Lost Ancestors

Film composers crib classical works all the time. Forex, I sat up with a jolt, decades ago, at the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back when I realized I was hearing a parlayed version of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto behind the action in the Cloud City of Bespin. But last night, just letting the classical station run in an access of blessed relief at the end of the annual onslaught of Christmas dreck — who wants to hear the same string trio version of “Jingle Bells” six times a day? — something hit me between the eyes.

Just the first few bars. Go on, listen. Same key, even.

I’ve been a Trekkie all my life. And not only is Mahler on my Top Ten composer list, that one is my favorite of his symphonies; it’s even “our song” of poignant memory, the one whose A-theme gave my late and ex husband an opening to speak to me for the first time (“Are you whistling Mahler’s First, or the Songs of a Wayfarer?” Trick question; the answer is “yes,” because he recycled the melody).

How did I miss this?


A Request For The Cantina Band

By now everyone who cares has probably seen this.

The Engineer’s birthday is tolerably close to the release date, so I reckon we have our plans. I’ve never bothered about Star Wars since the contrived happy ending of Return of the Jedi — it was like the way Ilia the Piraeus prostitute in Never on Sunday gave all the Greek tragedies the same upbeat conclusion: “And they all go to the seashore.” But that last frame got even me chokey, it’s a couple hours of good special-effects crap and I’m sure he can catch me up on what plot there is.

Meanwhile I’m stuck humming this other bit of retro from the 1970s — also nothing brilliant, but kind of catchy.