Richard Band climbs into battle mode with sci-fi soundtrack premiere to Arena! Empire Pictures presents, Charles Band executive produces, Paul Manoogian directs, Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo write, Paul Satterfield, Hamilton Camp, Claudia Christian, Marc Alaimo, Shari Shattuck star. Planets far and wide send their best fighters to the Arena aboard a space station ruled by aliens. Enter Steve Armstrong and hopes for the human race. His main opponent: a fearsome extraterrestrial crime lord determined to see Armstrong dead. As composer Band exclaims: It’s the grudge match of the millennium! Moving from his orchestral work to his synthesizer period, Band scores the action using both Fairlight and Synclavier keyboards with Gary Chang as programmer. Band creates a vivid futuristic world of alien combatants with music both thematic and exciting. Ideas for human hope and love have melody, material for the combat offers energetic rhythms, propulsive action. Band scores everything in a symphonic idiom, allowing for an array of accessible themes and motifs and a dazzling array of color. Highlighting everything are the final four sequences. Combined, they dish up a rewarding feast of intense action and heroics and climax with an optimistic finish. Band has always been comfortable writing for both orchestral and electronic music. He provides either genre with highly rewarding music featuring his own unique harmonic vocabulary. Arena is amongst the best of the latter. The entire CD has been mastered from 1/2” stereo masters vaulted in pristine condition. Colorful graphic design by Kay Marshall and a brief note from composer Band complete the package. Richard Band, Gary Chang produce, Richard Band composes. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!
Richard Band recorded his score for Arena onto 2” 24-track tape and then mixed it down to ½” two-track stereo. He included an array of synthesizers and electronic percussion in the stereo mix, and then added live percussion onto a third discrete channel, with a 60-cycle synch pulse matching everything to picture.
To present his music on CD for the first time, we went back to those original ½” elements. We mixed the separate percussion track into the center channel with the left and right synthesizer mixes and created a new composite two-track stereo mix of everything for the CD.
The music is at times strongly melodic, highly charged, rhythmically exciting and, at one point, even richly sensual. It’s complex and scored in a symphonic idiom, albeit realized electronically.