Music and Characters.
In space, no one can hear you sing. But for Starfleet’s best and the brightest, a passion—and preferably talent—for music is practically an occupational requirement. From Spock’s harp to Riker’s trombone, Data’s violin to Harry’s clarinet, Star Trek’s characters have carried on playing for more than half a century, filling the silent void of space with a rich medley.
In this supplemental episode of Primitive Culture, recorded at London’s Royal Festival Hall during a performance of Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook to discuss the importance of music in Star Trek’s technologically sophisticated future. With all human—and alien—culture available at the mere press of a touchscreen, what does it mean to put in the hours of practice necessary to master a musical instrument? And can a symphony performed by an android truly be considered a “live” performance?
The Virtues of Live Performance (00:03:05)
“Virtuoso” and Elitist Snobbery (00:05:40)
“Lessons” and Talent vs. Passion (00:08:55)
Jazz Standards and Improvisation (00:17:08)
The Instrument Maketh the Man (00:22:55)
The “Classical” Music of the Future (00:26:15)
The Consolation of Romantic Music (00:31:50)
Folk Music and Raw Emotion (00:39:20)
Hopes for Discovery (00:46:05)
Filling the Void (00:48:24)
Tony Black (Editor) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)
Star Trek’s Design Influences. We look at how the franchise’s style has shifted over the course of its half a century, from the sleek, contoured lines of Kirk’s original Enterprise to the rough-and-ready look of the USS Discovery.
Star Trek and Action Movies. “The Cage” was rejected for being too cerebral, but that didn't stop it from delivering thoughtful commentary. We look at how Trek has incorporated action tropes over the years without giving up what makes it unique.
The French Resistance and Star Trek’s Maquis. We look at the legacy of World War II resistance fighters and how the writers of Deep Space Nine transferred our own history to the caves of Bajor.
Shakespeare and Star Trek, Part II. We conclude our two-part episode on Star Trek’s debt to the Bard with a look at the Next Generation era.
Music and Characters. Recorded at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Duncan Barrett is joined by Clara Cook to discuss live performance in Star Trek and the importance of music in a technologically sophisticated future.
Shakespeare and Star Trek, Part I. In the first of a two-part episode, we look at echoes of Shakespeare’s plays in The Original Series and The Undiscovered Country.
Westworld and the Holodeck. We consider some of Star Trek’s holodeck episodes in relation to the amoral theme park of the 1973 film in which gun-slinging robot terrorizes hapless fun-seekers.
Legacies of WWII in The Original Series. Many of Star Trek’s original cast and crew saw action during the Second World War. We explore their stories, and how the war was depicted on screen.
The Wrath of Khan and Classic Literature. Khan Noonien Singh’s bookshelf on the SS Botany Bay displayed a host of significant texts that spoke to his grandiose fate. We explore some of them, from Shakespeare to Milton.
Star Trek and Terrorism. In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, we look at terrorism as reflected in the Star Trek universe.