Jeff Russo Interview: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ composer
“In ‘Picard,’ we’re dealing with our one character and how he’s on his journey, and it’s not the entire crew,” explains “Star Trek: Picard” composer Jeff Russo about finding the right tone for the CBS All Access show’s music. “So I wanted to do that same thing with the score. I wanted to really focus in on the character of it and the emotion.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Russo above.
The series reintroduces the character of Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart), who was introduced in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in 1987 and was last seen in the feature film “Star Trek: Nemesis” in 2002. It’s about his process of “growing and becoming the person he was always going to become, trying to make amends for his past mistakes, and trying to figure out where things are going to lead him. So we really wanted to focus a lot more on that.”
That also informed his approach to the main title theme music. It has “more of an intimate and emotionally driven feel than a big bombastic theme score.” That sets “Picard” apart from “The Next Generation,” but “I did, however, want to nod to our past because who are we if we’re not recognizing where we’ve come from. Part of that is about giving an acknowledgment to where we’ve been musically.”
“When I nod to Jerry Goldsmith‘s theme from ‘The Motion Picture,’ which then became the theme for ‘The Next Generation,’ I can use that to great effect,” Russo adds. “I bow to him. He’s one of the greats of all time.” As much as the story of “Picard” is about one’s relationship with the past, so too does the score boldly go where no “Trek” has gone before while also staying true to its roots. “All of it has led to where we are now, and I don’t want to forget that … ‘Star Trek’ as a universe shares musical DNA across all of the shows and movies, and I think it was important to keep that thread because that’s also what makes the whole thing so recognizable and so iconic.”