Composer, actor help USS Angeles celebrate 50 years of ‘Star Trek’

Twenty-five or USS Angeles members celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek” Sept. 10 with Emmy-winning composer David Raiklen and actor Jason Matthew Smith, who played “Cupcake,” the security officer,  in the 2009 “Star Trek” movies and its sequels. (See Jennifer Cole’s photos on the USS Angeles’ Facebook page.)
At the party at Starbase Karen (home of Karen Hoagland, Renee Wike and Chris Mulrooney in the Los Angeles area), David explained how the music and special sound effects were created during the original “Star Trek” series. Phasers were the sound of three electric guitars being played backward! The transporter resulted from the tinkering of circuits in a Hammond organ (the iconic instrument of 1960s rock bands), effectively creating a homemade synthesizer at a time when the “Trek” budget wouldn’t allow purchase of synthesizers. As David noted, synthesizers (including the earliest, the Moog synthesizer), were just coming out on the market at that point.
David also noted how the use of traditional instruments, including a violin medley or folk songs such as “Charlie Is A Darling,” could be futuristic in the right story and setting.
Jason told us about acting in the movies, the challenges of fight scenes, the tight security over scripts and the presence of “Star Trek” canon experts to advise the crew. He said he didn’t get scripts of the entire movies. Essentially he was handed his sides (pages with his scenes).
Besides our speakers, we celebrated the 50th anniversary with a chocolate cake purchased by Starbase Karen, a big feast of dishes in our potluck and the viewing of “Star Trek” tributes and episodes including the iconic “City on the Edge of Forever” from the original series. We also had raffles for prizes including special T-shirts and
“Star Trek” stamps donated by Karen and Jackie Freeman, respectively.
And several of us were photographed in front of bridge and transporter backdrops provided by Cliff Gardner.
It was a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek.” Well done, everyone, who worked on this party! Special thanks go to Karen, Chris and Renee for hosting, David and Jason for being our guest speakers, Cliff for his backdrops, Jackie and Karen for their raffle prizes and Cliff, Donna Gardner and Jeremy Kranz for helping with cleanup. And thanks also go to anyone who I may have inadvertently omitted from this list.
Happy anniversary, “Star Trek”!
The USS Angeles has a proud history of special speakers at our meetings. To be part of our adventure, click on “Join us.”

Dave Mason

Commanding Officer, USS Angeles NCC-71840