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Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is an interstellar journey through the franchise's musical legacy


The Czech National Symphony Orchestra plays during Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage - ERIKA GOLDRING / PROVIDED
  • Erika Goldring / Provided
  • The Czech National Symphony Orchestra plays during Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage

Jerry Goldsmith scored Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. His work on that film has been called some of the best in cinematic history.

The Star Trek universe celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, and classic music from Goldsmith and many others who have contributed to the vast series of film and television shows is not forgotten.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is a concert tour dedicated to honoring the franchise’s music legacy. It stops in Oklahoma City 8 p.m. April 22 at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave.

Justin Freer, conductor and producer of The Ultimate Voyage, said he holds Goldsmith’s work in high regard.

“I think that score’s a monumental masterpiece,” he said. “Here we are, all these decades later, looking back at that score as one of the pinnacle moments of film music history, and I think it will always be that.”

The Ultimate Voyage focuses on scores across the history of the series. The show features the best and most memorable music from the franchise, played by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Freer has worked with the traveling orchestra on past tours featuring music from The Godfather and Titanic.

All the music will be synchronized to video. Different themes from the past 50 years — “the Enterprise,” “man’s exploration” and “life forms” — are explored. Freer said the performance musically traces themes through a montage of clips and memories.

Freer considers himself a Trekkie. Born in 1980, he recalls being introduced to the franchise as a kid while watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. His interest eventually led him to the older films and Goldsmith’s work.

“I adore the franchise,” he said. “Fifty years of anything is quite an accomplishment.”

A lot has changed in the Star Trek universe since it began in 1966. The stories changed creative hands and were influenced by countless producers, directors, costume designers and composers. However, what strikes Freer is not what changed, but what remains.

“It’s a minor miracle that all these amazing changes over the years have resulted in such a consistent high quality,” he said.

Star Trek music often reflects themes of romantic adventure or curious awe. Freer said Star Trek composers grappled with the idea of escapism in space. They’re transporting people to another world, or even between worlds. Along with that comes a sense of enormity, but also of direct, personal connection.

“I think that’s one of the things [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry was so good at describing when he started this out in ’66,” he said. “I think any great music in film or television does one primary thing and does it well: help tell the emotional story of the content on film. It does what visuals cannot do.”

Print headline: Star symphony, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage celebrates 50 years of music from the historic franchise.

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