For years Stargate fans have known and loved his work. Without him, Stargate may never have become the memorable franchise that it is. Now the man who took the amazing and helped elevate it to the astounding is gone. Composer Joel Goldsmith died yesterday, April 29th, at the age of 54.
Joel composed the music for all 334 episodes of the three series of the Stargate franchise, plus the two SG-1 DVD movies. Joel was the one to take the original Stargate theme by David Arnold and adapt it into the SG-1 theme we all love. He collaborated with his famous father Jerry Goldsmith to create the score for Star Trek: First Contact in 1996. He was nominated for two other Emmy Awards, including his music for the SG-1 Season One episode “The Nox” and the Atlantis Season Two episode “Grace Under Pressure.”
When I saw the news yesterday I was indescribably sad. I never had the opportunity to meet him. I suspect very few fans ever got that chance. The closest I ever came was by ordering a copy of the Stargate Continuum soundtrack from his website, and for a few extra dollars he signed the CD booklet. It has always had a special spot in my collection of memorabilia.
Joel’s work has had an effect on so many fans. How many of us have scrambled to get to the TV as soon as we hear our favorite title theme? How many of us proud geeks can identify each theme that Joel created, from the Goa’uld’s chanting theme to the airy chords of the Ancient’s theme? In the years since Stargate Continuum was released I have often seen fans commenting on how well the first piece, ‘A Day in the SGC’, captures the very essence of the series. If anything more ever comes out of the Stargate franchise, the composer will have a very high standard to strive for.