Monday, March 23, 2009
For some time now, I've been mystified and intrigued by the Battlestar Galactica Intro theme music. Going with the whole space odyssey motif, the music merged perfectly with the reimagined series.
To his credit, Galactica's music composer Bear McCreary put together an insightful arrangement during the series' run. Otherworldly, awe inspiring, and soul searching, Galactica's music married perfectly with the soul of the show. It evoked feeling. McCreary borrowed from all genres, Gaelic, classic rock, classical, traditional opera, to convey a sense of searching, longing, and need... all the while reinforcing these were a people wandering through the darkness.
Mood is what made the new Battlestar Galactica work. Pinned on the spiritual hopes for survival and a new beginning, perhaps it was the musical score which cemented the creative genius behind Battlestar. Without it, the message may have been lost. One understood the notion this was humanity's best chance for peace.
Personally, I never gave the Intro much thought. Assumed McCreary's creative processes again were falling in tune with Ron D. Moore's and David Eick's vision for the new Battlestar. But in the end, I made the classical error when it comes to assumptions. The premise of the last 10 episodes was "You will Know The Truth." After watching the Finale, I discovered one more revelation, one more "truth," Battlestar Galactica had to impart.
Comparing fan finale opinions on the BSG message boards, one fan posted lyrics to the Intro composition. I was surprised, then my astonishment gave way to hearty laughter. Moore and company pulled another fast one on us. Cheeky monkeys! Under the notion the Intro was inspired by some Polynesian theme, in truth, the song is fashioned after an old tranditional Sanskrit mantra. Reading the lyrical translation, I understood, finally, how poignant its meaning was for the series.
I've included the Sanskrit and translation below for observation. For other Battlestar fans, were you aware of the significance of the theme song? What's your opinion now?
Gayatri Mantra (BSG theme):
~Aum Bhur Bhuvah Svah~
~Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi~
Translation from Sanskrit:
Throughout all realms of experience,
essential nature illuminating existence,
is the adorable
May all beings perceive through
subtle and meditative intellect,
the magnificent brilliance
of enlightened awareness
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