Scoring the Cosmos

Matt Skelly
March 11, 2014
Alan Silvestri '70

Alan Silvestri ‘70 has many achievements, including multiple Academy Award nominations, Grammy Awards, and Saturn Awards. He has scored the TV show CHiPs, the Back to the Future trilogy, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Predator, and The Polar Express, just to name a few.

But imagine getting the call to score a series aimed at explaining the cosmos—or, as Carl Sagan described it, “all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”

Scoring the much-anticipated Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a follow-up to Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, came to Silvestri via his friendship with series producer Seth MacFarlane. Known primarily for his comedy and animation, MacFarlane has a longstanding interest in science (born in part thanks to his viewing of the original Cosmos series) and relationships with series host Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Ann Druyan, who co-wrote the original Cosmos and produced the new series. Druyan was married to Sagan and was his longtime collaborator until his passing in 1996. Druyan herself holds some cool music credentials, having overseen the music that went into space with Voyager spacecrafts 1 and 2.

Check out some of Silvestri’s score in the clip below, and read more on his website about his involvement in the project.