‘Star Trek: Picard’ Composer Stephen Barton On Toll It Took Attempting To Create Season 3 Score From Scratch – Sound & Screen TV
Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard not only reunited all of the Next Generation crew, but also gave them a fitting sendoff for which fans have been waiting since the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis. It wasn’t easy for anyone, including composer Stephen Barton.
Barton admits, however, that he painted himself, or composed himself rather, into a corner.
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“We decided we were going to try to score all of it which meant writing seven hours of music,” Barton said during a panel for the CBS/Paramount+ series at Deadline’s Sound & Screen event. “I think about four hours in I was literally dead, absolutely. I was doing seven days weeks, 16-hour days, I hadn’t seen my family. It was absolutely brutal.”
Normally TV shows can reuse pre-existing tracks. Barton’s goal to compose an all-new score for Season 3 wore him down. He credits showrunner Terry Malalas with suggesting they hire Frederik Wiedmann for episodes 7-10.
“I almost missed that email that was supposed to reach me because it ended up in my spam folder from my website email contact form,” Wiedmann said. “It took me a week to finally see that, which was quite mortifying: Start this day, here’s episode 7 and go.”
Wiedmann said scoring the moment where the Next Generation team resumes its positions on the Enterprise set came with a lot of pressure. Barton cited the launch of the Titan from Spacedock was his high-pressure score. He also wanted to pay homage to previous Star Trek composers including Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner.
“We’re talking Dennis McCarthy,” Barton said of the esteemed list. “We’re talking Leonard Rosenman, Cliff Eidelman, Alexander Courage.”
Check out the panel video above.
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