“Star Trek” composer Michael Giacchino has written a concert work commemorating the 60th anniversary of NASA. The National Symphony Orchestra will debut the piece as part of a pops concert Friday night at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Giacchino, composer of the three feature films in the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise and of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” calls the 11-minute work “Voyage.” It’s a musical description of “what is going through your mind when you wake up on the morning of a launch, going out to the pad, being buckled in, waiting for launch, blasting off, weightlessness, reaching your destination, and coming home,” says the longtime space buff.
“It’s my version of that story, having talked to friends who have either done it or designed the equipment to do it — what all that means, emotionally,” Giacchino adds.
Actor John Cho, who plays Sulu in the “Star Trek” films, will introduce the piece with a poem he has written for the occasion. Emil de Cou, associate conductor of the NSO, will conduct the Giacchino work and other space-themed music including Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” better known as the theme for Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Singer-songwriters Grace Potter and will.i.am, and writer Nick Sagan (the son of “Cosmos” creator and famed astronomer Carl Sagan) are also slated to appear.
Giacchino calls this piece “a precursor to a longer piece I’m writing for next year,” the 50th anniversary of the July 1969 moon landing by Apollo 11, “what that meant to the world, and where we go from here.” It too is a joint commission by NASA and the National Symphony Orchestra.
The NSO played Giacchino’s “Jurassic World” score live to picture Wednesday night. His sequel score, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” debuts in theaters June 22.