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Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Original Television Soundtrack)

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Album Review

As of December 2008, the science fiction Terminator franchise had spawned three films (The Terminator [1984], Terminator 2: Judgment Day [1991], Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines [2003]), with a fourth, Terminator Salvation, in the post-production stage and another two on the drawing board. And a network television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, was in its second season. This soundtrack album for the TV show mostly covers the first season, the exception being the leadoff track, a hard rock arrangement of the old folk-blues song by the Reverend Gary Davis, "Samson and Delilah" (aka "If I Had My Way"), sung by Shirley Manson of Garbage, who also has an acting part on the program. The song was heard at the start of the second season. Otherwise, composer Bear McCreary (of The Sci Fi Channel's version of Battlestar Galactica) wrote most of the music. Although he pledges fidelity to the synthesizer-dominated work of Brad Fiedel on the first two Terminator films and even uses a smidgen of the original theme in his "Opening Title," McCreary actually has a very different conception for the series, combining lots of wistful music played by a small string section with lots of pounding percussion. He notes that he and an assistant spent the summer of 2007 recording a library of percussion samples ("oil cans, chains, aluminum sheets..."), and the result gives him industrial noises that would seem like sound effects if they weren't so rhythmic. There are occasional respites from the strings-and-percussion cues, notably "Atomic Al's Merry Melody," which sounds like music for a cartoon and was used to follow the actions of a squirrel. But for the most part, the two basic sound groups prevail, evoking, as McCreary notes, both the human and robotic elements of the Terminator story line.


Born: 17 February 1979 in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Score composer Bear McCreary was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 17, 1979, the son of the writer Laura Kalpakian. He obtained degrees in composition and recording arts from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and became a protégé of the film composer Elmer Bernstein, for whom he reconstructed and re-orchestrated the score for the 1963 film Kings of the Sun, resulting in a new recording of the music. After scoring a number of short films in the late...
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