Will Bueché



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Defying Gravity custom cover art

Posted in Music by Will on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 ~ 2am

If you’ve captured the score to the canceled ABC series Defying Gravity from composer Shawn Pierce’s website [Update: Pierce’s score for Defying Gravity is no longer available on his website], then you may need cover art for your iTunes display.

Here is a cover for the score… and also a cover for the soundtrack, if you’ve also put together the tunes played in the series (by artists such as The Stills and The National).

Remember, a score is the instrumental music created by the series composer, and a soundtrack is a collection of licensed songs by various artists – which for Defying Gravity were selected by music supervisor Natasha Duprey.

The composer told me that the planned Original Score album (which was cancelled when the series was prematurely cancelled) did not go as far as determining a tracklist. So if you’ve captured the streams of the instrumentals from his website, you are free to arrange them in any sequence you want. (“…no, there is no particular order and honestly these tracks weren’t really thought out specifically for the soundtrack release. Some of them for sure but not all..I just chose cues that I really liked and cues that fans requested to hear,” says Mr. Pierce).

While you’re taking an interest, why not drop La La Land Records a quick message telling them you’d love it if they’d release Shawn Pierce’s score to Defying Gravity. After all, the stream on the composer’s website was only 128kbps, which is very low fidelity — an official CD release would be much, much higher quality. Even if you are reading this blog years after the series aired, please send a request:

My suggested sequence for the Original Soundtrack of songs that appeared on the series is:

01 That Home (Cinematic Orchestra)
02 Everything I Build (The Stills)
03 Shine (Hannah Georgas)
04 Soldiers of Christ (Blood Meridian)
05 Hope For The Hopeless (A Fine Frenzy)
06 Alive (Edwin)
07 In The End (The Stills)
08 Start a War (The National)
09 Awful Dream (Matthew Barber)
10 And You Give (Matthew Barber) *
11 Wait (Alexi Murdoch)

* this one is not in the series, but given the lyrics of being in love “over the moon”, and the producer’s tendency to favor using the same artists for more than one song, I suspect it would have made it into the series had the show run for the full, conceived 3 seasons. It ends the album well.

Update: A Spotify playlist of songs featured on Defying Gravity is now available. Some songs were not available on that service so had to be omitted:

However, this is only one attempt to make a good flow. Your own sequence may depend on which songs you like, or which songs you’ve collected; there are many more than this to choose from (see the episode list information below).

In creating this sequence for the Original Soundtrack I followed my belief that songs which were merely on the show in the context of playing on the sound system at Major Tom’s bar are better left off because they do not have the same allusions to the storyline. The songs that were playing at the bar were often just background noise (loud and raucous) and had little bearing on the show’s characters – unlike the songs which were used in montages and were clearly only heard by the viewer.

So what to do with the songs that were played at the bar?

I’ve put those on a third album, which I call Defying Gravity: Major Tom’s Playlist.

I made this quickie cover for the bar songs. Really the cover art should have Mars instead of the Antares, since the history of the Mars mission hung heavy over this watering hole for astronauts. I might try again on this later, but this is just for temp:

Suggested sequence for Major Tom’s Playlist (though honestly this one may as well just be set to shuffle the songs randomly):

01 Sticky Situation (Danko Jones) <- get it out of the way fast
02 Pioneering (Adaline)
03 Rollin’ (Eldorado)
04 Through The Night These Days (Jason Collettand)
05 No Angel (Coal)
06 Brother (Luke Doucet)
07 Snowing in Nashville (acoustic) (Leeroy Stagger)
08 Everybody’s On Fire (The Mohawk Lodge)
09 Blood’s Too Rich (Luke Ducet)
10 Don’t Wait Up (The Scenario)
11 It’s You (Eldorado)
12 Let’s Waltz (Late Thaw)
13 Somehow (Jason Collett) <-best song to end on
14 To the Next Bar (Paul Hyde) <-didn’t know where else to put such a long song; may want to omit it entirely.

Update: A Spotify playlist of songs played in scenes set at Major Tom’s tavern is now available. Many songs were not available on that service so had to be omitted:


Comprehensive soundtrack list taken from tvshowmusic.com/shows/defyinggravity.html
Defying Gravity music list compiled with much appreciated assistance from Natasha Duprey, who curated the songs used in the series.

[101] Pilot
* “Pioneering” by Adaline. Flashback of the pre-launch celebration at Major Tom’s bar.
* “Hope For The Hopeless” by A Fine Frenzy. The crew is told about Rollie & Ajay’s medical conditions; Ted is brought up to speed; repeats as Jen & Rollie make love on the flight deck; Maddux packs; Ajay heads for an airlock.
* “Everybody’s On Fire” by The Mohawk Lodge. Flashback of Ajay introducing himself to Zoe at Major Tom’s, then Jen confirming that Zoe is pregnant.
* “Alive” by Edwin. The Antares crew launches for Venus.

[102] Natural Selection
* “Josephina” by Bocephus King. Flashback of Maddux following Zoe into the bathroom at Major Tom’s.
* “Walter Through Kim” by Ronnie Earl. Flashback of Rollie & Ted betting on whether Maddux will leave with Zoe.

[103] Threshold
* “Playboy” by Candy Coated Killahz. Flashback of the guys trying to overcome their HALOs at a strip club; Nadia dances for the guys.
* “Anomalous” by Pixel Wrangler. Flashback of the guys collecting their money from the bet; Rollie offers to share a cab with Jen.

[104] H2IK
* “Brother” by Luke Doucet. Ajay goes for a drink at Major Tom’s.
* “Snowing In Nashville” by Leeroy Stagger.Trevor Williams & Ajay have a chat at the bar.
* “No Angel” by Coal. Flashback of Travis sitting down with the Antares crew for the memorial; Mike orders shots for toasting to the memory of Sharon Lewis & Jeff Walker; the crew discuss the toast.
* “It’s You” by Eldorado. Flashback of Jen telling Ted she doesn’t think he should be alone.

[105] Rubicon
* “Sticky Situation” by Danko Jones. Flashback of Maddux’s classroom freak out.
* “Let’s Waltz” by Late Thaw. Flashback of Zoe meeting with a doctor.
* “Through The Night These Days” by Jason Collett. Flashback of Zoe & her mom going to Major Tom’s.
* “Rollin’ ” by Eldorado. Flashback of Maddux meeting Zoe’s mom, Bev & her doing a card reading for him; Jen tells Rollie about her fascination with cyanobacteria.
* “All That Glitters” by Coal. Flashback of Ted arriving to pick up Jen for dinner; Evram returns Maddux’s baseball & asks him the story behind it.
* “Everything I Build” by The Stills. The crew put their possessions in the time capsule; the ship crosses the Rubicon; repeats as Eve confronts Mike about the Mars mission; flashback of Maddux going to Nadia’s place; Ted returns the crews’ items; flashback of Zoe calling the doctor & Maddux finding Sharon’s baseball on his doorstep, then throwing it into space on the Antares.

[106] Bacon
* “To The Next Bar” by Paul Hyde. Flashback of Claire & Evram at Major Tom’s talking about their residencies.
* “That Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra. Jen nurses her baby rabbit; flashback of Steven consoling Paula at the hospital & then sitting with he in the medical bay on Antares; Zoe & Dr. Winkler exchange photos; flashback of Maddux sitting by Zoe’s hospital bed.

[107] Fear
* “Somehow” by Jason Collett. Flashback of Zoe deciding to go to the Halloween party.
* “Hello Stranger” by Billy Boy Arnold. Flashback of Zoe arriving at the Halloween party as a pregnant astronaut.
* “Down Broke Down” by Corduroy Kid. Flashback of Maddux keeping an eye on Zoe’s drinking & Jen complaining to Zoe about Ted’s absence.; Rollie joins Jen at the bar.
* “Can’t Stop Dancing” by Sylvester. Flashback of Maddux warning Zoe about the guy she was dancing with.
* “Getting It On” by Jacksoul. Flashback of Ajay offering to help Jen get a sick Zoe home.

[108] Love, Honor, Obey
* “Higher Power” by Shawn Pierce. The crew goes into the pod 4.

[109] Eve Ate The Apple
* “Shine” by Hannah Georgas. Two guys chat at the Hawk Creek Radio Observatory before detecting a signal.

[110] Deja Vu
* “Undone” by Transientworld. Steven does a dance about fractals.
* “Start A War” by The National. Crew & command montage; Rollie hits a woman with his car while phoning Jen.

[111] Solitary
* “Awful Dream” by Matthew Barber. Flashback of the guys hanging out at Major Tom’s after the sensory deprivation test.
* “I Like It When You Get” by Kyle Stein. Flashback of Claire & Evram discussing the sensory deprivation test, then him turning down her invitation to dinner.
* “Kitty” by Kyle Stein. Flashback of Steven, Zoe & Maddux playing darts as Nadia arrives at Major Tom’s.
* “Movin On” by Kyle Stein. Flashback of Trevor talking to a slightly drunk Claire & Maddux giving Zoe tips of throwing darts.
* “In The End” by The Stills. Flashback montage of the crew after the sensory deprivation test & then Maddux finding Nadia in his bed; Zoe looks out at Venus as they near the planet.

[112] Venus
* “Don’t Wait Up” by The Scenario. Flashback of the gang toasting Zoe & Claire talking Evram into giving their relationship a try.
* “Come To Light” by Dan DeViller. Montage of flashbacks of Zoe & Maddux making love & Zoe being put into the space suit.

[113] Kiss
* “Soldiers Of Christ” by Blood Meridian. Flashback of Maddux showing up at the tattoo parlor.
* “Man In A Garage” by Coldcut ft John Matthias. Flashback of Zoe & Jen discussing Rollie & relationships as the tattoo is being finished.
* “Blood’s Too Rich” by Luke Doucet. Trevor goes to Major Tom’s after the Venus landing, only to find it empty.
* “Wait” by Alexi Murdoch. Evram & Jen work on Zoe; flashback of Ted & Eve having dinner & toasting ‘normal’.
* “My Love Is A Bullet” by Rich Hope And His Evil Doers. Travers questions an unusually quiet crew at Major Tom’s.

One Response to 'Defying Gravity custom cover art'

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  1. Will said,

    on February 11th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    By the way I too heard from Mr. Pierce, and he answered by question about whether he had designed a sequence for the songs that are streaming on his website (which currently play in alphabetical order). He wrote, “To answer your question, no, there is no particular order and honestly these tracks weren’t really thought out specifically for the soundtrack release. Some of them for sure but not all..I just chose cues that I really liked and cues that fans requested to hear.” He also expressed some reservations on learning that people were using techniques to capture the streams, noting that it was not his intention for people to do that, which I took as partly being a concern that if an indie record label such as La La Land Records developed an interest in releasing the Defying Gravity score, that the capture of the stream may dissuade them from that. My own opinion however is that a low quality stream (it’s only 128kbps) would never impact the sales of a real lossless CD. But in any case, his intent is only to have people enjoy the music as a stream, and not to capture it.

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