The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 178: Jay Chattaway
This week marks the beginning of a mini-marathon of Star Trek composers. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to turn the spotlight onto the four composers responsible for nearly all of the music in televised Star Trek (except for the original series). In fact, three composers – Jay Chattaway, Dennis McCarthy, and Ron Jones – wrote a vast majority of the score heard in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. And you’ll hear from all of them right here.
Today, we’re chatting with Jay Chattaway, who wrote the music for an astonishing number of episodes. He scored 42 episodes of TNG (starting in season 3), 59 episodes of DS9 across all 7 seasons, 54 episodes of Voyager across all 7 seasons, and 28 episodes of Enterprise during that show’s run.
He wrote the music for the first and last episodes of Voyager, won an Emmy for his work on Voyager’s final episode “Endgame,” and wrote the devastatingly beautiful flute solo from one of the best TNG episodes of all time, “The Inner Light.”
On this episode, we chat about his early musical career with the U.S. Navy Band, scoring documentaries and National Geographic specials, coming into Star Trek three seasons in, the massive creative restrictions he had to work within, source music and the ability to break out of the Trek mold, differences among the shows, “The Inner Light,” and so much more.