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David Bell: Composing For Trek

Posted by T'Bonz - 18/11/10 at 12:11 pm


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Working with the production staff on Star Trek was a “dream-come-true” for composer David Bell, who wrote music for sixty-six episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Bell’s work on Voyager and Enterprise led to four ASCAP awards between 1999 and 2002, with three of the four being awarded for his work on Voyager.

Beginning with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Bell composed music for each of the Star Trek spin-offs, and was initially brought onto the show to help out two composers who were already working for the series and who needed a bit of relief. “Dennis McCarthy and Jay Chattaway had been doing virtually all of the episodes of both DS9 then Voyager – an enormous amount of work – and I think the production staff wanted to bring someone else in to pitch relief when needed,” said Bell. “Fortunately, it ended up being nine fantastic years of work for me.”

Working on Star Trek was satisfying for Bell and if he had it all to do over again, he would. “I think my style of writing, orchestration and dramatic sensibilities were a good fit for Star Trek,” said Bell. “Also, the production staff on Star Trek and Paramount music department made it a dream-come-true situation for me. It simply could not have been better! I was sorry to see it all end.”

Bell’s most challenging Trek episode was Star Trek: Voyager’s Bride of Chaotica. “It required writing in the usual Star Trek musical vocabulary for portions of it, but other portions required writing in 1930s Flash Gordon film music style,” explained Bell. “It involved a lot of music research, then putting a ton of notes on the page! I do my own orchestration most of the time and this one was a bear, but a blast to do.”

In addition to his work on Star Trek, Bell worked on other popular shows such as Murder, She Wrote and In the Heat of the Night. In the interview at the referring site, Bell explains how he got into composing as well as his work on other shows, and answers a few questions submitted by TrekBBS posters.

Thanks to Justin Boggan for the tip!

Source: David Bell Interview

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