell out of regular use...


I probably would get aroused PLAYING itwink !!!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 7:07 AM   
 By:   Miragliano   (Member)

I'd be interested to hear what the Genesis Project sounds like. Having never heard it, i've got images of prog rock.

I just had a quick search for the Blaster Beam on Wikipedia. Apparently, some women attending a concert claim they became sexually aroused listening to the Beam. What?!

That might explain why the Beam fell out of regular use...

I probably would get aroused PLAYING it !!!


LoL!!!

An interesting experiment might be to play the Blaster Beam predominant tracks of ST:TMP during a romantic dinner and seeing if your wife/girlfriend has any "interesting" reactions. Other than asking you what the hell you're doing of course!

Might help is she's a Trekkie.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   Ubik   (Member)

The Beam was also featured prominently in a 1985 IMAX movie called CHRONOS. The music was composed by Michael Stearns.

On the DVD for CHRONOS there is a little featurette with composer Stearns in which he talks about the Beam and even demonstrates playing one. He mentions the name of the person who developed the Beam he is seen playing (I guess this is the person who actually manufactured it), but he never once mentions Craig Huxley as the inventor of it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 8:10 AM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

Maybe it fell out of use because musicians had trouble getting it in and out of its traveling case?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

There is a little bit of Blaster Beam in Apocalypse Now -- not in the Coppola cues, but the percussion improvisations by the Rhythm Devils (Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh).

http://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Now-Sessions-Carmine-Coppola/dp/B0000009N8


In fact much of their work was not used in the film, but the Blaster Beam does feature in their end title music (which was used).

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Trekfan   (Member)

So what happened to the Blaster Beam? It seemed to disappear from scores after the mid 80s or so, maybe earlier than that. Did it fall out of favour? Does the instrument still exist? Was there more than one?

Craig Huxley himself demonstrates the instrument in footage filmed around 1994-1995 for the 1995 "Jerry Goldsmith: Film Music Masters" documentary ( http://www.kqek.com/dvd_reviews/f/3057_FMMastersJerryGoldsmith.htm ), as well. Fun to get a close look at it and hear him speak about it briefly.

You can visit his site at http://www.craighuxley.com/ and maybe E-mail him. Unfortunately the "Blaster Beam" link on the site, pointing to http://www.craighuxley.com/ch-blasterbeam.html , results in page not found. A 2007 CD release of his on the site's front page features the beam as well - alive and well! Maybe with the advent of synth samples, composers aren't as interested today in unusual "acoustic" (or electro-acoustic) means of generating sounds.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

The Blaster Beam is so "old school" these days... big grin

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Horner made extensive use of the "beam" starting in 1980 I think with Humanoids from the Deep and Battle Beyond The Stars. In 1981 he used it for Wolfen, which for me at least, is the well from which so many of his subsequent scores drew from: Something Wicked, Aliens and especially Star Trek II, to name a few. I hope this is another score to finally get a legit release soon so I can retire one of the few "unmentionables" I ever bought. He then used it once more in 1981 in Deadly Blessings. Not sure if he used it in any subsequent scores until Star Trek II and at that point it may have run its course for him. Does anyone know if he used it in any of his other scores besides these?

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 12:45 PM   
 By:   Stefancos   (Member)

The Search For Spock also has it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 10, 2009 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   orion_mk3   (Member)

The Search For Spock also has it.
For the longest time, I thought that the bare few uses in Star Trek III were the end of the Beam's Trek career. But the new STII liner notes say that it was used in IV and V as well, though for the life of me I can't recall where that might be, and listening to the albums doesn't seem to uncover it.

Anybody care to chime in on the Beam cameos in STIV and V? Maybe it was recorded but not used, perhaps in the original version of Rosenman's title theme or buried under SFX and narration in the international prologue.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.