Last night, fans were treated to some familiar music, the original Star Trek fanfare originally composed by Alexander Courage followed by a new recording of the theme for the original series. Note that a spoiler follows for the finale.
“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” said composer Jeff Russo. “It is the Enterprise [which came on the screen], so I must play the Enterprise‘s theme.”
The new recording was performed by a seventy-four-piece orchestra (more than twice the twenty-nine who recorded the original back in 1965). Ayana Haviv performed the “wordless soprano voice.”
“I filmed it on my iPhone [originally],” said Russo. “I thought it sounded great, so I just texted that to Alex Kurtzman with a note like ‘Isn’t this the coolest thing?’ He immediately texted me back.”
“Conducting a pretty large orchestra in the music of one of my favorite shows as a kid was like a dream literally coming true,” said Russo. “It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had on the podium.”
“We wanted it to feel epic,” said Kurtzman. “Whether or not you’re totally conscious of those themes, it affects your emotional reaction to the storytelling. In a way, it’s another part of the screenwriting process.”
Russo will be composing the second season of Discovery, which begins filming in April.